The following report deals with the European Directors Meeting of the International Association of students in
Agricultural and related Sciences (IAAS). This year the local committee of the University of Hohenheim had the pleasure to organize this important event and to host 31 students from
Belgium, Belarus, Croatia, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Mexico, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland and the US.
Welcome in Hohenheim!
On Sunday, the 3rd of May we welcomed all our guests in Hohenheim and the organization team was kept busy with picking up our guests from their different points of arrival, offering snacks and playing motivation games. The highlight was a scavenger hunt in the main yard of the Hohenheim Castle where the participants had to answer questions about Germany and the region of Baden-Württemberg. The Students got to know the area as well as each other better. In the late afternoon we moved to our accommodation in Murrhardt. The whole group liked the place from the beginning and our week officially started there with a common dinner, an organizational meeting and a sampling of the participants’ expectations.
Agriculture in theory, history and practice
On Monday, the 4th of May, we drove back to Hohenheim to show our guests the whole university campus as well as the German Museum of Agriculture, which is located on our campus. A highlight of this morning was the chance to go up to the platform of our castle’s dome and enjoy the view to Hohenheim and its surroundings.
After having lunch, we visited the marketing company Vitfrisch in Neckarsulm. This company deals with various vegetables coming from local farmers in the regions of Heilbronn and Stuttgart. We saw how the locally grown vegetables were packed up and made ready for the markets.
In the evening our ‘mandatory’ IAAS-Trade Fair took place. Twelve different countries presented their traditional food and drinks as well as traditional clothing filling the evening with wonderful new flavors and adding invigorating ideas to our minds through a lot of interesting conversations.
‘KWS SAAT SE-Day’ – Getting to know the local (agri-)culture
After we had started Tuesday morning with a typical Bavarian “Weißwurst”-breakfast, we had several presentations of our participants about the agricultural sectors in their home countries. Later, we went to the ‘Hohenloher Freilichtmuseum’, a rebuilt historical village near Schwäbisch Hall. During a guided tour we learned a lot about rural life and various agricultural practices in former times. Afterwards we walked through the streets of the old town of Schwäbisch Hall and climbed up the tower of St. Michael.
The following report deals with the European Directors Meeting of the International Association of students in Agricultural and related Sciences (IAAS). This year the local committee of the University of Hohenheim had the pleasure to organize this important event and to host 31 students from Belgium, Belarus, Croatia, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Mexico, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland and the US.
Modern Agricultural Science versus passionate Bioland producers
Wednesday morning started early – at 7:30 we left Murrhardt and drove to the Boxberg Centre for Education and Science in pig breeding. In two smaller groups we got guided tours through the compound and discussed different trials and current topics in pig breeding. All in all, this visit was a great chance to experience modern applied agricultural science. The second activity of this day was the visit of a mill, belonging to a (Bioland) producer community. After a short presentation and a walking tour through the mill we got a nice impression of the producer community’s motivation and goals as well as of the mill and the products produced there.
Close to nature – During recreation and the visit of a Demeter farm
The first part of our fifth day we spent in a national park next to Murrhardt. All participants were really impressed by the waterfalls and the wild stream down in the narrow valley where we hiked and appreciated having the time to talk and relax. After a quick lunch we left with new energy to a Demeter farm. Many of our participants had not heard about biodynamic farming before and the specialties of this way of organic farming were discussed the rest of the day. In addition to the Demeter brand and practices, we also dealt with old and rare breeds belong to the farm and direct marketing of farm products.
AGROGEN-Day – Something about agricultural engineering and vegetables
On Friday morning we visited the company Kress, located next to Vaihingen/Enz. It is well- known all around the world for innovations in agricultural technology, especially for in the field of mechanical weed control. We got an idea of the various machines they produce for several crops and applications and were invited to stay for lunch afterwards.
In the afternoon we visited a nursery for vegetable plants, also located near to Vaihingen/Enz - Natterer Bioland Jungpflanzen. We saw all the different stages of production, mainly situated in greenhouses. All together the nursery had five hectares of greenhouses which were used at that moment, and more already empty because of the season. Back at Murrhardt we held the elections for the new European directors and discussed other current organizational and administrational issues of IAAS.
Agriculture and rural development in the area of Schwäbisch Hall
Out last full day, Saturday the 9th of May, we were introduced to the work of the Bäuerliche Erzeugergemeinschaft Schwäbisch Hall (BESH), a relatively large producer community. The founder and leader of BESH was happy to welcome us and showed us different parts of their activities. In addition to what we had already learned about producer community before, here the focus was put on rural development and marketing issues.
Full of new ideas, knowledge and a little bit exhausted we finished the program with the visit of the Haller Löwenbräu brewery. After returning back to the group home for a feedback round, we enjoyed the last evening together in Murrhardt.
It is beyond all doubt that this event could not have been arranged without the generous help of the sponsors and the University of Hohenheim, whom we would hereby like to thank.
Verfasste Studierendenschaft der Universität Hohenheim
Kverneland Group Deutschland GmbH
KWS SAAT AG
Bäckerei und Konditorei Treiber GmbH
AGROGEN Stiftung Schweiz
Universitätsbund Hohenheim e.V.
Big Dutchman Group
Rapunzel Naturkost GmbH