Experience agriculture in the Hohenlohe region

Picture: AgrarKontakte International (AKI) e. V.

In the middle of autumn, from the 5th to 7th of October 2021, the last excursion of the Eastern European trainees for this year took place in Presence to the organic model region of Hohenlohe. Mr. Hardy Mann from the Swabian-Hall Breeders Association (Bäuerliche Erzeugergemeinschaft Schwäbisch Hall (BESH)), guided the in a professional way and the participants were able to gain many valuable insights into organic farming and its value chains. The participants gained direct experience of such farms.

The excursion started with an exciting, guided tour through the historic old town of Schwäbisch Hall, where the participants could learn more about the history of the former "free imperial city" including the importance of the salt spring.

The group was accommodated in the imposing Renaissance castle in Kirchberg/Jagst, well known for its rural history, where today the foundation "Haus der Bauern" (House of Farmers) with the Academy for Ecological Agriculture and Food Economy Schloss Kirchberg has its headquarters.

On the second day of the excursion, BESH was presented in detail to the trainees at the Hohenlohe regional market. BESH has become a successful showcase project for rural regional development, after its foundation in 1988 as a farmers' self-help organisation. It was particularly interesting for the Eastern European young people to learn more about solidarity principles, adherence to strict producer guidelines for high quality products as well as the marketing strategy of BESH members. The trainees were able to taste the delicious high-quality regional organic specialities at the "Regionalmarkt Hohenlohe" during the lunch time.

Visiting the BESH member - the fattening farm of Mr. Frank Walter with Swabian-Hall swine in Jungholzhausen was another highlight of the excursion. Mrs. Marion Walter presented interesting facts about organic hog farming and products during the discussion session. After visiting the large new barn, the group also visited the Swabian-Hall swine, which are kept in the adjacent forest.

On the third day of the excursion, a group tour of BESH's Sonnenhof organic spice factory took place. Here, the trainees learned more about the production of organic spices and spice mixtures for the regional meat and sausage specialities and about fair trade and the partnership-based cultivation of spices using the example of the BESH project with India and Zanzibar.

At the end of the excursion programme, the participants had a dynamic guided tour at the Mozer's fruit growing farm and distillery in Pfedelbach, including a sensory evaluation of the products, where several generations of the Mozer family farm have specialised in growing apples, pears and berries to produce first-class distillates and liqueurs.

Feedback from the trainees on the excursion in the Hohenlohe region:

"The format of the excursion was filled with many topics. I received a lot of new information and met many new people. Now I have a new perception of globalisation. During the excursion I developed international communication skills and became more familiar with German culture. I feel that I have developed and learned a lot of new things about German agriculture. I would like to thank everyone who organised the field trip." - Nika Japiashvili, Georgian trainee in viticulture

"The excursion went well in general! I enjoyed the whole excursion. It was very interesting to learn something new and see something new. I was most interested in the excursion at the hog farm!" - Dmytro Surovtsev, Ukrainian trainee in hog farming

"The field trip was exciting. We got to know many different places with their own history. And each of these places had something special. I would especially like to mention our guide Mr Hardy Man from BESH. Great person. I could listen to his stories forever.... " - Roman Timonov, Russian trainee in dairy and poultry farming


Photo for the cover of the article (During a historical walk through Schwäbisch Hall with Hardy Mann from BESH)