Facetime a farmer

13 October 2017

CLA member Tom Martin (photograph by Lisa Martin)

Educating young people about the importance of farming is critical to the industry. Lee Murphy met one CLA branch committee member who is embracing technology and bringing country life to the classroom.

Tom Martin was at a Royal Agricultural Society of the Commonwealth conference in Singapore when he came up with a new idea of how to educate and inspire young people about agriculture and what daily life on a farm entails.

He had spent the day hearing from a range of speakers and watching a big screen in the auditorium as farmers from across the world dialled in to a video conference via FaceTime and Skype and report live from their fields on the big issues they were facing in the industry.

This relatively straight forward concept is now something Tom, who sits on the Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire CLA Branch Committee, has adapted to the world of education. He can be found broadcasting live from his Cambridgeshire fields into an urban state school classroom in Newhaven on the south coast twice a month to tell children what he has been up to on the farm.

“It started with me posting a video on my Facebook page about a year ago as I was standing in an oilseed rape crop,” says Tom. “I asked if anybody knew of any teachers who would be interested in linking up with me via FaceTime at their schools.” The response he received was extremely positive.  “I got hundreds of likes, shares and comments from people who were tagging their friends in the post and encouraging schools to get involved. It was incredible. I had schools as far afield as India getting in touch with me.” 

Find out more in the upcoming November issue of the Land & Business magazine!