Farming and education charities propose merger

News item first posted on: 12/04/17

Two of the leading farming and food educational organisations, LEAF (Linking Environment And Farming) and FACE (Farming & Countryside Education), have announced they are proposing to merge, in a move that would aim to improve education and understanding of farming, food and the environment.

LEAF Chief Executive Caroline Drummond said: “We are really excited at this opportunity which comes at a time when it has never been more important to demonstrate and state the case for British agriculture. The potential merger offers a real opportunity for our two organisations to work together even more effectively and efficiently to deliver multiple benefits to our partners and stakeholders.

“The proposed merger will enable LEAF to further deepen our public engagement activity and allow the FACE team to scale up their work, nationally and regionally as the interface between agriculture and schools. Such a combination will undoubtedly strengthen the impact of both organisations and improve the public’s understanding of farming, food and the environment.”

Commenting on the proposed merger, FACE Chief Executive, Dan Corlett said: “This is a very exciting moment for FACE. I am very proud of all that the FACE team has achieved and the place we hold as a leader in taking agriculture into schools. The exploration of this new phase, would allow us to maximise FACE’s expertise in creating systemic change in education and the potential for this newly expanded organisation to offer stakeholders and partners improved efficiencies, enhanced engagement and create even greater opportunities for educating and engaging the public.”

Both organisations have charitable status, have worked on projects together such as Countryside Classroom and LEAF’s Open Farm School Days and share many common goals.

More details of the proposed merger are available from the LEAF website.

Meanwhile, educators with an interest in food, farming and education should be aware of a conference in June being organised by the School Farms Network Education Alliance, a partnership between the School Farms Network (under the auspice of the Federation of City Farms and Community Gardens), the Royal Agricultural University (RAU) and Applied Inspiration (an education specialist firm).

The conference, hosted by the RAU at its Cirencester campus, is designed to provide a focal point for reviving interest in school based farming and the critical role farms in schools have in supporting the development of a holistic education approach. The conference will highlight the value of land-based education through keynote presentations, breakout sessions and practitioner-focused sharing and practical workshops. Further information and the full programme can be viewed on the conference webpage.