One third of French farms will have to be taken over in three years. Will there be enough farmers to meet this challenge?
The largest agricultural school in the world
Named Hectar, the school, dedicated to the training of farmers, is revolutionary. It is the largest agricultural campus in the world, with over 200 hectares of forest and 300 hectares of cultivated land. Located in the Île-de-France region, in the Domaine de la Boissière, this establishment builds an ecosystem on site that is conducive to training.
It can be considered as a real research center in which there is an "innovation hub" as well as experimentation spaces and start-ups. To complete this, large classrooms, seminars, certified organic crops, cereal fields, a livestock area, and a dairy dedicated to milk and cheese production offer students a focused access to hands-on training.
A free training
The school is open to all adults without any diploma requirements, and includes students, staff undergoing professional retraining and people interested in taking over a farm.
"Our ambition is to train farm managers who will take over the farms to be filled" - Audrey Boulloreau, head of the school.
With this in mind, in September 2021, Hectar welcomed approximately 2,000 students who are going to follow a two-year training program. The apprentice farmers will have the opportunity to attend and carry out practical work in real life and on site thanks to the presence of multiple fallow fields. They will also be able to learn how to process part of their products themselves and sell them directly.
For an eco-responsible agriculture of the future
The entire farm of the establishment's domain is based on a production method that fits into the framework of an agro ecological sustainable approach.
This project, co-financed by Xavier Niel, a French businessman and entrepreneur, promotes a "regenerative agriculture" that aims to respect the soil and encourage farmers to use quality agricultural practices and organic products.
Indeed, Mr. Niel has been noticed for his positions in favor of an agriculture that respects the environment, livestock and their welfare. Militant against animal mistreatment, he believes in vegetable meat and invests in the development of alternatives to meat.
Teaching tomorrow's farmers new ways of working will contribute to promote healthy agriculture and preserve the balance of nature. It will also create a higher awareness on how society can find alternative ways for sustainable farming to achieve certain Sustainable Development Goals.
More information: https://globalgoodness.ca/lagriculture-regeneratrice/