-The students on The Young Farming Start-Up Business Organization.
Kim Ju Myeong Reporter
Under the sun, young farmers who grow crops in the fields are on the JBNU campus. Students are growing their own crops from beginning to end, to get a good quality produce. JBNU Globe will introduce the Young Agricultural Start-up Business Organization in collaboration with the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, which trains talented students who will be the mainstay of our primary industry in the future.
The Young Farming Start-up Business Organization at JBNU was developed by the government in 2016. This project, which is led by the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (MAFRA) allows young people to engage and settle in a life of farming. The main purpose was to educating students to start an agricultural business. But recently, MAFRA is also focusing on educating students to find employment in agriculture-related companies, once they graduate from JBNU.
Students participating in this organization go through a different curriculum than other students. There are four non-major subject classes. There are clubs where students grow melons, tomatoes & Sweet Potatoes, Pumpkins and Flowers. A fourth-year at the department of Horticulture Jeong Hoe-yun, the head of the business organization crop team, said, "As a student, these activities were very interesting to me. In fact, the tenacity to take care of the plants led to much theoretical study on crop cultivation and protection, and many studies on crop facilities. Moreover, you can gain intellectual curiosity and responsibility, as well as confidence by looking at the crops you grow yourself." However, the livestock sector is also trying to make a club like horticulture sector did. Song Wan- sun, the administrator of the organization said, “There are many difficulties in dealing with life. When an acute animal disease problem breaks out, it is difficult to get a donated animal. It is preparing for pilot operations this year as it prepares step by step.”
Students may take Young Farming Start-up Business Organization classes for the same number of credits within their major subject, without having to add an additional major. Courses may be divided into basic, advanced, preparation for starting their own business, or internship. In one of the basic courses of the Young Farming Start-up Business Organization, students learn what they need to be familiar with and understand the fields of livestock and horticulture. For example, in “Livestock Nutrition and Specification Management” course, students are taught about livestock farming. Likewise, in the horticulture field, focusing on land environmental studies can help students learn how to create an environment in which crops will grow well and plentiful. In the advanced courses, students are taught certain skills they will need once they get into the Agriculture and Life Sciences-related workforce. They can earn certification in Livestock Management and Distribution in order to learn how to control a greenhouse environment, protecting fruit trees post-harvest and managing fruit distribution. While preparing to start their own business, students will take courses offered in business start-ups, building up knowledge through agricultural trade and various seminars.
The Young Farming Business Organization student members do not just study in school. They receive hands-on practical training by leaving the university and receiving educational mentorship, field trips and workshops, real-world experiences to get their business start-ups off to a smooth start and help them settle into this primary industry. About six times a year, students aiming for a career in the agriculture business, are offered on-site visits and mentoring by agriculture Masters, recognized by the Korea Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry. Woo Jeong A, administrator of this group, shared, “Mentors give students advice on agriculture, coach them on cultivation techniques, and practice using their (the Masters’) farms. Mentors guide their apprentices in growing crops such as bell peppers, apples, and peaches. They also run seed companies for their students interested in researching jobs in the industry.” Additionally, there are regularly scheduled field trips to agricultural fairs in Jeollabuk-do. Last October, students attended the 2019 Korea Seed Expo, which was held in Gimje
There are total five Young Farming Start-up Business Organizations in the country, and JBNU has its own advantage. It’s a young farmers’ farming cooperative. As recently as last year, this cooperative was created using the same concepts as an ordinary association. But students in the horticulture field developed it with the desire to create the first young farmers’ farming cooperative in the country. Through such Co-operatives, fresh produce such as melons, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, pumpkins, and plants and flowers are grown directly in fields and greenhouses at schools and sold for small profits. The Students grew their own crops as well as conducted their own distribution, sales and marketing activities, becoming "young farmers" at schools working in the primary industry, as well as the sixth industry. Kim Kang-san, a freshman at the Department of Horticulture said, "It is good that we can learn a more intensified course in our major classes by participating in a business group. Usually, the major classes will get to know the theory well, but they lack hands-on skills. I think it is a lot to learn from the experience that I have experienced and learned. Because farming is made of tasks, which consumes lots of time and effort to get results. Growing and protecting need to be changed depending on the situation. The school gave me a chance to experience these things myself. Moreover, I gained confidence knowing that I could do something related to farming after graduation."