Farm Bureau members from Michigan and Indiana traveled through Germany and Belgium Sept. 1-11 as part of an Agricultural Leadership Exchange to learn about north-central Europe’s farming innovation and the nations’ policies concerning energy, biotechnology, trade and other agricultural matters.
Check back soon for additional videos providing visual highlights of the group's journey.
Also visit our photo gallery highlighting the farms, culture and landscapes of Germany and Belgium.
This video highlights the agricultural and cultural experiences of the twenty-three Michigan and Indiana Farm Bureau members who traveled to Germany and Belgium, Sept. 1-11 as part of the Agricultural Leadership Exchange.
The group saw and heard first-hand how the region's agricultural makeup is heavily influenced by Europe's rich history, Germany's large-scale efforts to increase renewable energy production, and consumer demand for affordable, non-GMO food products.
The agricultural study tour started north of Berlin in Lubars, a small agricultural village established in 1247. Under strict government regulations to conserve its unique rural characteristics, much of Lubars' agriculture industry centers on the equine sector.
The group then headed south of Berlin to Schoebendorf, where they visited a dairy farm with Jersey cattle in what used to be Eastern Germany.
Formerly a cooperative farm during Communist times, the operation today incorporates American genetics. To combat low milk prices, the farm is considering transitioning to organic production.
Energy production was a recurring theme on Michigan and Indiana Farm Bureau members’ agricultural study tour to north-central Europe, Sept. 1-11. In addition to being the world’s leader for wind energy production, Germany has financed more than 10,000 biogas facilities in the country. The group visited four dairy farms with biogas converters that use manure and silage to generate heat and electricity for the farm and, in some cases, local homes and businesses. Another stop took the group to the Saerbeck Bioenergy Park, a sprawling 227 acres home to seven wind turbines, 24,000 solar modules, and two bioenergy converters: one for biowaste and a second for agricultural biogas. The entire energy park has 29 megawatts of electric capacity – enough to serve over 250 percent of the community’s energy needs.