Burda's international innovation conference DLD is calling for courage, commitment, and curiosity. Under the motto "Dare to Know" Steffi Czerny will welcome around 200 international speakers to DLD Munich 24
In a Burda-funded course called Höfe.Bilden.Vielfalt (i.e. Farms.Educate.Diversity), 18 farmers looked at how to make their farms more ecologically diverse: combining agriculture and biodiversity.
Insects swarming in flower strips next to fields, wild animals finding safe havens for their offspring under solar panels, endangered birds cooling off in ponds and amphibians finding new habitats in fields - these are all nature conservation measures that the participants in the further education programme Höfe.Bilden.Vielfalt (Farms.Educate.Diversity) of the non-profit Bioland Foundation, sponsored by Burda, have implemented and brought to life on their farms over the past 12 months, proving that modern agriculture and biodiversity can go hand in hand!
As part of the pilot project, 20 farmers received a year's training on how to make their farms more ecologically diverse. The farmers gained practical knowledge on how to develop individual measures to sustainably improve biodiversity on their farms and how to make their commitment tangible for their customers and clients. Last Friday, the participants and the Bioland Foundation team came together at Biohöfle in Mertingen near Augsburg to celebrate the successful completion of the pilot phase. Burda has been supporting the non-profit Bioland Foundation initiative since 2021 as part of its sustainability programme "getting better".
"We made a conscious decision to get involved in our local environment and in the field of regenerative agriculture because it has so much potential. Biodiversity is an issue that is still often overlooked, although it is incredibly important. The Bioland Foundation is doing important groundbreaking work that we want to support," says Laura Eltz from the getting better team. "We are thrilled that the pilot course was such a great success and that it will be rolled out as a nationwide offering next year.
Participants left the course highly motivated and with many ideas for concrete conservation measures. The projects implemented range from small to large. "Everyone should do their bit to protect species, be it in their garden or on their balcony. But as farmers, we can have a bigger impact. Because we have large plots of land, we can do more," says Franz Obermayer. He and his family have just inaugurated the first Agri-PV system of its kind in Germany on four hectares. Agri-PV refers to the use of agricultural land for both crop production and solar power generation. Next to Obermayer's farm, 600-metre-long photovoltaic systems stretch through a grain field - standing upright like partitions. In between are the usual crops: wheat, spelt and oats. Below the rows of modules are green strips where wild animals can hide. During the course, many ideas were generated on how to use and design these strips for biodiversity.
"It was a very enriching year. During the course we were given a toolbox on how we can easily implement conservation measures," explains famer Matthias Urbauer.
"When I walk around our farm now, I have a completely different view of things and lots of ideas about what else we could do. The exchange with the other farmers has been incredibly helpful and we have learnt a lot about funding opportunities, which is a huge benefit," says farmer Maria Kaiser. "Knowledge is essential. After all, you can only protect what you love if you know how."
And that goes for the end consumer too. Not everyone is aware that modern agriculture can also contribute to the conservation of species. Organic farmer Armin Günter explains: "As sustainable farmers we can produce food and protect nature by promoting biodiversity, which is phenomenal and needs to be told to everyone out there.“