Airfield Estate, Dublin hosts its first Farmer Time Field Day
• 1st annual meeting of the Farmers who work with the Farmer Time school programme
• Creating a community of vocal farming advocates that can tell sustainable food production stories
• Airfield Estate, Dublin’s sustainable food hub, is leading the charge on connecting consumers directly to their food
April 2023: In less than 2 years, Farmer Time Ireland has linked around 2,500 urban and rural students with some 90 farmers across Ireland. Facilitating virtual farm visits through 15-minute class calls regularly during the school year, Farmer Time is creating relationships between farmers and our future consumers and shaping a greater and long-term understanding of farming and food production in our primary and secondary schools nationwide.
To celebrate this milestone, Airfield Estate, the programme coordinators, brought together some of the participating farmers to its 38-acre site recently. The day was designed to help build confidence in the farmers around their work in schools and their narrative to the consumer and reduce the urban/rural divide. The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue and Minister of State for Land Use and Biodiversity, Pippa Hackett were also in attendance. The farmers visited the estate’s organic and regenerative farm and production gardens and learned from its experts. There were also panel discussions on food education in schools, sustainability and farming. Tom Martin, founder of Farmer Time and Aileen Barron, Managing Director at Green Acre Marketing provided insight and inspiration around how best to communicate and excite people about food and sustainable farming in Ireland. The Farmer Time Field Day at Airfield Estate provided an opportunity to thank participating farmers for their input and experience (which they give for free) and engage with them about their work, grow the shared purpose around food education and sustainability, and build their storytelling skills to best share the important role of farming to everyone who eats.
Speaking at the event, Claire McEvilly, CEO, Airfield Estate, said, "Farmers are joining the dots between farming and the food on our plates during Farmer Time calls. Today’s students aren’t as exposed to farming as the generations before, so they don’t associate the two. This event at Airfield Estate is a way of saying ‘Thanks, let’s keep doing this, and let’s keep food on the school curriculum’ ".
If you are a farmer or a teacher and wish to sign-up or learn more about the programme, please visit our web page
Why does Airfield Estate run the Farmer Time programme?
Airfield Estate is proud to work with FarmerTime Founder Tom Martin and its international co-ordinator LEAF (Linking Education and Farming) to provide this free service to farmers, teachers, and students.
While Airfield Estate is widely recognised as a beautiful urban farm and food destination for family and friends, the core mission of Airfield is to inspire and enable people to make informed food choices.
Airfield is a 100% independent charitable trust, a non-partisan organisation committed to promoting, enabling and advocating for positive social change through food education, research, development and investment. Any surplus that Airfield Estate generates throughout the year from visitor entry fees, membership, seasonal experiences, festivals and other social events is reinvested in the development and execution of Airfield’s many education programmes and initiatives, including DEIS School Breakfast Clubs, optimum nutrition work with charities and the provision of practical and accessible food education for disadvantaged families.
Airfield also works with organisations such as the Irish Nutrition and Dietetic Institute, TCD, TUD, NUI Maynooth and UCD on research into consumer food behaviours and attitudes, and the impacts of sustainable food production and processing. Airfield participates in people empowerment programmes such as up-skill and employment initiatives with WALK and mental health programmes with the HSE, amongst many more.
It is clear that Airfield Estate is not simply a beautiful place with a remarkable history and an on-site commitment to food education and sustainable practices, it is a social and charitable hub that invests in people and communities far beyond the boundary walls of the Estate as seen through Farmer Time.
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