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Biodynamic Ambassadors

August 3, 2012

An International Exchange Platform for the Benefit of Biodynamic Agriculture

By Reto Ingold
Biodynamic Ambassadors Program
Sektion für Landwirtschaft (Section for Agriculture), Goetheanum, Dornach


Biodynamic pioneer projects are now spread over all continents and all climatic zones. Even though the world seems to be getting smaller, it is not easy for many of those pioneer projects to have access to field-tested expertise in the biodynamic farming methods. One source of such practical knowledge, which includes, apart from agricultural skills also enthusiasm, creativity and commitment to biodynamic farming, are the graduates from Biodynamic training courses. It is to them that the offer/challenge from the Section for Agriculture is mainly directed at: why not, after completion of your biodynamic training, spend a year helping to set up a pioneer project in biodynamic agriculture somewhere in the world?

“Biodynamic ambassadors” is a program that aims at supporting the biodynamic projects located far away from the usual channels of information; and young adults who have completed a biodynamic training can become an ambassador of the biodynamic movement. This is an opportunity for young graduates to go out into the world before deciding for a long-term commitment to a farm. This is an opportunity to help root in biodynamic agriculture in places where it is just about arriving, for example in a project in South Africa, Morocco, Southern India or Peru.

The Section for Agriculture has been approached repeatedly by pioneer projects looking for an assistant for the project leader, to help with the practical implementation of biodynamic methods. Up to now it was mostly a matter of luck when we managed to find someone at the right time.  With our new program we want to give a more professional response to this existing demand.

The Ambassadors are people who give and take. They help the Biodynamic impulse to take root in one place, while at the same time they learn from the pioneer project and get to know the local culture. A convenient way of cultural exchange, which can help to spin a network of personal connections between North and South, between West and East.

The Section for Agriculture has professional support for the “Biodynamic ambassadors” project, since the project is conducted jointly with the “Friends of Waldorf Education” in Karlsruhe (Germany). This organisation is specialized in worldwide volunteer services and will provide the necessary administrative experience, concerning visas, insurance and security, as well as cooperating in the pedagogical preparation and guidance of ambassadors.

How does the Biodynamic Ambassadors program work?

Graduates from the Biodynamic training get in touch with the Section for Agriculture at the Goetheanum, using biodynamic.ambassadors@goetheanum.ch . Then you can register easily using a standard application form. This application is important as we need the information for visas, insurance and to support you while you are abroad. The project office will get in touch with the applicants and discuss their aims and expectations. After your application is accepted, you can search for a suitable pioneer project by yourself or by using our listings, available at the home page of the Section for Agriculture. In a seminar that gives general information on volunteering abroad and specifically prepares for work as a  “biodynamic ambassador”, individual interviews will be conducted between the ambassador and the project team. This personal contact will be the basis for supporting you during your stay abroad. After the preparation seminar, you are ready to go!

Pioneer projects similarly first have to get in touch with the Section for Agriculture. Pioneer projects also need to apply using the application form available on the homepage of the Section. Pioneer projects can be individual farms, biodynamic organisations or other non-profit institutions that want to set up biodynamic agriculture. The project manager needs to be in touch with the project office to define the profile of the ambassador they are looking for. Pioneer projects that are suitable as placements for ambassadors in terms of tasks and overall circumstances will be listed on our homepage.

During the stay of the ambassador on the pioneer project, the project office will be delivering continuous support. The ambassador will have to report on his experience abroad, so as to strengthen the ties between the different members of the biodynamic movement. The generous work and commitment of the ambassador will be supported as much as possible, by covering his expenses (insurance, flight, support) via donations and grants. Pioneer projects themselves may be able to receive some financial support to help them with the costs of hosting the ambassador.

The Ambassadors, the pioneer projects and the Section for Agriculture join forces for one year, in what will hopefully be a productive cooperation for all three parties. At the Agricultural Conference at the Goetheanum, we will report further on the project.


Visit www.sektion-landwirtschaft.org/4812.html for more information.

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