Over 35 budding young farmers visited Holyfield Hall Farm near Waltham Abbey in Essex to get an insight in farming and the agricultural industry. The children, who are all members of Surrey Docks Farm’s ‘Young Farmers’ youth club, in Rotherhithe in Southwark, south east London, enjoyed a day of informative tours during the visit to the dairy, beef and arable farm on Saturday 9 October.
Staff from Lee Valley Regional Park’s Holyfield Hall Farm were joined by representatives from ForFarmers, an internationally operating feed supplier and Arla UK, a leading supplier of fresh milk and dairy products, giving the enthusiastic young farmers a comprehensive understanding of the various steps in the journey from farm to fridge.
The visit to Holyfield Hall Farm was sponsored by The Worshipful Company of Farmers and forms part of a programme with Surrey Docks Farm, giving young inner city adults the opportunity to experience different commercial farming enterprises and explore a career in agriculture.
During the visit the Young Farmers toured the farm, learning about different areas of the farming enterprise. There was a tour and talk on the calf, beef and dairy areas to learn about these specialist parts of the farm’s enterprises, including how calves are raised and insights from a specialist from ForFarmers on animal nutrition and the important role it plays.
The milk journey was brought to life by representatives from Arla UK, including information on how the animals are milked, what happens to the milk when it leaves the farm and the products that it’s turned into. The Young Farmers then learnt more about Arlagården, Arla UK’s commitment to milk quality, food safety and animal welfare, a scheme which Holyfield Hall Farm is part of.
The group also learnt about the arable side of the farm, including environmental land management and the machinery that is used on the farm. The Young Farmers got the chance to sit in a combine harvester and tractor and take a walk to the fields to see the farm’s arable land and wildlife conservation strips.
Finally, the Young Farmers were able to watch Holyfield Hall Farm’s very own cows being milked and take a walk to enjoy the views and look down over London.
Jason Painter, Farm Manager at Holyfield Hall Farm reflected on how much the Young Farmers enjoyed the day “It was a thoroughly enjoyable day for everyone involved. It was wonderful to see how engaged the Young Farmers were, they listened intently and asked lots of questions. We were delighted to host this experience and help inspire the next generation of farmers. Initiatives such as this are crucial in showing what a vital, diverse, innovative and exciting world agriculture is.”