Domen Virant from Kmetija pri Ropet won NEWBIE Award 2019 in Slovenia. Domen is not quite the typical representative of young farmers. He took over the abandoned farm from his grandparents in 2015 and started a new farm business from the beginning. He did not choose the easiest way, but ambitiously began to diversify a farm business – from breeding of laying hens to the production of strawberries and other berries, vegetables and goat’s milk. In just a few years he developed a market-oriented farm. He additionally developed various supplementary activities on the farm – from fruit and vegetable processing to on-farm education, etc. Although he is young and still in the process of learning all the time, he is already implementing mentoring programs for farmers or new entrants who want to farm dairy goats or growing berries. His farm participates in the project “Open Door to Farms”, through which he runs various training programs for different target groups.
The jury wrote about him:
“The young farmer convinced me with his perseverance, knowledge and strong will to enlarge the farm business. His ingenuity, willpower, and “small steps” approach, in my opinion, are the right path to success.”
“The candidate built the farm from the ground up. He decided to develop very diverse orientations, where he derived from the available resources. He is aware that he has to develop all levels of farm management, both production, processing and marketing of agricultural products. The social aspect of continued farming is also very important for him – employment on the farm and inclusion in the wider social and local life. “
“It’s versatile, full of energy, willing to learn, which is a guarantee for a long-term success. His optimism and positive approach, however, can certainly encourage another young successor to begin this kind of farming business.”
Award ceremony was held during NEWBIE international event at the beginning of February in Ljubljana. There was an opportunity to meet NEWBIE Award winners from other countries as well (Foto: S.Uhan). Few photos from his farm (Source: www.facebook.com/kmetijapriropet/)