The Country Landowners' Association will issue the warning, which is intended to ensure that rural issues are given a more prominent place in the national curriculum, at a conference on the 15 October attended by the Princess Royal.
The association will claim that pupils are growing up ignorant of food, farming and nature because of inadequate teaching and an excessive emphasis on other subjects. A MORI survey for the National Farmers' Union found that nearly half of eight to 11-year-olds thought that margarine came from cows. One in five did not know that ham came from pigs. The CLA also found widespread ignorance when it conducted a telephone survey of 10 to 14-year-olds last week. Many did not know why cows produce milk or the name for a female sheep. Most were unaware that wheat is harvested in autumn and more than half had no idea what the term 'free range' meant.