Fachhochschule Südwestfalen (FH SWF) is a German University of Applied Sciences situated in five cities in South Westphalia. The Department of Agriculture – located in Soest – has a long tradition in forming farmers and agricultural engineers by offering a practice-oriented curriculum. The bachelor and master courses cover agronomy, plant and animal production, and agricultural technology. The department profits from active cooperation with practice partners, enterprises from the whole agribusiness sector, and public institutes like ministries and chambers of agriculture. Partly students have a family background in agriculture, but also a considerable proportion without this background applies for the courses. Thus, family succession and newcomers stepping into farming are of increasing relevance for the department’s curriculum and research agenda. Viable business and entry models for, firstly, successors taking over family farms and, secondly, newcomers into practical farming step into the formal curriculum progressively. For enterprise founding in general, FH SWF has established the new South Westphalia International Center for Entrepreneurship (SWICE) in 2015 to support students within the start-up phase.
Our role in Newbie
Together with Irish Teagasc team we are leading Work Package 2 “Stocktaking and Inventory”. The main goals of Work Package 2 are to
- Identify and describe state-of-the-art of new entrant business and entry models,
- Set up a catalogue of ‘good practice’ new entrants in Europe,
- Provide state-of-the-art overview of curricula and education resources, and
- investigate key strengths, weaknesses, needs, and barriers for all kinds of new entrants into farming.