Chance for Suffolk schools to sign up for the SAA 2019 Education programmes

Suffolk schools who want to take part in the Suffolk Agricultural Association’s 2019 education programme have until Friday 14th December to apply.

While commonly known for organising the popular Suffolk Show, the Suffolk Agricultural Association (SAA) is a charity which organises a yearlong programme of educational events and activities which promote the importance of food, farming and the countryside. Every year, thousands of school children across the county take part in the wide range of educational activities.

Pupils from Years 1 to 6 can enter the annual School Show Garden competition, which this year is themed around Gardens of the World. Each school designs a 3x3m garden which is then built at Trinity Park so that it can be displayed at the Suffolk Show, with the winner announced on Wednesday 29 May 2019.

For the Suffolk Farming School of the Year competition, Year 3, 4, 5 and 6 pupils must make a model of a cow from recyclable materials. The top five schools are then invited to attend a learning day at Trinity Park, before delivering a fun and engaging presentation about what they have learnt throughout the competition at the Suffolk Show.

One of the year highlights is the annual School Farm and Country Fair held in April.  Trinity Park hosts pupils from around the county to enjoy a fun-packed day of learning about a range of topics including food, farming and conservation which are linked to the National Curriculum.

Other events include the Tractors in Schools programme, which involves farmers visiting local schools with their tractor to talk with Year 4, 5 and 6 pupils in a fun and interactive way.  There is also the popular Grow Your Own Potatoes project which encourages pupils to learn how to plant, grow and harvest different potato varieties. Schools attend a planting day at Trinity Park in March and then return in June to harvest and cook the potatoes.

Schools must apply by Friday 14th December to take part in any of the SAA education events, except for the Grow Your Own Potatoes project which closes on January 25th 2019.

Helen Fomenko, show and education project lead at the SAA said; “Our county is very connected with food, farming and the countryside and it is incredible to see how many primary school children engage with the competitions and projects to develop their understanding in a fun and interactive way. As a charity, we want to ensure that our education programmes make food and farming relevant in today’s modern world and that children can see how important it is to their everyday lives.”

In addition to the programme for schools, the SAA also run the Apprenticeship of the Year competition which is open to apprentices with a Suffolk employer who are currently studying for an agriculturally related apprenticeship such as Arable, Livestock, Production Horticulture, Agricultural Engineering and Game and Wildlife Management. The competition aims to highlight the vast range of career opportunities within the agriculture sector.

Phillip Ainsworth, chief executive of the SAA commented; “The Suffolk Show is one of the most popular events on the Suffolk calendar but many of our visitors aren’t aware of the charitable work we do throughout the year.  Our education programmes provide a fantastic opportunity for interactive learning as well as supporting agricultural careers for the next generation of farmers.”

As a charity, the SAA’s core purpose is to be a force for good to encourage and facilitate positive engagement between the public and those working in food, farming and the countryside. The SAA achieves this through the Suffolk Show as well as a series of education programmes aimed at young people in schools and colleges.

To find out more about the SAA's Education Activities, please visit 

Photo caption: Pupils from St Mary’s School, Woodbridge, collected the Gold Award in the School Show Garden Competition 2018 (Credit and Copyright: Suffolk Agricultural Association)