Towards future land-use technologies: Life-long learning experiences on excursions
Keywords:agricultural research, education, land-use, life-long learning
The integration of current agricultural research results including the use of the latest technologies into professional practice and university teaching requires direct exchange between employed people, students, and researchers. One possibility is the visit of research stations to observe, interpret and discuss the effects of different land-use treatments. This article explains the advantages, challenges and efforts of universities as organizers of excursions. Therefore, a pilot excursion to a well-known research station with a visit to an orchard in Central Germany with students and employees took place. Besides the numerous experiments, the challenges of agriculture in a dry climate (average yearly precipitation from 1896 to 2004 is 484mm) on the very nutrient-rich chernozem were an important topic. Our experiences from this excursion show high potential and the special value of this event to combine the practical challenges of land use with the new possibilities of research. Preparing the content of the excursion to support practical understanding and discussion with the scientists proved to be an advantage. Also useful is a follow-up session for sustainable use of the information gathered during the field trip. Of great importance is an administrative structure at the university that supports this type of teaching.
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