The Suffolk Agricultural Association is a charity whose aim is to promote awareness of food, farming and the rural economy and its importance to the wider economy.
One way in which the SAA does this is through the Suffolk Show. The Suffolk Show is held in May/June every year at Trinity Park, which has been its permanent site since 1960 after having previously been held at various locations around Suffolk. As well as the Suffolk Show, the SAA support their aims by delivering a wide range of education programmes for young people across the county.
The School Farm and Country Fair is one of these educational programmes which takes place in April each year and hosts over 90 local primary schools. This event aims to educate children on the importance of agriculture in Suffolk, the role of farming in delivering food to our tables and how wildlife and conservation play an important role in maintaining a thriving countryside. The SAA works alongside local schools to ensure all activities are linked to the National Curriculum reinforcing core subject knowledge into practical, educational activities. The interactive zones at the School Farm and Country Fair consist of Food and Countryside, Livestock, Safety, Modern Farming, Wildlife and displays of sheep shearing, gun dogs, farriers and more. These zones include local businesses, farmers and services that provide interactive, educational activities so that there is always something fun to do.
The SAA also provide schools with the opportunity to start growing their own food at school with the Grow Your Own Potatoes Competition, which aims to support and encourage children to take an active role in supplying themselves and their friends with healthy, homegrown food and provide them with the skills to do so in the future. The Grow Your Own Potatoes Competition consists of schools attending a planting day at Trinity Park in March which includes workshops on how to grow the best yield and learn facts and figures about the humble potato and other roots crops, presented by local farmers in Suffolk. Pupils are then invited back in June to harvest and cook the potatoes which they have planted and cared for at school.
Earlier in the year, the SAA hold the Tractors into Schools project where, over one-week in February, local schools see tractors appearing in their playgrounds and farmers talking to the pupils about where their food comes from and giving them the opportunity to inspect the state-of-the-art technologies in their vehicles. This project aims to provide young people with a greater understanding of what farmers do on a daily basis and give them an insight into the wider rural economy.