Ringgau-Datterode is situated pretty much in the middle of Germany, somewhere between Kassel and Erfurt. Luisa Wagner sets off early in the morning from here to visit the 150 dairy cows on the family farm.
It’s almost a normal start to the day for the young farmer – but only almost. The 22-year-old should be sitting with her classmates in the technical school to cram for the final exams of her agricultural manager course. But the technical school for agricultural business management has been shut down by the Corona security measures. And so she had to promptly convert the home office into a classroom at very short notice. In the end, after all, the exams will have to be passed whatever happens.
Apart from the coursework, Luisa Wagner is still very busy at work, because she has big goals. "My parents still run the farm officially on their own. After my apprenticeship ends in summer, I’ll join the firm. To do this, my parents and I are founding a GbR (a partnership company in German law)," Wagner explains proudly.
„I hope that the reputation of agriculture will improve in the long term. In times like these, when people feel the pinch of import restrictions in the supermarkets, they’re more grateful for food grown near them, regionally and nationally.“
Apart from having to suddenly convert her office into a classroom, she doesn't see many signs of the current situation. "A few spare parts for machines are hard to come by right now. Apart from that, life on the farm is pretty much running as usual. The feed suppliers and milk collectors, the service technicians, veterinarians and hoof trimmers – they all come to us on the farm and work just as hard as before Corona,” she says. “Only now, they keep at a big distance for safety’s sake. And anyway, here in Ringgau we only try to have the most necessary contact with other people – just in case!”
When Luisa Wagner thinks of what will come after Corona, she has one wish: "I hope that the reputation of agriculture will improve in the long term. In times like these, when people feel the pinch of import restrictions in the supermarkets, they’re more grateful for food grown near them, regionally and nationally. I hope that the current situation will therefore also have something good for us farmers and contribute to a positive rethinking in our society."