Young people who are active in climate, environmental and animal protection helped out on the farm for a weekend.
Climate and environmental activists spent the weekend from June 9th to 12th on farms. There they lent a hand, immersed themselves in farm life and struck up conversations with the farmers.
Around 80 activists traveled across Germany to get to know the farmers and their everyday lives. 25 conventional and organic farms took part in the “Farm with a future” project. The activists are committed to climate, environmental and animal protection as well as healthy eating. Among other things, they are active in Fridays For Future, Greenpeace, BUNDjugend and Naturschutzjugend.
The “Hof mit Zukunft” project was created to promote exchanges between town and country, old and young, and agriculture and activism.
Vineyard, field, pigsty: activists help out on farms
Activists help in the pigsty.
The young environmental and climate protectors helped with milking and vegetable or wine growing and in solidarity agriculture. They were also useful on dairy and pig farms.
Some of the activists milked goats and sold cheese at the market. On farms in central Germany, the young people weeded carrots and chopped potatoes. In the north, the climate activists tackled pig fattening and a cattle farm.
With material from Lena Reiner/www.wir-haben-es-satt.de
Comments on "Farm with a future"
Activists and farmers were able to discuss with each other while eating.
The activists not only worked on the farms, but also talked to the farmers – among other things, about the appreciation of food and farm work.
A Greenpeace activist from Marburg said: "Agriculture is a subject close to my heart, so it's all the more cool to see how the food is actually made here. And now I know better what I'm actually talking about in my activism, and I can discuss it here with the farmers – it's a unique opportunity."
On the side of the farmers, a cattle farmer from Hesse welcomed the commitment of the activists: "We are dependent on the people who volunteer with a lot of energy for agriculture also know what they are talking about and they are aware that what possibilities and limitations exist,” said.
Other topics of "Hof with a future" were the necessary changes in agricultural and climate policy and the dying of farms. An Extinction Rebellion activist said: “Political action sometimes fails to meet the needs of farmers. That's why the format is important. If we work better together in the future, we can generate even more pressure.”
A farmer who makes goat cheese in Lower Saxony said: "We invite the activists so that our perspectives are taken into account when they advocate for changes in politics."
Activism meets agriculture: surprising insights
Some of the activists milked goats and fed them hay.
"For some activists, it was partly new how much work a farm does, especially with animal husbandry, and how little sleep and vacation a farm means for farmers," said Christian Rollmann, press spokesman for "We've had enough!". In addition, the activists would have found it exciting how conventional farms would try to use fewer chemical-synthetic pesticides.”
An activist from Fridays For Future from Lower Saxony said of the farmers he met: “I think that the way farmers see us has changed too. They told us that they found it very nice to exchange ideas with us. Also, they were very happy to show us their work and that we were so interested in how food is produced.”
In turn, the participating farmers told the initiators that they were surprised that the activists were so interested in how our food is made.
Farm with a future: Controversial discussions at eye level
The initiators reported that it was exciting how preconceived images quickly dissolved because people treated each other with respect and got their hands dirty together.
Everyone involved takes away from the project that controversial discussions can be conducted better if you meet at eye level and with genuine interest in the other person in real life. Or as the activist from the BUNDjugend said: "I believe that change only happens when you unite."
A continuation of the "Hof with a future" project is planned for 2023.