Farming & Countryside Education Chief heads up speaker panel for ASAO National Learning Day

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The Chief Executive of FACE (Farming & Countryside Education) is to head up a panel of UK agricultural show experts speaking at a national Learning Day in Staffordshire this week.

Dan Corlett will join representatives from the Royal Bath & West, Royal Norfolk, Royal Cheshire, Royal Three Counties, Devon County, Westmorland, Newport, Pembrokeshire & Driffield Shows, at the Association of Show & Agricultural Organisations (ASAO) ‘Learning Day’ on Saturday, February 25 at The Staffordshire Showground.

The Learning Day is a great opportunity for show organisers to meet like-minded colleagues from other events in the UK.  It represents a coming together of shared ideas and networking and is primarily designed to assist the ‘coal face’ – the staff who actually deal with the people who exhibit at, or visit Britain’s agricultural, horticultural and countryside events throughout the year.  

The ASAO has recently become a member of the Countryside Classroom Consortium, a FACE initiative which brings together the work of organisations and individuals who are committed to ensuring that children learn about and experience food, farming and the natural environment.

FACE works with farmers, schools, Government and industry to educate children and young people about food and farming in a sustainable countryside, and Mr. Corlett will be speaking to delegates about unlocking schools’ participation and engaging the next generation of teachers.

Around 80 delegates look set to benefit from a varied agenda of industry updates, syndicate discussions and useful working group activities.

The Learning Day has been organised by ASAO Council members, Clare Farrell, Show Manager of the Newport Show and Ollie Allen, Devon County Show Secretary.

Said Clare: “Education plays a vital part in securing the future of agriculture and horticulture, and ultimately, agricultural shows.

It is a fascinating industry which offers a host of careers in agronomy, research, logistics, policy advice and electrical engineering to name a few, yet recent surveys suggest that only 4 per cent of young people consider a career in farming or food supply.

ASAO Learning Days are therefore essential resources, providing prominent platforms across the country for raising the profile of the food and farming sector, and ASAO members can meet up with colleagues doing the same jobs in other regions of the UK.”

Christine Knipe, ASAO Chairman and Chief Executive of the Westmorland Show, who will deliver the welcome address on Saturday, said she was delighted that the ASAO was now a Countryside Classroom partner, and proud that the organisation would be sharing its passion for food, farming and the natural environment with teachers – supporting them in educating their pupils through teaching resources, personal experiences and access to experts in the field.

She said: “Education is about inspiring minds, sharing knowledge and instilling values and confidence in students, in order to prepare them for the challenges of the workplace, and the ASAO supports the delivery of a whole host of curriculum-based educational activities at shows across Britain.”

The day’s agenda is likely to include lively groups sessions, around the themes of ‘Education At Shows’ and ‘Education All Year Round’, together with updates oncurrent legislation issues and ASAO membership.

“Feedback on previous Learning Days has been extremely positive”, continued Clare Farrell, “so we are hoping that the 2017 will be equally as useful to those hoping to gather ideas and advice for planning their own events this season.”


The ASAO works hard to encourage and share best practice between agricultural societies and related organisations and holds an Annual Conference in the Autumn for its members and partners.It is consulted and included in regular discussions with a number of consultative bodies including breed societies, charity commissioners, DEFRA, Health and Safety Executive and Police and Trading Standards.

Countryside Classroom is an online portal for schools, which supports teachers to incorporate food, farming and the natural environment into their everyday practice. Countryside Classroom is supported by a large and growing partnership of committed organisations. It is led by Farming and Countryside Education (FACE) and funded by generous donations from the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) and the Prince’s Countryside Fund.

For more information please contact or the FACE office on 0845 838 7192.