Isle of Man Meats gave a presentation at Ramsey Grammar School to help Year 11 and Year 13 BTEC Agriculture students gain an insight into the local farming and food sectors.
The visit was organised in partnership with Marion Arthur, Subject Leader for Rural, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, as part of the BTEC course which focuses on giving students practical skills and real world experience of life in the farming, agriculture, and food sectors.
Following the presentation by Phil Parsons, Plant Director at Isle of Man Meats, and Kirree Kermode who is the company’s Procurement Officer, the visitors were given a tour of the school’s farm which is home to a small flock of Poll Dorset sheep, and two pigs (one Landrace, and one Berkshire). Students help to rear and care for the animals. Meat produced from livestock is sold at WE Teare, the well-known butcher in Parliament Street, Ramsey, which is one of Isle of Man Meats growing network of local retailers.
Isle of Man Meats Chairman Tim Baker MHK said: “This visit is part of Isle of Man Meats’ commitment to backing educational projects which help the whole community understand the benefits of supporting local producers. Our educational programme is particularly important for young people who will become the next generation of farmers and butchers, go on to other careers in the food and farming sectors, or become consumers who understand why choosing local produce is good for them, their families, and the Island. Ramsey Grammar School is an excellent example of how the whole community can work together to deliver benefits for students, farmers, retailers, and the environment. Buying local meat means consumers get a high quality product that’s traceable from farm to fork, has very low food miles, and is produced with the highest animal welfare standards. It’s a win-win for everyone involved, and we are delighted to see that Ramsey Grammar School shares Isle of Man Meats’ passion to support Manx farmers and butchers, and in doing so boost the local economy.”
Marion Arthur said: “Our BTEC Agriculture course is a very practical one which is based on course work and skills. We try to take every opportunity to engage with local farmers and businesses involved in agriculture in order to give students an insight into the industry, and in particular the Manx farming community. We already talk about Isle of Man Meats, and the benefits and advantages of buying local to consumers, farmers, the Manx economy and the environment as a whole - especially in terms of food miles and carbon footprints - in our BTEC Agriculture classes, as well as all key stage 3 rural science lessons. But today’s presentation was a great opportunity to find out more about their work, and to meet some of the people involved in the business.”
During the Isle of Man Meats visit students watched an animated video which illustrates the benefits everyone on the Island gains by consumers supporting Manx livestock farmers. The video – which can be viewed at http://www.iommeats.com/news/ – explains how buying locally produced, high quality meat is good for the local economy, environment, and animal welfare.
Ramsey Grammar School has been actively involved in farming for decades, and in 2017 won the School Farms Network Education Alliance award for being the best secondary school farm in the British Isles.