The 7th stage of Young Farmer, an annual youth intellectual game, came to an end on 26 April 2019, its results being summed up on the premises of Voronezh State Agricultural University. This year, the contest was organised with support from the Ministry of Agriculture of Russia, the Corporation of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises and the Russian Centre for Youth Entrepreneurship Promotion, EkoNiva being the general sponsor of the event. 40 best projects from all federal districts of the country had been selected to be presented at the contest which was held at the oldest University of Black Soil region.
Aleksey Gordeyev, Deputy Prime Minister of Russia, gave the participants a welcome speech mentioning the crucial role which young people play in the development of small farms in rural areas and of the domestic agricultural sector on the whole.
‘The future of our agriculture directly depends on the conditions in which the new generation of farmers will grow’, says Aleksey Gordeyev. ‘I am happy to see the final being held on Voronezh land. There are many opportunities here for successful development of young people who are willing to dedicate their lives to farming. I hope that today's event will be a good start in their interesting professional journey.’
Viktor Logvinov, Deputy Chairman of the Regional Government, also welcomed the audience and expressed sincere congratulations on behalf of the governor. The head of the region Aleksandr Gusev is sure that the youth can confidently continue to develop in the chosen field of activity counting on the full support of the government. The main thing is to be hardworking, responsible and purposeful.
A special award from EkoNiva went to the team of Volgograd State Agricultural University which had developed a business model of organic dairy farming called Kulturnaya Korova Farming Enterprise.
‘Young Farmer is a great project which is meant to pool innovative ideas of young people from all over the country, so that the state could support the most original of them’, says Stefan Duerr, EkoNiva Group President. ‘I really respect the decision of our participants to cast their lot with farming. It is not easy, but it has some advantages compared to large agricultural holdings. A young farmer can be prompter and more mobile in implementing innovations, especially with the support of the government. This is particularly true in regard to the new direction – organic milk production.’
As Stefan Duerr put it, the gifted, ambitious and creative youth is the key factor in the development of the Russian agricultural sector and of the rural areas in general. More experienced colleagues are to create optimum conditions for young people and, through fruitful cooperation, achieve even better results in farming. Besides, EkoNiva president invited the finalists from Volgograd State Agricultural University to take internship at the company having promised to discuss the project presented at the contest in greater detail and assist in its further development.
By Aleksandr KUTISHCHEV