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03 / 2015 The Rural Youth Europe Magazine A farmer’s remark 12

Study Session 2015 6

13 Call for Rural Youth Project 2015 8

Autumn Seminar

Rural Youth Europe Rural Youth Europe (RYEurope) is a European nongovernmental organisation for rural youth. Established in 1957, it is an umbrella for youth organisations working to promote and activate young people in the countryside. It provides international training possibilities and works as an intermediary between national organisations and youth organisations and public institutions at the European level. Rural Youth Europe is a member-led organisation: democratically constituted, the organisation is led by young people for young people. Rural Youth Europe unites 21 member organisations across 18 European countries. The membership base is over 500,000 young people who either live in rural areas or have an interest in rural life. If your organisation is interested to join Rural Youth Europe or you would like more information about our events, please contact or check our website

Rural Voices Rural Voices is published by Rural Youth Europe. Views and opinions expressed in this publication do not necessarily reflect those of Rural Youth Europe. Text may include informal translations of statements and documents. Reproduction of articles is authorised provided the source is quoted and copies of the article are sent to Rural Youth Europe. This newsletter is published with the support of the European Youth Foundation of the Council of Europe and Erasmus+ of European Commission. The editors express their gratitude for all received articles and encourage every member organisation to contribute and to enrich this magazine. SECRETARY GENERAL: Jenni Heinonen RESPONSIBLE EDITORS: Mikko Välitalo, Emma Silén ADDRESS: Karjalankatu 2A, 00520 Helsinki, Finland PHONE: + 358 45 234 5629 E-MAIL: office@rural WEBSITE: CONCEPT & LAYOUT: Júlia Hentz PHOTO-CREDITS: Rural Youth Europe, its members and participants of events

CONTENT 3 E d i t o r ’s n o t e 4 -5 G oin g o n in Europe 6 -7 S t u d y S e s s i o n 2 0 15 8 -11 A u t u m n S e m i n a r 12 A f a r m e r ’s remark - Like what you do 13 C a l l f o r R u r a l Yo u t h P r o j e c t 2 0 15 14 -15 S w i s s R u r a l Yo u t h E x p l o r e s Devon 16 -17 I F Y E C o n f e r e n c e i n E s t o n i a 2 0 16

I t ’s t i m e t o … This autumn has been very busy for Rural Youth Europe. Two events took place as the Study Session was organised in October. Apart from that, there is a lot going on behind the scenes. Our new Secretary General has started her work as well as the new Board. At the first Board Meeting in October, the board decided to start several new projects and continue some current ones to develop Rural Youth Europe to better meet our member organisations and their members’ needs. A big thank you to the enthusiastic and hard-working board and staff members! It’s really a pleasure to work with you. I would also like to thank all prep team members, volunteers and member organisations. Your time and effort for this organisation is very much appreciated. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all of you!

Mikko Välitalo Board member

18 -19 W r a p - u p 15 20 Calendar

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S l o v e n i a n R u r a l Yo u t h a t E x p o M i l a n o Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life – a tempting title of a world exhibition. We accepted the invitation of Slovenian pavilion to diversify their programm at Expo in October. After arrival we were guided through Slovenian pavilion where salt, bees, thermal and mineral waters, active lifestyle and green technologies were represented. After a short introduction of our association we all started to entertain visitors waiting in line to the pavilion by singing Slovenian folk songs and challenging visitors to milk our special cow. It was a real joy to watch children, men and women experience a tradition agricultural task like milking a cow for the first time. In our spare time we walked around the exhibition and got a real impression of how we can improve the food market in the future. At the end of the day we roasted chestnuts and socialised with the Slovenian crew at Expo. The following day we went for a quick walk around the beautiful city of Milan.

Going on in Europe Latvian 4H Tr a c t o r d a y s Every year in Latvia an event called Tractordays takes place - it is a family celebration involving tractor competitions, machinery demonstrations, service information, and much more! In a field right beside some fun and educational activities at the event, some of the more technical exhibitors showed drills, cultivators and other tillage implements that all visitors were able to view. The aim of the event is to promote Latvian agricultural and rural development, merge and promote the business, government, non-governmental organizations, agricultural education, agricultural professionals and farmers’ co-operation.


Latvian 4H took part in the event for the sixth time this year. This time we participated with our project “Environmental laboratory in the tractor tracks.” The overall aim of the project is to raise public awareness, build skills and attitudes about an environmentally friendly lifestyle, teach the basic principles of sustainable development, and encourage more efficient use of resources as well as to raise public information and awareness of the environment. For event visitors we offered four interactive and practical lessons on the basis of the latest scientific research on environmentally friendly lifestyles: “GHG laboratory” - environmental experiment lesson; “Get into the tractor rail” - lesson on Latvian natural resources; “Saving masterstroke” - environmentally friendly advice garden and environment game “friends of the environment”; “Get wrapped – get unwrapped” - lesson on the proper sorting of waste. Anda Jēkabsone

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Board meeting in Finland The new and old Board had a handover meeting in Kimito, Finland during 30-31st October. The staff members were also present, since we have a new Secretary General. The agenda for the meeting was quite stuffed with important things, but nevertheless we also had time to do some team building exercises and have a small Halloween party on Saturday evening. We discussed a lot about media in general and social media in particular. As you may have noticed, Rural Youth Europe is now on Instagram (ruralyoutheurope), we encourage you all to share your Rural Youth Europe moments with the hashtag #ruralyoutheurope. The application procedure for the Rural Youth Project of the Year has also been updated – read more about that on page 13 in this magazine!

On October 6th the first ‘Young Agricultural Entrepreneurs Day’ under the theme ‘Start-up Agrar’ took place in Austria. Around 300 young farmers attended the event. The topics covered a wide variety of interests and were presented by highlevel national and international speakers. An on-going and intensively discussed topic in Austria is the realistic representation of agriculture in the media. New ways of how to communicate and thereby involve new media were presented. Additionally participants got the latest news on financial aid for young farmers as well as important inputs on business management and how to come up with an individual strategy to successfully run their farm. Inputs on possible conflicts evolving from more generations working and living together on a farm were presented humorous in form of a cabaret. Another highlight was the input of Leo Höllerl, a young farmer from Austria. He took over the farm from his parents just this year and shared his experiences on a personal and entrepreneurial level. The day ended with a panel discussion from the Minister of Agriculture, the President of the Chamber of Agriculture as well as different experts and young farmers.


I attended this year’s Study Session in Strasbourg between MIJARC and Rural Youth Europe to get inspiration and knowlegde about youth unemployment, entrepreneur and general work related inspiration. As 4H Norway is hosting a seminar in March with a similar topic this was a golden opportunity for me!

experience. Talking about our dream jobs, our path to it, differences in rural communities in all the different countries really got me thinking. I was shocked to learn about the unemployment out in Europe and how different it is from my country Norway. And also, each country and rural area have different problems and issues that are the reasons for unemployment.

One of the best thing about Rural Youth Europe events is that it’s a bit like 4H; Learning by doing! This means you do a lot of workshops and group activities during the

Apart from the educational activities we of course also had a lot of social activities.

Study session 2015

There was never a boring day or evening during the week. It was a very social week and I got to know a lot of new people and got a lot of new friends to visit in the future! All in all, it was a great week with a lot of new learning points, new friends to visit and challenges to face related to unemployment. I recommend everyone who has the chance to go to a similar event, as I have learnt a lot! Iselin Leikvangen Albretsen

Unveiling rural realities and unlocking youth potential in Stra sbourg

week, and thus learn while doing something. At the study session in Strasbourg it was all about unveiling rural realities and unlocking youth potential: during the week we had a lot of games to get to know each other, workshops and activities in groups. One of the days we went to the European Parliament and got to discuss rural issues with the member of the European Parliament, Ms. Elisabeth Köstinger. It was an interesting visit we all learnt something from.


During the Study Session we did not only have workshops, we also had one workshop about HOW TO MAKE a workshop. Some of the workshops were about you as a person and how you work as an entrepreneur and in a working group. Some of the workshops challenged us to think about ourselves, our future and also our past. This was quite hard for a lot of the participants, and challenging for all of us. Some of the questions we had to ask ourselves and think about was «what is your dream job?», «how to get to your dream job» and «who are you as a entrepreneur?». This is probably one of the workshops you learn the most from. At least I did! One of the days we got to try out entrepreneurship and present our business idea to Dragons Den. A few entrepreneurs managed to convince the judges! It was super fun and I learned a lot from this


We got the opportunity as board members of the Young Farmers’ Clubs of Ulster to participate in the “Brand me New”, Autumn Seminar in Slovenia from 7th-14th November which was organised through Rural Youth Europe. During our journey from Dublin to Ljubljana we met other participants from England, Scotland and Wales where, in between the sleeping, we got to bond and get to know each other on our journey to Punkle Hostel in the Koroska Region of Slovenia. We were all going on this Seminar for the same reasons which included making lifelong friendships, getting to know more about

other organisations and cultures as well as getting the opportunity to develop as a person and use this opportunity to become better educated and more beneficial in our own organisations at home, by enhancing our interpersonal skills through this Autumn Seminar. After a good night’s sleep we woke up ready for the activities ahead, and started with a rise and shine energiser to waken us up. The team

Autumn Seminar


We had a presentation from European Youth Foundation and a presentation from the Slovenian Wine Queen, which was very interesting to listen to her experiences and how her role as wine queen has expanded her overall image. An expert interviewer gave us some guidelines on what to do for an interview to really make each individual different, the key for an interview is to always “be prepared”.

Wednesday was a busy day with a study trip to three farms, the first being a farm which made cheeses, all of which tasted delicious. As each farm is fairly small they need to

Brand Me New Experiences

leaders gave us an introduction to what the week will include. Then we were asked us to divide into groups to think about our fears, hopes and expectations of the week ahead.

diversify to increase their revenue so this farm made cheeses and also had a wellness spa build into the B&B accommodation to increase their profits to become fully selfsustainable.

On this evening an international buffet was held where everyone brought a selection of food, drink, flags and clothing to represent their country. Our table included an ulster flag, Tayto crisps, Fivemiletown cheese, potato and soda bread all of which Northern Ireland is famous for. It was an enjoyable evening were we could sample the food and drink from other cultures.

The next two were vineyards were we got to sample and buy the produce made on each farm as well as listening to inspiring stories about the farm’s history, we also got to visit the 400 year old vine tree, the oldest in the world before we made a short trip to the Maribor Wine Festival were we got to experience some of the traditional culture, history and wine from the various stands. We arrived back to the hostel for dinner and wine tasting.

Activities over the next few days related to the seminars topic which included video presentations of our life goals and how we hope to achieve them. We did prior research before we arrived in relation to our favourite website and advertisement and discussed these in groups to decide upon what we valued most from each individual website and advert. Other daily activities included how to write a CV, how to stand out from the crowd, interview preparation and techniques and how public speaking is vital in everyday life.

Monday evening’s activities included farming games, typical of the Slovenian culture. Tuesday evening was the carnival night where we dressed up for the occasion and had a display from the Kurents who were dressed up in a sheep costume which was decorated by large cow bells.

Thursday morning we made a short time machine video, imagining we were 5 years from now and to see whether we achieved our dream jobs or not. After this we made a trip to the next study farm tour where we got a rich insight into the farms history and the challenges they face according to EU legislation which is beginning to make farming more difficult. We also sampled and bought some more products. This farm attracted visitors because it had a small train

trip which brought tourists into the wilderness where we spotted some deer in the distance. After lunch we visited another farm which had an amazing view and felt like we were in the middle of nowhere, this particular farm had an interesting story of how they set up and how they use the Austrian border to their advantage for selling their produce to a wider market, this is to do with branding of their product which we had been relating to throughout the seminar. Friday morning consisted of watching the time machine videos, it was clear to see from these that everyone’s confidence had built immensely during the week. We would both like to take this opportunity to thank all the prep team members involved in the preparation and planning of the Seminar, we really appreciated your hard work, to all the farms who let us visit and sample products and an extended thanks to Rural Youth Europe and Young Farmers Club Ulster for giving us a fantastic opportunity to participate on this Autumn Seminar. It helped us develop new skills to make us become more employable in the future whilst making lifelong friendships, in a beautiful country! What more could you ask for? Thanks again! Laura Mayers and Gillian Henderson, Northern Ireland


Brand Me New Learning outcomes Describing the learning outcomes after a seminar like RYEAS2015 is not an easy task, but I will try to put words to it for you anyway (hoping it will give you the desire to come to the seminar in Norway next year!).


The participants arrived in Slovenia with different dreams and goals, and all of us had different personal expectations and hopes in our luggage. Some of us were looking for personal growth and time to reflect upon who we are - hoping that sessions like “public speaking” and “make yourself visible in the crowd” could help us on our way. Others were searching for methods that can be used for personal promotion and branding, and were looking forward to sessions such as “visual presentation” and “communicating your competences”. And of course, we were all looking forward to the intercultural communication, wondering what interesting knowledge it would give us to bring back home! Looking back at our week I believe the greatest learning outcome for all of us is knowledge about how to “Brand Me New”. We learned about farm life, how young and old farmers do their best to keep their income big enough to be able to do what they love. We also learned about the importance of word of mouth, and how knowledge about what you do, what your market is and how to best approach it, is crucial to survive in a professional setting. The study visits inspired us all, and everything we learned is in one

way or another transferable to our own projects at home. We also talked our way through what you should and should not say at a job interview to promote yourself in the best way possible, and we have learned the importance of writing a CV that shows the authentic you. We made our own business cards and were inspired by the session about “web visibilty”. And that’s just a small part of the academic learning outcome! When it comes to the personal outcome of the seminar, I have started to really outgrow my fear of public speaking. The structure and content of the seminar and sessions slowly made my self-esteem grow, and gave me hope that I, too, can overcome my fears and reach my dreams and full potential. I have gained knowledge about how to best prepare to stay calm, and have learned specific methods to reduce nervousness and minimize shaking. Maybe you’ll see me speaking at the seminar next year! As for other participants, I have overheard new dreams evolving, and noticed chitchatter about how to actually go after the dream job. I’ve seen people figuring out their own way and growing into who they want to be, becoming more confident along the way. When asked what the biggest outcome has been to the other attendees, the general answer from all of them is cultural knowledge. Every day we learned something new about each other’s countries, ways of life, attitudes and more. A greater understanding of how branding, farming, and self-promotion are used throughout Europe has been formed, and many new friendships have been established. Based on my experiences I dare to say that because of this we have also learned more about ourselves, and how we wish to proceed when getting back home. New understandings have come to life, and we all left inspired and full of hope for the future, with new ideas and invaluable memories. This was my first time attending a Rural Youth Europe event, and I never expected to learn so much in such a short time. Thank you Slovenia, Rural Youth Europe, and everyone that made RYEAS2015 possible, for one of the best weeks of my life - this will definitely not be my last seminar! Line Hj. Jacobsen


As the theme of 2015 has been ‘Transfer to worklife’ we wanted to let Julia Wagner from Austria tell about her experiences from going entering working life and the challenges one might face.

A farmer’s remark Like what you do “My name is Julia Wagner and I’m 18 years old. I study in a secondary college for agriculture in the second year. I’m from Lower Austria and I live in a small village with about 800 people. We have a dairy farm and a holiday house.


As a student, I need to work during my holidays and weekends to earn money. Therefore, I often work at our Inn in my village. I have tried many different jobs and worked for instance as a waitress, a cook and a climbing guide. On our farm, we produce as much as we can on our own. We have bees which mean honey; we have hens, a pig and turkey, a garden with vegetable and fruits and of course the milk from our cows. I have learnt to value what we produce. Through working with our animals I have learnt to be consistent and careful. You have to feed them every day at the same time and you need to know them very well. As the guests can help us at the farm I have learnt to understand that they are new and don’t know everything, so you have to be helpful and understanding. On a farm you have to be flexible, the weather changes and so do your work and your plans…

Rural Youth Europe has encouraged rural youth around Europe to participate in the Rural Youth Project of the Year competition for a number of years now. The aim of the competition is to give inspiration and provide learning opportunities for young people living in rural areas. In 2015 the competition turns seven years old, and to celebrate that we wanted to make the competition even more attractive – and easier to participate in! We wanted to minimise the writing and let the creative young people show more of what they have done instead.

Call for RYP 2015 What was your best project during 2015?

My studies in agriculture support me, because I want to work with farmers. I want to help them with finding solutions and I also want to be a teacher in an agriculture school. Then I will be able to already help the young farmers and support them in their education and work. I face many challenges. It’s important to know that work is not always easy. Sometimes you have to be strong, it doesn’t matter if you are tired or sad at the moment or you just want to be anywhere else than at work. If this happens remember to always think that there will be better times. Some other challenges are to work with new people whom you have never met before. You have to be friendly and then they will be really nice and helpful as well. As I already said; there are hard times when you are tired but you have to be strong. Never give up as there is always a solution! ☺ It’s also important to not always say yes to everything and to tell the other people if you have problems or if you are not happy with the situation. THE MOST IMPORTANT TIP: You should like what you do and then you will always be happy!”

Please note that only Member Organisations of Rural Youth Europe can submit applications! If you want to participate with a project you need to first send it to your home organisation, not directly to Rural Youth Europe!

After the deadline the judging will be done – this part is also updated! 1) Internal judging will be done by the Rural Youth Europe board based on the project requirements. 2) Voting on our webpage will then take place among those projects that get to TOP THREE in the board’s ratings. 3) The winner of the Rural Youth Project is the project that gets the most votes in the online voting. Now you might think to yourself “what do they mean by a project?” Let us answer you: With a ‘project’ we mean anything where young people have worked together towards a common goal on a voluntary basis. It’s as easy as that! The benefits with the new format are; easier application procedure, more public visibility and a prize worth 1600 €! The winner will get two free spots at either the Rally or Junior Event with 100 % travel costs covered up to EUR 250! Read more about the competition and application details on or send us an email to if you have any questions! On our webpage you can also find a list of the winners from previous years and what their projects were!

Did you make a difference in your community in 2015? Take part in Rural Youth Project of the Year 2015 competition! The competition works like this: 1. Submit the application form to your local RYEurope member organisation. The form is available


2. Also submit your local organisation an automated presentation/film on your project. This should be no longer than three minutes. 3. The member organisations of Rural Youth Europe will then decide which projects they will submit to RYEurope by 1st of February 2016. 4. Judging will be done by the Rural Youth Europe board based on the project requirements. 5. The TOP 3 projects are presented on our website for everyone to vote on. The winner of the Rural Youth Project is the project that gets the most votes in the online voting.


IF YE conference in E s t o n i a 2 0 16

Swiss rural youth and Devon YFC did an exchange during the summer/autumn. First Devon YFC visited Switzerland, and then the Swiss youngsters visited them back. Here Lukas Helfenstein tells about their journey and new experiences. After we had welcomed Devon YFC to Switzerland in August and showed them Switzerland’s diversity, we were all very excited to explore Devon. When our Bus from Heathrow arrived in Exeter and some of the Young Farmers that were in Switzerland picked us up, we immediately felt very welcome and the start to 10 prosperous days was set.

Swiss rural youth explores Devon


The first evening we spent in a pub watching the rugby world cup and had a typically English meal to eat, fish and chips. After the game and a couple of pints, we headed back to our accommodation, which were two caravans that were big enough to fit everyone. As our accommodation was just next to the sea, all of us of course went down to the beach in the morning to see and feel the sea. Quite a few of us even went for a swim, whilst the others preferred to stay just close to the shore and got wet feet. The second day we went to Exeter for a walking tour, where we learnt more about the history of the city and region. Afterwards there was time for lunch and for half the group further sightseeing, whilst the others went for some shopping. Later in the day, we then had the opportunity to watch a rugby game live. This is not a popular sport in Switzerland at all, so we struggled a bit to get the rules and were a bit lost sometimes in understanding what is happening. But the sporty atmosphere at the game was unbelievable and after some explanation even we got the rules and cheered for the right team. Of course, we then left afterwards the stadium with a win for our team and had something to celebrate. During the week, we could visit several different farms. One thing they all had in common, was

that even what they call a small farm, is huge compared to farms in Switzerland. The bigger the farms were the bigger were also the machinery parks. To have the opportunity to see and ride the biggest John Deeres and Fendts made the heart of the Swiss beating faster. Nevertheless, not only did we visit farms, we have seen also several lovely small villages at the coast that just invited to take a rest and have a cup of tea. On one of the biggest markets in Devon, we were impressed about its size and accidentally almost bought a couple of sheep. We went for a hike through Dartmoor and finally closed the week with the scenery Totnes Round Robin tour on a beautiful day, that all made us to want to stay. One of the highlights of the week was the surfing. We went to a lovely beach, were all given a wetsuit and surfboard and went into the sea to try surfing. We definitely did not look well in the water and none

of us managed to stand on the board. But the fun we had while trying it was enormous and even though it was tiring and took a lot of energy, we just swam out again and gave it another try. One thing that made an impression on all of us were all the hedges on both side of all the narrow roads. At the beginning, it was quite frightening not being able to see anything and not knowing if a car was coming when you need to cross a street. This was especially noticeable in Dartmoor where the hedges are even higher and denser and the roads more narrow which was a very remarkable experience. By the end we then got also used to it and even bush diving does not shock us anymore. However, how people manage to navigate in this area and not getting lost is still a mystery for us. We would all like to thank Devon YFC very much for the great trip they have organised for us. We very enjoyed our time in Devon and returned home with lots of unique memories and experiences. Lukas Helfenstein

Summer 2016 will be very special for Estonian 4H. Once again we are organising a great event for Europe. Almost 7 years ago we organised the European Rally and it was a success, and now we have an opportunity to repeat it all by organising an IFYE conference. Estonian 4H and Estonian IFYE committee are happy to welcome you to the 58th European IFYE conference in Jõulumäe. Conference takes place 23rd – 30th of July 2016 in Estonia, Pärnumaa, Jõulumäe. During the week we will try to let you taste Estonian culture, language and our untouched nature. Of course there will be local delicious food and drinks. You will have wonderful chances to meet new friends during the different activities like dancing, hiking, meeting new people and teamwork. Check out the conference website http://ifye2016. to get more info and registration instructions. The IFYE conference is a great way to stay connected with your travel buddies and also meet new people, there is no age limit for IFYE conference. Everyone is welcome. If you missed the Estonian Rally a few years ago or you can´t make it to IFYE conference you can always just come to visit our country. Look here - http:// or don’t hesitate to ask or kadritoomingas@gmail. com. Reelika Rüütli & Kadri Toomingas


March: Board meeting in Scotland

April: First ever Junior Event in Sweden

Lukas: Work plan, guidelines, GA-planning, cooperation, finances etc. lots of extensive work got done and a very welcoming meeting with our members SAYFC rounded up the weekend.

Emma: Arranging the first-ever Junior Event in Sweden was a great experience. 12 European youngsters got together during Easter to discuss topics like working life, communication and team work. The Junior Event was a success and will therefore be arranged also in 2016.

July: Mikko visited NBU in Norway

Linda: amazing place and enthusiastic people with loads of energy to organise the best event in Austria.

Mikko: I had the pleasure to visit our new member NBU at their general assembly and summer festival. What I saw convinced me: This organisation is ready to join Rural Youth Europe family. Once more welcome NBU!

June: Vacancies

April: European Youth Forum; COMEM

Wrap-up 15

Mikko: It was really challenging and interesting job to sit on the other side of the table as usually. We had a great team doing the interviews and after very busy and long-long days I think I learned a lot myself as well.

Linda: the place where youth politics are made. Over 100 ambitious young people with knowledge and skills meet to make Europe to be the best place for the young.

Fe b r u a r y






July: Nordic 4H camp Mikko: It was a nice experience to be part of this huge project from the planning process till the end of the event. Busy days working but lots of new experiences and friends.

June July


April: Rally prep team meeting


October: Board Meeting in Finland

16 November: Autumn Seminar in Slovenia Lukas: Participants from all over Europe gather to give themselves a new branding and learn how to promote themselves from the best side.

Kätlin: My first board meeting can be summed up with a quote by Henry Ford “Coming together is a beginning, keeping together is progress, working together is success.”


September: Autumn Seminar prep team meeting.

August: General Assembly Lukas: We welcomed NBU as new member of Rural Youth Europe and elected a new board.

Lukas: Lots of great ideas by the very motivated local and international prep team for the autumn seminar 2015.

October: Study Session in Strasbourg Sebastian: It was a pleasure to Sebastian: It was a pleasure to see how deep the interactions at the workshops on youth unemployment between the participants went. As a prep team member I enjoyed the seminar a lot because the team supported each other a lot. Great participants - great fun - and of course friends for a lifetime. “Breaking boundaries - Building bridges!”


September: Study Session prep team meeting. Sebastian: 2 organisations (RYEurope and MIJARC) + 1 goal = Study Session 2015. The prep team really took off together and developed a program with good educational content. Even though it still was 33°C at that time in Budapest ;). Thanks for the enriching meeting!

August: European Rally Sebastian: To explain the Rally spirit to someone who hasn’t been there is very hard, but I’ll give it a try! The Rally in Austria this year was amazing. Where else do you find education - intercultural exchange - excursions - great leisure time program - friends for a lifetime packed in one week? Only at the RALLY :). Looking forward to Northern Ireland next year.


O n O ctob er 13th E stonian 4 H celebrate d it s 24th bir thday by doing go o d de e ds. During the birthday

week instead of receiving gifts members across Estonia participated in a campaign titled “Good deeds in local communities”.

Some examples were that clubs picked apples and made juice from them, conducted workshops for kindergarten kids about farm animals, cereals and vegetables. They also built bird houses, garbage cans and placed them in local villages. Some clubs challenged each

other to create different good deeds through video posts or walked in the cities and tried to notice small things around them, like picking garbage and helping elderly people. The birthday week culminated with a recognition event “Harvest Festival”. 150 members came together to look back at the year behind and reward the most active of those members. There was an exhibition of the vegetables grown by young people and competitions about cereals, bread sorts and making butter.

Greetings from Members W e a r e R u r a l Yo u t h From August 23 until August 29 Latvian 4-H (Latvijas Mazpulki) organized a youth exchange project “We are Rural Youth” in Latvia together with our friends from Landjugend Oberwölz. The project was aimed at promoting rural entrepreneurship among youth members in Latvia and Austria.


During the week-long exchange thirty participants took part in discussions related to problems and difficulties that youth faces in rural areas and tried to provide suitable solutions. One day of the exchange was fully devoted to attending field trips to successful rural enterprises (i.e. biological goat farm “Baroni”, producer of canned goods and wine “Durbes veltes”, and Agricultural services co-operative society “Durbes grauds”). Furthermore, the participants used the experience gained during the field trips to develop their own rural business canvas. As a result, the participants came up with such rural business ideas as Alpaca farm, Whisky distillery, 2in1 Dairy Farm/Children camp, and others. The exchange provided the participants with useful knowledge which will be further distributed both within our organizations and our local communities. We hope to collaborate with Landjugend Oberwölz again in the future, as well as with your organization, reader of Rural Voices! Āris Brencis - International Project Coordinator Latvian 4-H

The 4H club of Hankasalmi in Finalnd turned 80 years t h i s y e a r. The main event of the year

was a performance created and performed by the young 4Hers. The performance was about a family gathering and told about the history of the 4H club. Around 40 youngsters were involved in the project. In addition to the performance there was also a café where the youngsters sold small snacks to the visitors. In the beginning of the project the youngsters familiarised themselves with the history of the 4H club and thought about what kind of stories and situations they wanted to bring forward in the performance. After this they started to plan the structure of the performance and write the plot. It was decided to implement the performance with music, dance and theatre. The name ‘the family gathering’ was born when an idea to tell the history of the club by following one family’s story during the years. The rehearsals began at the end of September and were held by the youngsters themselves. They also built the scenery, made the clothes and worked with sound and light. The idea of having a café during the performance nights was also the member’s idea. They collected recipes from courses that had been implemented in the 4H club and chose their favourite’s from those. The young bakers baked over 300 pieces of nine different recipes. The performance and café was run at the end of October. Both the café and the performance were a success with around 300 visitors.

German Federation of Rural Yo u t h ( B D L ) w i n s b e t w i t h G e r m a n M i n i s t e r o f Fa m i l y Affairs #jml2015: almost 13 Million Euro for the rural areas We did it! The BDL won the jugend.macht. land.-bet with the Federal Government, Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth (BMFSFJ). Exactly €12.985.146 were earned through voluntary service, almost three million more, as contracted with German Minister of Family Affairs, Manuela Schwesig. 24.827 young people helped to fill the jugend.macht. land.-Campaign with life. The German Minister of Family Affairs accepted her defeat with pleasure. “#jml2015 shows how much the youth can change”, said Rainer Wiebusch as representative for Manuela Schwesig. She will cash her bet next year with a special commitment together with the rural youth Mecklenburg-West Pomerania.

Har vest crown for Ger man Federal President Harvest Festival devotion with Federal Ministers for Agriculture Schmidt On 30th September the harvest crown of the German Agrar industry was handed over at the official residence of the German Federal President right after a ceremonial devotion at the memorial church in Berlin. The German Farmers Federation (DBV), the German rural Woman Association (dlv) and the German Federation of Rural Youth (BDL) present every year a harvest crown for his official residence. This crown symbolizes the achievements of the farmer’s families in Germany and will decorate the entrance Hall for state visitors upon the start of winter season. Federal Ministers for Agriculture Christian Schmidt emphasised at the memorial church that the Harvest festival means to be thankful, to be humble and to be responsible. The harvest crown expresses joy and pride of the working people at the agriculture industry. Farmer’s families do have, with modern methods, responsibility for a sustainable agriculture and good harvest.



24-28 March, 2016, Turku, Finland Your Choice - Rural opportunities regardless gender The aim is to discover how gender equality is applied in European rural communities and how it affects young people’s life choices and employability. 22-29 May, 2016, Strasbourg, France

Dream it loud! Build an inclusive society for urban and rural youth! The aim of this study session is to promote an inclusive society by facilitating the access to social rights of young people coming from urban and rural areas.


Calendar EUROPEAN R A L LY 2 0 16

30 July -7 August, 2016, Northern Ireland Bridging Diversity, Growing Together Rally 2016 will look at our own personal barriers and how we overcome these in areas such as disability, race, religion, age, sexual orientation etc.

2-9 October 2016, Norway Think, love, move, do! The aim of the autumn seminar is to discover how everybody regardless of background can be included in youth organisations. This will be done through workshops about social inclusion, practical problem solving and raising awareness about inclusion for all.



News! A conference for key people in the Rural Youth Europe member organisations is preliminary planned for August/September 2017! This event would include our General Assembly 2017.


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