Attending the seventh annual Kids Country Food and Farming Day at the East of England Showground, Peterborough, was former JLS band member, JB Gill, who now stars in CBeebies’ farming show, Down on the Farm and Channel 5’s hit Springtime On The Farm.
JB was keen to engage with the 3,500+ Key Stage 1 and 2 children from 53 schools: 'I am really passionate about not only connecting children with food, farming and the environment, but also in helping these children see the future careers they can find in farming.
This is my first time at the Food and Farming Day, but I have already seen how vital and unique it is in communicating with the next generation, not only to have more care and understanding for where their food comes from as consumers, but also to really consider the agricultural industry as a potential future employer.
Farming isn’t just about driving the tractors and moving sheep: it’s the technology and engineering that design new combine harvesters, the scientists creating new veterinary medications, and the chefs that know the value of seasonal produce. Showing children these future options is as important as making sure that they have an understanding of how their food is produced.'
JB also had the important task of judging the highly contested ‘Design A Farm’ competition, with Lottie from Barnack CE Primary School, near Stamford, winning first place in the KS1 entries, and Eros from Rushmoor School, Bedford, scooping first prize for KS2.
Sandra Lauridsen, Education Manager for Kids Country, The East of England Agricultural Society’s education arm, said: 'We are so grateful to JB for giving up his time to be with us today. As a young man who entered farming with very little knowledge of the industry, he is ideal to engage with the children about food and farming. Kids Country is all about communicating with children, not just as consumers of farming produce, but as JB has said, as children that will go on to lead the agricultural industry in ways that they didn’t even know were possible until today.'