Pupils from St Joseph and St James’s Primary School in Poyntzpass enjoyed a special visit to Acton House Farm, Newry, on Friday 15th June ahead of Open Farm Weekend.
The group of schoolchildren were hosted by farmers John Best and his sons Simon and Rory, where they learned about the workings of an active farm and heard from agri technology company Devenish about the importance of excellent nutrition for soil, crops and animals.
A fun and engaging session covered topics such as the important role of trees in the environment, what soil is made of, how worms help the land and were also given wildflower seeds to grow flowers to feed the bees and butterflies at home.
Farmer and Irish Rugby captain Rory Best was delighted to welcome the group alongside his brother and father:
“It was really enjoyable to have this group of enthusiastic young people along to our farm and give them an insight into the ‘farm to fork’ process. Showing that behind the scenes aspect of farming is the whole purpose of Open Farm Weekend, which we are pleased to be a part of.
“Our partners at Devenish play a great role in driving the health of our crops and animals through their innovative feeds and are aligned with our focus on sustainability, so it was great to have them share their expertise with the children too,” Rory said.
Chief executive of Devenish Richard Kennedy added: “It is always encouraging to hear children being inquisitive about and interested in where their food comes from.
“We were only too delighted to attend Acton House Farm ahead of Open Farm Weekend to explain how the process of growing quality food begins at an early stage, through nutrition in the soil and in the animal’s feed.
“The Best family have a truly fantastic family business, which is a great showcase for the quality of farming here in Northern Ireland,” Richard said.
Acton House farm has been in the Best family for four generations and focuses on wheat, oats, oil seed rape and feed beans. It has 50 Aberdeen Angus cattle and an on-farm recycling system, which uses green waste to produce compost for use on the land.
As part of Open Farm Weekend (15th and 16th June 2019), visitors to Acton House Farm will be able to see cattle, learn how crops are cultivated and processed, hear about the environmental practices on the farm and sample a range of food products. Devenish will be in attendance throughout the weekend demonstrating their input to a successful, sustainable farm.