Agricultural education is key
“Young professionals in agriculture need prospects for the future! They demand modern education with content which is nationally uniform, up-to-date and practice-oriented. They also require appropriate remuneration,” says Mara Walz. With these words, the deputy chairwoman of the Federation of German Rural Youth (BDL) summarizes the BDL’s new policy paper on education in the agricultural sector that her association passed this month.
In their paper on education, the BDL goes into detail about agricultural vocational training, clarifying it’s role as a competitive factor in recruiting young professionals to agricultural careers. Key to modern agricultural education is its promotion of young people, which can only be done if school locations and green training centers expand and become more accessible for everyone. The youth association BDL provides valuable input for agricultural education that is forward-thinking, sustainable but also practical.
At the same time, the largest German youth association in rural areas is once again calling for nationwide standardization in agricultural curricula. “Standardization is indispensable for the quality of teaching,” said Mara Walz. “Trainees are encouraged to rotate host training companies during their apprenticeships – sometimes annually – and thus also their corresponding school locations. This can lead duplication some subject matter and the complete loss of others” explains the young winemaker.
“Agricultural education also needs to be regularly reviewed to ensure that its contents are in line with the demands of the modern agriculture and wine industries,” said the deputy BDL federal chairwoman. “This requires not only motivated teaching staff and a well-developed digital infrastructure, but also balance between theory and practice,” Mara Walz added. This also means that young people should get to know all aspects of the various forms of farming.
The deputy BDL federal chairwoman appeals to political decision-makers at all levels, to green associations and everyone involved in education: “Let us work together to ensure agricultural education develops in a practical way so we master the major challenges and changes in agriculture.” said Mara Walz.
The complete policy paper can be found on the BDL website: https://www.landjugend.de/fileadmin/Redaktion/Downloads/Positionen/2020_Grundsatzpapier-Agrarbildung.pdf