Landscapes are shaped by those who live on them. Land in Germany that could not be used for crops is used for raising cattle. The cattle provide environmental benefits and plant life has begun to flourish.
People wanting to spend vacations in rural areas have created a revenue stream for farms in the European Union. Remote farms do not draw tourists and struggle to find a reliable workforce. Traditional cheese is the main economic source for a mountain goat farm in Spain.
Farming jobs are decreasing throughout Europe. An agriculture cooperative in Germany works to revitalize rural life in the area and make it more manageable for the elderly. Rural development is usually overlooked in favor of urban development.
About 95% of farms in Europe are family-run, but these farms only cultivate 66% of European farmland. Many of the farms have uncertain futures.
Small farms have been decreasing while large farming enterprises have grown rapidly in recent years. A farming school in Sweden trains students how to run a farm but fewer than 30% pursue farming as a career.
Credits: Tradition in Younger Hands
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More than 90% of the farms are family-owned and their succession is not always certain. In recent years, more than three million farmers have been forced to abandon their farms. Large corporations are taking over the work: 3% of the farms cover 53% of the area. The supply in supermarkets therefore remains large. Do we still need the small farmers? Examples from all over Europe show that the farmers' work goes beyond food production and is a prerequisite for life in the countryside: as an employer, for the care of our cultural landscapes and for the maintenance of our infrastructure. Conny and Hannes von Grafenstein-Lohrberg have to hand over their farm in a few years. The work is slowly becoming too much and too hard. But their daughters are not interested. When a former doctor starts to work on the farm as a trainee, a solution suggests itself. The Thielecke family farm is not an everyday breeding establishment. They cultivate the Harz landscape with their breed of cattle in an area in which agriculture rarely succeeds but is urgently needed. In some regions of Germany, four out of five farmers take on a local honorary position. For the inhabitants of the surrounding cities, the rate is two out of five.
Length: 31 minutes
Copyright date: ©2018
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