Month: December 2013

Volunteer Opportunities

Volunteer Opportunities

Our next event is 25th Jan – we would love your support!

We rely on volunteer support to deliver our Kids Country programme.

Some volunteers can only give time outside of working hours and some can only attend once or twice a year but we still appreciate it.

Some have relevant skills and knowledge to share with children, and others do not want core tasks or responsibilities but are happy to help in the background. All are equally valued and we are always keen to hear from anyone interested in becoming involved.

There really is something for everyone and we do aim to make volunteering fun. After our Smithfield 2012 event one teacher wrote: “Just a quick note to say how much we enjoyed the festival –the children are doing an assembly on it next week –they’ve been busy with it on and off all week and haven’t stopped telling the rest of the school all sorts of little facts”.

Expert Volunteers

Delivery of high quality education events is only possible by engaging help from within the farming community. Our education team is always looking for help with its Kids Country events and to extend its reach through to older children and students including those considering a career in the agri sector. Anyone able to help at a Kids Country event provide visiting  opportunities to their farms and businesses offer help at workshops and speaker meetings are invited to get in touch.


For an informal chat or a walk around the Showground please contact:


2013/14 Marshal Papworth MSc Students Day Trip and Dinner

2013/14 Marshal Papworth MSc Students Day Trip and Dinner


On Tuesday 10 December, the Marshal Papworth Trust held the first networking meeting for the new 2013/14 cohort of MSc students and committee members.

Earlier in the day a trip was organised to demonstrate two different food and farming journeys. The first being a ‘field to fork’ story demonstrated by Lincolnshire Field Products and the second a process of recycling waste vegetable products by Organic Recycling Ltd.

The day began with students being given an introduction during a walk round Woolhall Farms; topics included harvesting of sugar beet, Brussels and cabbages, vegetable packing and grading. Students walked through the brussels sprout crop where they were able to taste the raw vegetable and watch the machine harvesting the crop. The sprouts were transported to the pack-house where they were, washed, weighed, graded and cellophane sealed for supermarkets’ Christmas counters. A fantastic visual lesson reinforced by farming experts.

In the afternoon the group visited Andrew Riddington’s Farm in Crowland where they were given lunch and an informative presentation on his recycling business and future projects including solar panels and grass houses.
After lunch the students were given a talk and tour of Organic Recycling , a family-owned business that has grown into one of the UK’s leading composting facilities for biodegradable waste. Using innovative technology, Organic Recycling annually processes up to 60,000 tonnes of solid agricultural, horticultural and vegetable waste, paper, cardboard and green waste, converting it into compost, mulches and soil conditioners. The students also understood what happens to the vegetable waste products (seen at LFP) They were turned into compost for our gardens etc.

The day concluded at the Showground with a traditional British Christmas Dinner and a chance to discuss the day’s thoughts before departure home. The Dinner gave Marshal Papworth students a moment to savour the messages and take a new agricultural perspective home.

Local Schools Gain Perspective of a Professional Agricultural Event

Local Schools Gain Perspective of a Professional Agricultural Event

Press Release: 10/12/2013

Kids Country presented ‘A Child’s Perspective of a Professional Agricultural Event’ at the Showground in conjunction with the East of England Smithfield Festival, 5 & 6 December 2013.  Girls and boys from local schools were directed around special discovery zones dedicated to a particular livestock theme which were hosted by food, farming and livestock experts and enthusiasts from around the region.  Each zone introduced children to a specific activity that they could interact with.

Richard Savory from ‘The Sheep Show’, a sheep expert, and Judith Jacobs from ‘Moor Farm, Newborough’, a cattle expert, (“The Richard & Judy Show”) set the scene for the day by introducing topics about ‘by-products of cattle and sheep’, ‘breed names and characteristics’ and ‘native breeds from the UK’; the motivational messages stimulated  children throughout the day and culminated later in the zones with one to one teaching and direct feedback from practising farmers and agriculture specialists.

Schools were guided around three zones:  a Cattle Zone with FACE (Farming & Countryside Education) and Jane from RSPB as well as four cattle, a Sheep Zone that included four sheep and a wool spinning demonstration, and a Meat Zone with Tony, a butcher from Woburn Country Foods, an exhibit by Nigel Akehurst from Red Tractor that emphasised the Trust the Tractor campaign and encouraged children to spot British food in supermarkets together with a demonstration where children were able to lend a hand literally in making burgers using beef from Moor Farm (a Red Tractor Assured beef and lamb farm).  Children witnessed meat turned into mince and were able to take their burgers home at the end of the day.

The highlight for many of the children was a tour of the main festival area which was conducted by Bill Samson and members of the RASC (Royal Agricultural Society of the Commonwealth); children saw cattle and sheep paraded around the ring and witnessed prize judging.  A very kind West Wales farmer gave a lucky few children a behind-the-scenes tour of the sheep pens where stock were being sheered and groomed awaiting judging.  Children filled out a livestock spotting worksheet and received first hand assistance and advice from national farmers who helped them identify the different breeds of sheep and cattle.

Luke, 8, Parnwell Primary School, said, ‘my favourite bit about today was when he (a farmer) scanned the tag on the sheep so he automatically knows where the sheep comes from… I’ve learnt that animals have their own passports… It’s been a good trip’.

Millie, Woodston Primary School, learnt that ‘Cows have 4 stomachs and sheep can have twins or triplets’.

Colin, Elliott and Matthew from Bythams Primary School enjoyed seeing the sheep and learning how jumpers are made from wool.  When prompted if they had learnt something new they said that ‘If the sheep eat these worm/maggot things they will get a very upset tummy and they need to have a spray medicine on their back and mouth to disinfect the bug.’  ‘I’ve learnt that sheep’s parts can be used to create fireworks and chess pieces.’

Freya, 7, from Coates Primary School said her favourite part was ‘looking at the lady’s spinning wheel because I’ve always wanted to see a spinning wheel’.

All children interviewed said they would like to visit another Kids Country event in the near future with one reply being a very enthusiastic ‘Yes, yes, yes!’.

A teacher from Heltwate School considered the most successful aspect was the ‘knowledgeable staff’ and ‘amazing variety of tasks to do and participate in’.  Children with special educational needs ‘learned masses from the experts’.

The day was concluded by Richard and Judith who reinforced children’s knowledge with reminders, displays and questions from each zone.  Children who answered correctly were given prizes, kindly donated by the event’s exhibitors.

Kids Country event organiser Sandra Lauridsen said: ‘It is very pleasing to see, and hear, the children’s enjoyment and to realise just how much they were learning during their stay with us.  The Society could not deliver this programme without volunteer and exhibitor support and we are all grateful for the time and effort they put into Kids Country.’

Kids Country would like to give special thanks to the 20+ volunteers who gave their time over two days to help deliver the high quality educational programme.  Kids Country relies on volunteer support.  Some volunteers can only give time outside of working hours and some can only attend once or twice a year but it is still appreciated.

The Society is always happy to discuss any aspect of sponsorship. The Society knows it has to make business sense for our sponsors and will work hard to achieve that for them.  Please visit our website or contact Jeremy Staples for sponsorship opportunities.

The biggest Kids Country event ‘Food and Farming Festival’, which successfully attracted 4000 children this year, is set to return 11 July 2014.

Editors notes:

Press release issued by the East of England Agricultural Society for more press information & additional photographs contact Matt Jones (01733 363 543) or email

For more information about Kids Country contact Sandra Lauridsen, East of England Agricultural Society (01733 234 514) or email


Upcoming Events

all-day Kids Country- Food & Farming Day @ East of England Showground
Kids Country- Food & Farming Day @ East of England Showground
Jun 29 all-day
Kids Country- Food & Farming Day @ East of England Showground
The Kids Country Food and Farming day brings around 7000 school children onto the site to learn about where their food comes from and how it is made. If you would like to get involved, …

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all-day Just Dogs Live @ East of England Showground
Just Dogs Live @ East of England Showground
Jul 6 – Jul 8 all-day
Just Dogs Live @ East of England Showground
Members are entitled to Free entry to this event upon presentation of a valid membership card at the entrance. For more information about Just Dogs Live- Incorporating the Championship Dog Show, please visit the dedicated …

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