With a commitment to classroom and on-farm education, BASF has directly supported more than five thousand children in 2023 by providing resources and attending events, aimed at the next generation.
In collaboration with industry partners, the company is passionate about reducing the disconnect between food and farming through education, as part of their Farming, the Biggest Job on Earth platform.
Working with the LEAF Educational team, BASF invested in the “Why Farming Matters” school resources. Covering topics such as the importance of soil health, on-farm energy generation, food provenance, water use, and biodiversity, the resource supports young people’s learning and understanding. Interwoven within the farm-centric teaching modules are many skills-development activities, including literacy, maths, debating, critical thinking and the natural environment.
The project was recorded as teachers’ number one resource in the Countryside Classroom, a bespoke resource-based website for teachers to use and has reached over 62,000 young people in school. In addition, 25 teaches and 22 farmers have attended a Why Farming Matters CPD session, and 90 pupils have joined a direct on-farm experience, connected to the resource.
Commenting on the project, LEAF Director for Education and Public Engagement, Carl Edwards said,
“Why Farming Matters has been a prominent primary resource since it’s development. We’re delighted to have worked with BASF via their Farming, the Biggest Job on Earth Campaign to create not only a classroom favourite, but also an on-farm tool which has been trialled and tested.
“The success has been evident in the uptake and praise from teachers and the agri-food industry, it has become the most downloaded resource on Countryside Classroom. The resource is aimed at a primary audience, helping to deepen their understanding of the role of sustainable food production, discover the impact of farming, encourage questions, and help young people to find out and formulate their own understanding of ‘why farming matters’.
Through The Country Trust, BASF has also supported eight school visits to farm across the UK including trips to Colin Chappell’s farm in North Lincolnshire who won BASF’s inaugural Rawcliffe Bridge Award Winner for Sustainability.
The BASF team have attended national agricultural events, across the UK, with their Biggest Job on Earth stand, including interactive games, t-shirt giveaways and information sheets, as well as a dedicated careers day in Cumbria.
And from their office base in Stockport, BASF has collaborated with St Matthew’s Primary School to support STEM week with a farming focus.
Collectively these activities resulted in interactions with thousands of people throughout the year alongside their long-term partnership with LEAF Open Farm Sunday which this year welcomed over 170,900 visitors with several events attended by the BASF team.
Colin Chappell highlighted the importance of connecting food and farming during the visits.
“Chappell Farms along with the Country Trust, have invited 15 school groups onto Gander Farm with over 400 pupils and 50 school staff to experience a day on a real working farm. We feel passionately that this is important, not only to explore the countryside, but also to learn where their food actually starts its journey. This would not be possible without the help of BASF who have lent support and funding towards transport and the costs of organising these invaluable farm visits.”
Commenting on the success of their educational campaign in 2023, Business Director for Agricultural Solutions in United Kingdom and Ireland, Joel Johnson said,
“When we re-launched the Biggest Job on Earth campaign almost a year ago now, we had a clear objective to work with, and support, the farming sector, partnering with farmers to advocate for the incredible work that they do to produce food, in a safe and sustainable way. Like all of us operating businesses, this advocacy reflects the progress being made to ensure that food and land use is part of a net-zero economy and enhances our landscapes for future generations.
“We are only just starting our journey with schools and education but the success from just one year, and feedback from teachers and children alike, gives us confidence that these activities are valuable to them. By playing our small part, we are helping to bridge the gap and inspire future generations about the importance and value of farming to society.”
To find out more about the Biggest Job on Earth visit: https://www.agricentre.basf.co.uk/en/Biggest-Job-on-Earth/Biggest-Job-on-Earth/
To find out more about the Why Farming Matters resource visit: https://www.countrysideclassroom.org.uk/whyfarmingmatters