Meadows, fields, fields, pastures, forests: around half of Germany’s land area is used for agriculture . Most farmers are dairy and livestock farming, but growing grain, fruit and vegetables also play an important role. In some regions of Germany which is wine , many people in the foreground while in coastal areas still living with the fisheries deserve. After all, a third of the country is covered by forests, which not only serve as nature reserves, but also for forestry use .
In this way, German farmers and foresters produce agricultural products worth around 40 billion euros every year. This means that they cover a large part of the domestic demand for food and renewable raw materials. Germany is the third largest exporter of agricultural products worldwide . In order for them to continue operating successfully in the future, however, farmers and foresters must use the available landscape as efficiently as possible. Aspects such as ecological agriculture and the protection of forests, bodies of water and other natural areas play an important role. Future farmers and foresters learn how to deal with these challenges during their studies.
Agricultural and Forestry Disciplines: An Overview
The degree programs in the field of agricultural and forest science reflect the various forms of agricultural use. The broadest subject in terms of content is probably the agricultural sciences . These deal with the “classic” facets of agriculture , ie the production of wheat, forage plants, vegetables, fruit, meat and renewable raw materials. The students illuminate these topics from a (natural) scientific perspective. They also deal with economic aspects of agriculture. Questions about sustainability and environmental protection also play a role. In later semesters as well as in the context of theDuring the master’s degree, there is often a specialization in sub-areas such as agricultural engineering, economics or organic farming.
Viticulture and Enology
Since the cultivation of wine is a topic in itself, there are specialized courses for this branch of agriculture . These study programs replace the traditional winemaking apprenticeship in Germany. Alternatively, a dual study of viticulture and oenology is also possible. The courses impart basic knowledge in the fields of chemistry , biology or soil science. In addition, business and technical aspects of viticulture are also on the curriculum. In particular, the master’s programs in viticulture / oenology prepare students for management positions .
According to mbakecheng, the fishing industry is also a very specialized area within the agricultural sciences. Some German universities therefore offer master’s programs in which agricultural scientists, biologists or engineers receive further training in the field of aquaculture and fisheries . The students get to know the basics of fish farming . At the same time they deal with the various technical possibilities of fishing and the operation of aquaculture. Even basic economic knowledge in the curriculum.
Another special field of agriculture is the horse industry . As part of this course, students are initially taught the basics from the fields of biology and physics . In the higher semesters, they then deal intensively with the keeping and breeding of four-legged friends . Economic content such as management or marketing are also on the curriculum.
Forest science and forestry
The subjects of forest science and forestry, horticulture and landscape architecture are not directly part of the agricultural sciences. What they have in common is that here, too, a lot revolves around the economic and ecological use of plants and their cultivation areas.
In Germany, forest science is offered exclusively by universities. They prepare the students for a higher state forestry career, more precisely the profession of forest office manager . The forestry course offered at universities of applied sciences , on the other hand, trains you to become a forester or district manager .
In both courses, students first acquire knowledge in the fields of biology, chemistry, botany or zoology . Only then do they specifically deal with the maintenance, protection and economic use of the forest . At a later stage in the course, there is the opportunity to specialize in one of these aspects.
In their studies, horticultural scientists deal with the cultivation of vegetables, fruits, ornamental plants and trees . In the Department of Production Horticulture they learn, for example, which floors are best suited for which plants or fertilizer which they tolerate best. In addition, topics such as trade, marketing or sales are also on the curriculum. These subjects prepare students for activities in the service sector, such as running a garden center.
Landscape architects deal with the design of landscapes . Cultivated landscapes such as gardens or parks as well as the planning and preservation of natural spaces play a role here. Accordingly, the students acquire botanical knowledge as well as design and technical knowledge in their studies . Issues such as nature conservation and sustainability also play an important role.
In the higher semesters of the bachelor’s or master’s degree, students specialize in individual areas of activity, such as landscape or open space planning or garden monument maintenance .
A degree in the field of agriculture and forestry is not for “office people” . During their studies, the students spend a lot of time in the fresh air and have contact with animals. But a love of nature alone is not enough: In the course of study, knowledge from the fields of natural sciences is particularly important . Ideally, applicants already had good grades in school or at least enjoyed subjects such as biology or chemistry . An interest in topics such as sustainability and environmental protection and a certain technical understanding are also helpful.
Most graduates of agricultural and forestry courses later work in the agricultural sector. Their specialist knowledge and qualifications in the economic sector enable them to run their own production company or a stud farm . The sale of agricultural products is also possible .
Due to their good scientific education, jobs in industrial research are also possible. You participate in the development of new fertilizers or breed new types of plants. Other graduates work in the service sector . Here they advise owners of large agricultural businesses or plan gardens, parks and other open spaces.
Activities in public administration are also possible, for example at forest offices, chambers of agriculture or environmental protection authorities. Other employers are agricultural associations, specialist publishers or tourism companies . With a master’s degree, graduates also have the opportunity to pursue an academic career.
Semester abroad: advantages for agricultural and forestry scientists
Anyone who would like to work abroad in the future has the opportunity to apply to an NGO or a development cooperation institution . For the positions there, however, knowledge of foreign languages and international experience are usually required. Studying abroad offers students the opportunity to acquire these additional qualifications . A semester abroad is also a great opportunity for students who want to work in local agriculture to get to know other forms of landscape . In this way, they gain a new perspective on the local agricultural or forestry sector and at the same time make friends from all over the world.