What better way for children to learn about food and farming than to see a crop growing in the field, learn from the farmer how to grow it and then tuck into some locally-produced bread.

Last spring, over a two-week period, our farm played host to dozens of children from a town school as part of its outdoor learning programme.

It was the ideal time because, as a spring-calving farm, there were straw pens full of young calves and groups of older ones out in the paddocks. The joy on the faces of these children as they watched the calves being fed was very special.

The children visited the parlour while the cows were being milked and they presumably left a lot wiser on the origins of the milk they pour onto their breakfast bowl of cereal.

The feedback we had from the teachers was that, without exception, the children had relished the experience and some had even expressed an interest in farming themselves one day. Remarkably, for some of these children it was their first ever visit to the countryside, let alone a farm, so it was very satisfying that it had ignited so much interest.

There is no doubting that the experience gave these children a clearer understanding of where dairy products come from.

In recent weeks I have read that children’s author Michael Morpurgo, the founder of the Farms for City Children at St Davids, wants food and farming visits to be a compulsory part of the curriculum. He wants more teachers to have the opportunity to get children onto farms. He doesn’t expect farmers to play host for nothing, rather that there should be some financial reward for offering this service to the community.

There is merit in his argument. Although detractors suggest that compulsory farm visits would somehow make them less appealing to teachers, I believe it would encourage teachers to make really good use of local resources that makes sense to children.

There would be an issue of practical resource; would there be enough farms available for such visits? Farmers have diversified into all kinds of activities so why not make education visits part of that? There are so many issues children can learn from farms, not only food provenance but science and economics too.

This could perhaps be extended to secondary schools where any links with agriculture can completely breakdown.

Farmers have seen the disconnection from farm to plate and know that if children learn where their food comes from they are more likely to value it and hopefully become fine stewards of their natural world.