Chapter 3 – methods for a successful welcoming and feedback
The frame of a farm visit is the welcoming and the ending. The event should start with a possibility for the group to arrive on the farm without hectic. First impressions can be collected, an introduction can be given and expectations can be told. Furthermore the structure of the day can be explained. Then the exploration of the farm can begin.
At the end you should take time for questions. With an ending feedback round every farm companions has the ability to develop. In this chapter they learn suitable methods to make their farm visit better.
welcoming the visitors:
At the beginning you should introduce yourself and your farm. Get the trust of the visitors, take care of a loose atmosphere (for example „my son is in the same class as you are.“) and excite the class for your farm (for example a new born calf). Name the different facilities on the farm and explain the children and youth where to put their clothes and what they need for the farm visit (for example pencil, paper etc.). Show them the toilets the children and youth can use.
get to know the group/ the learning goals:
Who already was on an organic farm? Who knows what is special about the organic farming? What do you want to learn today? These questions helps the children to realise the goals and the motivation of a farm visit. They will listen and participate more attentively and focus more of the topic. If you have a very small group or if you have a very complex project, you should speak to the children by their name. For this you can take masking tape and pencils for name shields.
the day structure:
Give your group a short overview, what things are planned for the day. Name the rules of the farm und explain why these rules are so important. A farm is no playground and the production animals are no domestic animals. Make clear that there are no compromises.
Feedback and the final round - methods for the feedback
With a structured ending the children can repeat their adventures and impressions. With different feedback methods the farm companion gets the possibility to reflect the farm guide. In the worksheet below you will find a short overview about the most common feedback methods and the positive things of every method.