Agriculture Conference 2015

How can we accompany the animals with dignity into the future?

Agriculture Conference at the Goetheanum 4th – 7th of February 2015

The contribution made by farm animals is in many ways irreplaceable. The keeping of livestock today however is facing serious challenges. These concern firstly the ethical relationship we have to animals, secondly the way we understand their essential nature and mission and thirdly how we integrate them into the farm on a daily basis. 

Against the background of a justified concern about factory farming it is becoming increasingly difficult to gain social acceptance for the idea of keeping livestock at all. Every use of animals is considered to be exploitation. If we bear in mind however that this partnership between humans and animals has existed for several thousand years, such a rejection of 'brother animal' is culturally regressive. The question facing us is: How can we accompany animals with dignity into the future?

To answer this question, we need to ask ourselves: What is the essential nature of animals? What is their task? Linked as an evolutionary sibling of humanity, the animal kingdom with its huge diversity of form and physical specialisations has from a certain point of view laid the foundations for human physical existence. With its capaicity for evolving spiritually, the human being has been charged with responsibility for the animals. "Please tame me" said the fox to the little prince. This means in effect: Include me in your cultural development. Are we able to do this in agriculture and society today?

In nature and on the farms, animals create habitats. Each animal species needs and supports its own habitat. How can such mutually dependent living spaces be realised in such a way that the farm becomes a 'cultural biotope' for our animals? More concretely: How do we achieve the necessary 24 hour / 7 day a week care? How do we value the keeping of cattle? Is it possible to breed a farm specific herd?

These are questions that we will explore together during the Agriculture Conference 2015 through lectures, dialogue workshops, research reports and experiential sketches. In this way the most recent developments from across the world will be presented and provide inspiration for our life and work with animals.

The conference is open to all who are interested in this topic. A warm welcome! All contributions will be translated simultaneously into German, English, French, Spanish and Italian.

Registration

Intensive study week 2015

Registrations are now open for the next Intensive Study Week "Shaping the future" for those carrying responsibility in the organic and biodynamic movement. The Intensive Study Week will take place from 11-16 of January. For the first time the Intensive Study Week will be held in english and german. Click here for more information.

New publication: Agriculture for the future

Agriculture for the Future

Biodynamic agriculture today.
90 years since Koberwitz

Ueli Hurter (Ed.)

The «Agricultural Course» held in 1924 by Rudolf Steiner gave a new impulse for the development of agriculture: a holistic agriculture, which uses a modern approach to work directly with the life processes of nature and thus opens a new perspective on the future cultivation of the earth came into being. Since its beginnings, 90 years ago, a worldwide movement has emerged. In this book competent authors describe the development and diversity of the biodynamic agriculture movement: The historical development – The farm as an organism – Scientific research results – New methods of research – Fertilization, composting, biodynamic preparations – Landscaping – Subtropical and Tropical Agriculture – Seed breeding – Constellation research – Bees – Wine – Nutrition – Demeter, a worldwide label for biodynamic produce – Training – Social farming – Social design, land law and new forms of marketing – Outstanding examples from all continents.
The documentation provides an overview of the key ideas of biodynamic agriculture and the variety of ways in which they have developed in the worldwide biodynamic agriculture movement in the 90 years since Koberwitz.


This publication will be available in german at the beginning of february and in english in mid february.
Published by the Verlag am Goetheanum.
ISBN: 978-3-7235-1512-9

The Section for Agriculture at the Goetheanum

The Section for Agriculture at the Goetheanum is one of currently eleven departments of the School of Spiritual Science based at the Goetheanum in Dornach, Switzerland. The Section for Agriculture contributes to the development of agriculture, out of anthroposophical spiritual science. The main tasks of the Section for Agriculture are to coordinate and give impulses to the worldwide biodynamic agriculture movement.
Biodynamic agriculture was born in 1924, in a series of lectures given by Rudolf Steiner, known as the "Agriculture Course". Nowadays biodynamic agriculture is practiced worldwide with over 150.000 ha of certified biodynamic land (certified by Demeter). The ideas behind biodynamic agriculture have infused and inspired many related fields such as landscape work, nutrition, social therapy, bee-keeping, wine making and many more. Also new research methods, new economic systems for agriculture and new systems of land ownership (amongst other innovations) have been developed out of the biodynamic movement.
To find out more about biodynamic agriculture, you can navigate our website, read a recommended publication, contact a biodynamic association near you or come along to one of the events from the Section for Agriculture! The Agriculture Conference in early February is a good place to get to know the biodynamic movement.