The 2014 ploughing match
The 2014 ploughing match was held in glorious sunshine on top of the Downs between Lewes and Brighton at Court Farm, Falmer by kind permission of E S Huxam.
The day was extremely well attended by those in the industry and the general public. The vintage tractor section was a sight to behold, all lined up ready for the start of the competition, and continued to be as they worked at their furrows over the morning. The larger, modern machinery showed how much technology (and size!) has evolved and continues to be a big part of our industry; and the two horse teams who were on site, ably demonstrated why the art of horse ploughing is such an important task to preserve.
All aspects of the ploughing as well as other agricultural activities, rural crafts, food production and traceability, were being viewed, demonstrated and interacted with by our visiting school Iford and Kingston Primary School. Our growing Education Section, which appears more and more popular each year, have written this report on the day’s success:
EDUCATION SECTION REPORT
Over the last five years, the Education Section of the Laughton and District Ploughing Match Society has evolved and grown a great deal since its inception by Mary Masters at that time. It has gone from merely presenting very young children with a craft opportunity to enhance their enjoyment of the Ploughing Match, to a multi-faceted set of Education opportunities where over a hundred school pupils experience a valuable day of ‘hands on’ countryside learning.
This year we welcomed the pupils from Iford and Kingston Primary School as this was in close proximity to the show site and the school had not previously had the opportunity to attend. Almost a hundred children were divided into groups of 8/9 to experience first hand the ploughing, observing the machinery, as well as taking part in eleven other activities ranging from planting seeds and making cheeses to corn dolly making, grinding wheat into flour, and learning about fruits, vegetables, seeds, milk, eggs and Britain’s native wild flowers.
Each group was organized to have expert volunteers teaching them which provided them with a unique opportunity and insight into the World of Agriculture. Such opportunities are what the Society has been credited with providing, and gave pupils a wonderful awareness of where their food comes from using an outdoor learning experience. Indeed, it may have presented them with their first ‘taste’ of a career that they might later pursue, which would be a wonderful achievement from the day.
The response from the pupils and the School staff has been entirely positive (please see letter below) and it is hoped that the Society will continue to recognize the value added to the Ploughing Match by the hard work and contributions of the Education Section. Young people at such an event mid-week certainly seemed to give the event a positive, youthful ‘buzz’ on what was this year, a glorious autumn day.
18th September 2014
I wanted to say thank you for the wonderful day our children and staff had at the Ploughing Match yesterday. Everyone came back at the end of the day saying what a great time they’d had and how enjoyable everything had been.
The staff were delighted with the variety of activities and the enthusiasm, knowledge and friendliness of those who ran them. Much ricotta cheese is set to be made this weekend I gather and I’m sure the children will be busy testing the freshness of the eggs in their fridges. The activities were really appropriate for the age groups and the organisation of the day was faultless; please pass on our thanks to Liz Rea for all her hard work in setting up the education activities for our children.
I know that you like to rotate the schools that you work with each year but if, in a few years’ time, there is an opportunity to be involved in the Ploughing Match again we’d be delighted.
Thank you once again for the invitation and for all the hard work that produced such an enjoyable and informative day for our children. Please pass our thanks on to everyone who was involved and good luck with the Match in future years.