Clitheroe farmer invited to No 10 to inspire children

By Tim Aldred

20 Oct 2023

John Alpe of the NFU visits Downing Street

John Alpe, a farmer from Whitewell, was invited to Downing Street to talk to 40 children about food and farming.

The Lessons at 10 initiative was organised by the prime minister’s wife, Akshata Murty.

John, a livestock farmer, was there in his role as National Farmers’ Union (NFU) Education Farmers for Schools ambassador.

The Year 5 and 6 pupils from Countess Gytha Primary School in Yeovil, Somerset, were invited into Number 10 to explore the world of agriculture.

The lesson introduced the children to British food and farming through NFU Education’s Farming STEMterprise project and challenged them to invent their own finger foods using a range of British ingredients.

The children also had to market their creations and explain the many benefits of using homegrown British produce.

Working in teams, they were supported by an NFU Education Farmers for Schools ambassador, who offered firsthand insights into how they produce high quality, climate-friendly, nutritious food. They were able to share their expert knowledge of their sectors in dairy, arable, horticulture and sheep farming.

John Alpe, NFU Lancashire County chair and Farmers for Schools ambassador,  said: “It was great to be involved with this fantastic event highlighting the importance of food and farming and also representing farming in the North. I’m proud to be part of the NFU Education Farmers for Schools ambassador programme so we can help the younger generation understand where their food comes from.”

Josh Payne, NFU education manager, said: "This event provided an exceptional learning opportunity for these children to understand the importance of the vital world of British farming. It’s a brilliant programme, and it’s wonderful to see Mrs Murty recognising the value of teaching key STEM subjects through the lens of food and farming.

“It’s important to encourage young people and make agriculture relevant and interesting so they can become more involved in the countryside and rural areas as they grow older."

Akshata Murty said: "It’s so important for children to connect with where our food comes from and experience great British produce. Thank you to everyone for coming and highlighting why we should back British farming.”

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