Education Project

We firmly believe that people based in towns and cities should be able to experience the life and workings of the countryside, so they can see for themselves the thriving industry that goes on within it. This helps bridge the gap between urban and rural life and enables people to fully appreciate and understand where their food comes from. We feel this is particularly important for children.

At Packington Free Range, we want to help educate the next generation and ensure farming remains relevant in today’s society. We want kids today to not only appreciate what an exciting and skilled industry it is, but we also want to arm them with knowledge about how farmers work to ensure environmental sustainability, consistency in the product, food safety and animal welfare.

BLAKENHALL PARK

As part of our education project, we’ve opened up our arable farm at Blakenhall Park for local schools to come and visit, free of charge. During their day the children participate in activities such as a crop walk, tractor and trailer rides, pond dipping, forestry studies and cereal crop investigation. They also get to meet and learn about our organic dairy cows, pigs and sheep. At Packington Free Range, it’s really important to us that children make a connection with food and farming.

IN SCHOOL TALKS

During the winter we offer free school talks. Our FarmLink representatives visit classrooms to deliver a farm workshop enabling children to view first-hand our cereal crops, model machinery and even a live chicken. In total, we hope to help educate around 5000 children a year!

Supporting Communities both Locally & Further Afield

We have lived in and been part of the Staffordshire community for four generations. All of us at Packington Free Range have experienced first-hand the benefits of a strong community spirit, so it makes perfect sense to us that we should do what we can to support both our own community, and those a little further afield.

Being part of a community is, amongst many other things, fun and we try to celebrate this. As well as sponsoring The Royal Oak football team and the local tug of war team, every few years we’re also involved in organising and hosting a festival called ‘Freedom Fest’. This is a local event for the local area, with sports tournaments, gift and cake stands, Packington Free Range hog roasts, music and dancing. It’s a brilliant day out for all the family, but importantly, it raises money for amazing charities. Over the last two festivals, we’ve raised over £22,000 for the British Heart Foundation and the Rainbows Children’s Hospital.

We were also lucky enough to take part in another fabulous local event. The Lichfield Pig Parade was part of the 2011 Lichfield Festival, and of course, we couldn’t resist getting involved with the piggy fun! We sponsored the event, which saw local schools, groups and businesses getting creative, painting and decorating 30 fibreglass pigs which were later auctioned for charity.

And a little further afield, Rob Mercer has been working with young men in Ghana, encouraging, educating and supporting them on their local small holdings to provide safe food for them and their families, as well as creating jobs in their local community.

Delivering affordable fresh food to families with young children.

Fresh food is essential to keep children and adults healthy. As farmers ourselves, we want to get more people enjoying the delicious fresh food that is produced by UK farmers. We also want to help farmers become more connected to local families who can buy their tasty and healthy food. Find out more at www.farmfreshrevolution.com

 

Open Farm Sunday

During the Summer, we open our Packington Fields Farm in Lichfield, for Open Farm Sunday. It’s an annual event, run by LEAF (Linking Environment and Farming) which encourages farmers to show the public how we farm our crops, look after our animals and manage the countryside. Each year LEAF set a theme for Open Farm Sunday which means different practices are shown each year.

Our events attract around 3,000 people annually. We offer tractor and trailer rides around the farm which allow visitors to see the sows, the piglets, and their outdoor homes, up close. At the end of the tour, there’s even a chance to handle a piglet, which is a favourite with children! In the main field, there’s always a fabulous BBQ and Hog Roast to be enjoyed. We work together with local businesses and contractors to bring in the lorries used to transport our pigs and feed to the site, alongside our own sparkling agricultural machinery. Children are invited to climb inside and explore while learning about what each machine does. It’s incredibly satisfying for us to share our passion for the land and our animals, and to see the field full of families enjoying sitting on bales, crawling over tractors and tucking into our pork for lunch.