"Name specific measures!"
Simone Weyand and her class made it to the farm experience on time despite the train strike. "That was only possible because we have the best parents in the world," she says. Her fifth-grade class travelled to the exhibition grounds from Strausberg, east of Berlin, in their own bus, which the parents quickly organised privately. "We also have the best teacher in the world," says Julia Weber, whose son is in Weyand's class, "because she makes it possible for the children to come here."
A lot to explain
A good 300 children from fourth to seventh grade from Berlin and the Brandenburg suburbs have been invited to the Green Week school press conference this morning. The i.m.a - Information Medien Agrar association has been organising the event for more than 15 years. "Our aim is to get children involved with agriculture and nutrition and perhaps even visit a farm," explains press spokesman Bernd Schwintowski. "Agriculture is no longer at the centre of society, and this is often even true in the countryside, where farms are now located on the outskirts of towns and villages." This is why the agricultural sector has to do a lot of public relations work and explain its topics and working methods.
Classes can visit Grüne Woche free of charge if they take part in the one-hour school press conference. The i.m.a is writing to all primary and secondary schools in Berlin and those in the immediate vicinity in Brandenburg. Places are limited. Whoever registers first is in.
Big eyes on the way through the halls
This includes Fabian Kraft's fifth-grade class, which has gathered at the edge of the seating area in front of the stage, with cocoa, vanilla milk and pretzels, which are also free for the children. Marwa, 11, is later allowed to ask a question. "Our science teacher talked to us about agriculture in class," she says, "but she didn't help us with the questions at all. We had to think of them ourselves because she said hers were too complicated." The class also decided for themselves who should present the questions: Marwa, Abraham and Emiry.
The topic of this year's question time is: "How does the climate affect agriculture?" Nicole Krahn, science teacher at Lynar Primary School in Spandau, says that she has set aside two double lessons to prepare the children for the visit. "We're not a school in the countryside, so it was important for us to get to grips with the topic." For the pupils, Grüne Woche is completely new territory, adds class teacher Kraft. "We are a hotspot school. They were already wide-eyed when we walked here from the north entrance. Just seeing farm animals is new to them."
Clever questions, complicated answers
Then the questions begin. Four farmers are on stage, along with a scientist from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research. "How long do you estimate it will take for a catastrophe to occur if we don't really do something about climate change?" -"Wow!" says climate researcher Dr Claudia Hunecke. "We're right in the middle of the really big questions." She then breaks down the word catastrophe, explains how difficult it is to look into the future and says that, based on current knowledge, without countermeasures it will "no longer be so nice" from 2050, 2070 or 2100 at the latest.
Other questions: What about the farting cows - couldn't they be replaced by goats? What will happen to the old machines in agriculture - if there are more modern ones, won't anyone want the old ones any more?
Then it's Marwa's turn: "What can farmers do to protect the climate?" And Abraham follows up sternly: "Name specific measures!" All the adults around laugh. The farmers talk about "catch crops in winter", cattle on moorland and machines that make it possible to use less fertiliser in the fields. Complicated answers for eleven-year-old boys and girls, but the subject is complex. After an hour, the children whirl off into the halls. They will definitely learn something today.
On Thursday, a school press conference will take place with classes 8 to 13. Topic: "Water - the new currency of agriculture" from 10 to 11 a.m. in Brandenburg Hall 21a.
More information on the school press conference: ima-agrar.de