Are you familiar with 4-H IFYE (Int'l farm Youth Exchange)? We host young people each summer on our farm. A potential young farmer in Germany must attend ag school to learn modern farm practices, gov't regulations, and get licensed. Students also do an international internship for six months. (In the USA, German IFYEs visit six farms in six months.) When we were in Germany in November 2013, we visited many IFYE friends.
Hendrik Luebben (2003 IFYE) lives in northern Germany, which is the country's main dairy region. German dairy farmers will transition from a milk quota system to a free-market strategy in 2015. We were invited to speak to the Niedersachen Landwolker (Farm Bureau kind of organization) Young Farmers about our farm and US dairy news. Our MMPA cooperative helped us convert a milk check from US measurements (CWT to liters) and dollars to euros for the presentation. Below is the slide we used to compare the price of selling our Sept 2013 milk in Michigan vs. Germany. At the end of our presentation it was agreed that milk price is very sensitive to global events in both countries, and everyone would like a bigger milk check!
We enjoyed beautiful weather in the 40s and 50s (F) in Germany, while our kids here in the USA worked to keep "Johann LELY" frost-free and working 24/7. Talking with Hendrik last Sunday, he marveled about how mild their winter is and how very frigid ours has been! I will post some German farm pictures as I sort through them in the days ahead.