Classroom Week: Learning about food through experience

How do plants pee? How does a chicken chew? Does a farmer also milk on the weekends? A Classmate must face such spontaneous questions when students come to the farm. More and more school classes are booking a farm class. The ambition is to give each primary school student a farm lesson. That is why Klasseboeren in Noord-Brabant and Zeeland is organizing Klasseboeren’s week from 13 to 17 June 2022.

During Klasseboerugen, schools can book one farm lesson for free. Many students do not know where the food comes from and what happens on the farm. The farmers are arranging this theme week to put the class resident’s curriculum on the map of the schools. In addition, the educational farmers are targeting schools that have never before booked a farm class in the area.

According to farmer Henk Kerkers (chairman of Klasseboeren), a farm lesson is simply part of it: “You give every child the opportunity to explore the farm in search of where our food comes from.” The theme week is in June because the students experience the farm in all its splendor. Flowers bloom, plants grow and animals are in the meadow. In addition, June is the month in which schools plan the annual calendar for the next school year.

You can register for a free farm lesson via Klasseboeren’s website: https://www.klasseboeren.nl/inschrijven/

A farm lesson
Passion for farming is contagious. Class farmer Henk Kerkers is happy to share his passion with the next generation: “After a farm lesson, the children know where their food comes from and they can no longer do without the farmer.”

A farm lesson offers a good complement to the theory in the classroom. By showing practice, students expand their learning experience and know where the food comes from. The latter is an important goal. Class farmers want to make children and their parents aware that the food is not only in the supermarket, but in many cases starts with the farmer and the gardener.

Added value
When students see with their own eyes how food is produced, it makes a big impression. The class resident regularly asks the educational institutions why they visit. As part of an annual theme or program? To let students experience working on the farm? Learning about nature? Or to discover where their food comes from? They often mark all four options. That says a lot about the importance of the Classboer and the added value that this initiative gives the schools.

Class farmer on tour
There is plenty of farm teaching in Klasseboerugen. In addition, from that theme week, trips will be arranged in four corners of North Brabant in collaboration with Jong Learning Food North Brabant. Training professionals are introduced to the training farmer’s work on a ‘Class Farmer on Tour’. The inspiration meetings are aimed at pedagogical staff in childcare, primary school, special education and youth education and for pedagogical network partners. They can come and experience for themselves what children experience with all their senses when they come to farm classes. The tours are 15 June (region Brabantse Wal / Southwest Brabant), 16 June (region Halderberge / West Brabant), 23 June (region De Peel / Southeast Brabant) and 5 July (Land van Cuijk / Northeast Brabant). Register with the regional coordinator: https://www.klasseboeren.nl/boerderijen/

Class farmer nearby
There is always a Classmate nearby. The association today consists of more than 60 farmers. In 2019, just before the corona crisis, a total of more than 10,000 students participated in farm education. All Klasseboeren are certified and affiliated with Farm Education Holland. They have the knowledge to let students learn and experience things on the farm in a professional way. The compensation for Klasseboer is € 120. In addition, the school pays € 30 for booking and association expenses. In principle, schools pay € 150, but through sponsorship of Zuivel.nl, POV, Blij met een Ei, Malkegedeavl and all sorts of other agricultural companies, a farm lesson is often offered to schools for € 30. The class resident also receives support from ZLTO.

Young people learn to eat
The government has a Young Learning Food grant of a maximum of € 2000, which schools can apply for once. This grant can also be used for Klasseboeren: https://www.jonglereneten.nl/stimuleringspremie-lekker-naar-buiten

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