Students spend a day on the farm

From left; Maria Johnston, Willow McArd, Georgia Mathieson-Nelson, Lois Parry, Olivia Jacklyn-Chatha, Cristina Salinardi, Anna Glynn

From left; Maria Johnston, Willow McArd, Georgia Mathieson-Nelson, Lois Parry, Olivia Jacklyn-Chatha, Cristina Salinardi, Anna Glynn

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Youngsters from King William’s College have visited Ballaneddin Farm in Ballaugh for a close-up look at farming in the island.

The visit was hosted by David Kermeen, who was joined by dairy farmers Maria and Tim Johnston, and Belinda Leach, general secretary from the Manx National Farmers Union.

The 11 and 12-year-old children were split into three groups for the visit and were told about dairy farming, churning cream into butter, milling wheat, farm assurance standards and mill requirements.

They had a go at milling wheat to make stone ground flour, having learned about standards of production and conditions of supply to Laxey Glen Mills.

They also learnt about livestock factors, such as cattle having passports and tags, and the feeding and growth of the animals.

Madeleine Westall, from the college’s science department, said: ‘At the farm we learnt how cereals are ground into Manx flour, how milk is churned to make butter and the whole group was allowed to have some when it was ready. It was so nice. We learnt about how the beef cattle and the sheep are looked after and how they die. We thought the visit was amazing. ‘We learnt lots of different things that helped our knowledge of biology.

‘Our thanks go to the farmer, David Kermeen who gave a passionate and knowledgeable account of farming today and the role of Manx famers in producing top quality produce and looking after the countryside for the local community to enjoy. Also to Tim and Maria Johnston for the talk on dairy farming and the ladies form the NFU for the practical demonstrations.

‘It was absolutely brilliant. David Kermeen is a gem, he is so passionate about farming. That is what really did it. ‘His passion for looking after the land.

‘It was just the right detail for the children.’

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