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Young Farmers Realize Their Dreams
Once a manager in foreign-invested company and having assisted countless companies to be public traded on stock markets, with such well-paid working environment and the life that most people envy, Lee Cheng-jun instead decided to give up his admirable career to join the farming business. From the vegetable production and marketing group, She learns vegetable farm management and re-discover the warm feeling of touching the land.Formerly, on the work in pharmacy factory, he could only get in touch with products that relates to health. However, human beings need natural nutrition and joyful mind the most. For the same reason, Yang Wen-cheng decided to return to the countryside Yilan to grow vegetable with his father who has been a farmer for his lifetime. These are stories from the Wandervogel Project. Through the project, some youth realized their new direction for life and become the young farmers to help innovate the new agriculture of Taiwan.
The word "Wandervogel" originated from Germany. It was a movement initiated by German youth in the end of 19th Century. The activists encouraged the youth to acquire the spirit of a migrating bird to walk into the nature and learn the real meaning of life through wandering.
They were encouraged to gain survival ability through experiencing the nature themselves and thus create a new youth culture. The Council of Agriculture launched the "Wandervogel Project" in 2006 to enourage youth to participate in agriculture. The agency hoped to attract the young people with higher education to revive the traditional agriculture. It was planned that the youth farmers will fasten the modernization process in order to match the diversity and innovation of agricultural technology.
The "Wandervogel" camp was arranged with crop, forestry, fishing and livestock industry introduction. Participants also arranged to visite farms and walk into villages to get hands-on experience. The duration was 2 nights and 3 days. Those with age 18~35 who have never joined this camp can register online on http://straybirds.coa.gov.tw. There are "Agriculture Experiencing Camp", "Fishing Experiencing Camp", and "Post-educated Farming Experiencing Camp" in this event. Local Agriculture Research and Extension Stations conducted the "Agriculture Experiencing Camp". The Fisheries Research Institute carried out the "Fishing Experiencing Camp" and universities and colleges organized the agriculture experiencing camp for the post-educated. If participants gained some level of interest and wish to further explore this field, they can register the "Straybirds Nesting Camp" for advanced training activities. The activities include production techniques and management, as well as hands-on practice in farms so that they will be acquired with more of in-depth farming knowledges.
It is hoped that the "Wandervogel Project" can encourage the youth to walk into the rural to experience the land and the down-to-earth lifestyle. Participants may thus be interested by agriculture. Council of Agriculture provides various plans to assist the young people who wish to work in this field to become the project creator, which allows Taiwan's agriculture to be "younger".
Traditional agricultural support mostly focused on farmers. "Wandervogel Project", on the other hand, hopes to expand its target range and encourages youth from various careers to participate and provide new perspectives for reviving the current agriculture.
Currently , the Council of Agriculture "Wandervogel Project" program firstly provides introduction in organic farming, tea, aquiculture, livestock and recreational farms. Many activities have been organized. In the future, there will be complimentary plans to assist the youth who wish to join agriculture by assisting their professional knowledge and financing. The agency will try all they can to help the youth who were once the "wandervogel" to become the "staying bird" so that Taiwan's agricultural population can be "younger".