CHALK to FORK is a FREE Educational Programme provided by our charity, Newark and Nottinghamshire Agricultural Society,
A recent survey conducted by the British Nutrition Foundation revealed 1 in 5 school children aged 5 to 11 believe fish fingers are made from chicken, cheese comes from a plant, pasta grows on trees and it takes ten years to grow a carrot, which is really alarming!
Our children and society are becoming more disconnected than ever from the countryside. The Office For National Statistics conducted a report Measuring National Well-being: Insights into children’s mental health and well-being, which found mental health issues in young people are on the increase. The report also states children risk delays in their emotional and social development because they spend so much time in the virtual world. 10% of children aged between 5 to 16 years now have a diagnosed mental health problem.
Mind, a mental health charity, recently released Feel Better Outside, Feel Better Inside , a report which included new research from the University of Essex. Their findings show the many benefits of spending just 15 minutes outside with nature every day for mental wellbeing. Time outdoors in daylight has been proven to improve mental health, boost self-esteem, help people with mental health problems return to work, improve physical health, and reduce social isolation.
Farmers Weekly recently published that the average age of a British farmer is 59 years old. With so many farmers due to retire within the next decade, the farming industry is in crisis at a time when the issues of food security and the environmental consequences of human actions are at an all-time high.
In addition, according to a government report, Agriculture in the United Kingdom, the industry needs 60,000 new people to work in the sector by 2020, so the job opportunities are immense, yet this is just to replace existing employees.
Our Charitable Objectives
Our key objectives are to help children and their families recognise from an early age that food is a basic and essential requirement for a healthy life. To discover where our food comes from and how it is produced, and to raise awareness of career opportunities for people of any age within the farming industry.
We aim to support children and our community through the following initiatives:
- Farming Challenge Awards – for schools. A series of fun and rewarding projects and activities for children of all ages and abilities. We currently have twenty different Farming Challenge Awards awards to choose from, together with resources to support students.
- Career Opportunities In Farming – We give free talks and presentations to schools, young people, the unemployed or anyone considering a career change, to raise awareness and provide information about the many rewarding opportunities in farming and related industries, such as agricultural engineering, horticulture, artisan food production, etc.
- Work Experience – We help facilitate work experience on a farm or in a related industry for anyone regardless of age or background to provide hands on insight into the many diverse areas of employment within the farming industry.
- Education and Development Award Scheme – We provide grants up £500.00 to Nottinghamshire residents between the age of 16 and 30 years who are members of any Nottinghamshire Agricultural Society or Young Farmers Club, on or specifically seeking to attend an approved course or activity directly related to our charity’s objectives, which to promote and support agriculture.
- Agricultural Engineering Education Scheme – We support apprenticeships for young engineers aged 17 – 25, with a bursary to assist them financially with their careers. To be eligible students will be currently working with an agricultural engineering company and attending day release at an academic institution.
We also help facilitate Summer Traineeship Placements for students 14 – 17 years of age. A placement opportunity enables young people to gain valuable work experience and a unique insight into the agricultural engineering industry; with the prospect of developing a fulfilling and rewarding career.
- Nottinghamshire County Show – A wonderful celebration to maintain over 200 years of our connection between town and country. Our main annual charity event a great day out and brings everyone together! We also celebrate our heritage at our Newark Vintage Tractor & Heritage Show and you can peep into the future of farming at the Midlands Machinery Show.
- Newark Showground Events – We are fortunate in that we own our Showground. The enables us to hire our facilities to external promoters, which enables us to raise funds to support out charitable work, without which, Newark and Nottinghamshire Agricultural could not survive. In addition to our three main events, over 100 other events are staged every year at the Showground, keeping us all extremely busy.
- Chalk To Fork Resources – We are slowing making information and downloadable resources available for everyone, here on our new Chalk to Fork website.
Unless you comes from within a farming community, it is unlikely you will have any idea about the diverse and varied careers, jobs and benefits available. Did you know the average farm worker’s salary is above the National average?
Many diverse and varied opportunities exist from general farm workers, to management and consulting. Prospective employees can also work in agriculture as an engineer, an arable crop grower, a scientist, geneticist, feed nutritionist, agronomist, work in agricultural events, research, agricultural sales, business advisor, trader, breeder, retailer, food technician, brewer, artisan food producer such as bread and pastries, yoghurt or cheese, or become a vet or veterinary nurse among many others.
CHALK to FORK is the Educational Social Enterprise Project provided by
Newark and Nottinghamshire Agricultural Society charity