Youth, Agriculture and Social-Economy – Practice Research Program from Zhengyang Ecological Farm

The first stage Progress Report

Time: May 2015-April 2016

Part I: Introduction

The program is aimed to attract more young people from the city into agricultural production and living. Through this project, our research team is to enhance the development and creation of an alternative interaction between city and the countryside.

1) Through developing the youth agricultural services, more urban young people get into farm and to practice and participate in agricultural production activities;

2) Through thematic workshop to cultivate and development the skeleton team member;

3) To provide agricultural education and to let more urban young consumers have better understanding and awareness of agricultural production;

4) Through observations and interviews, to understand the feelings and changing thoughts of young people who participate in farm.

Phase I 

To introduce adolescent agricultural services, let them "do", feel and experience

In the first phase, the project team designed and implemented two agricultural services for the youth.

1.1 "Farming Experience Services" initial contact with agricultural activities, so that the youth joined participation in planting, cultivation, harvest, and other aspects of farming. In 8 months, the youth learned the basic progress, workflow and characteristics of farming. A total of nearly 60 teenagers were involved in the services provided.

1.2 "Artist Farming Services" more advanced farming service. For the youth who want to further develop on agricultural production with independent participation. It takes another 10 months to experience this farming service. Now we have 14 youngsters are joining this service.  

2. Second, through the thematic groups, the backbone of the cultivation and development activities

In the first phase, the project team using the methods of work groups, youth groups participating in the recruitment and launched the "I am the master of the farm," group activities. Section 4 Sub-total, there have been 10 teenagers and their families to participate, through participation in discussion, design and implementation of the transformation of small landlords farm farming greenhouses, these young people gradually become the backbone of farm activities. They sincere dialogue with the person in charge of the farm JIANG Zheng Chao, a farm confinement and delve into issues in terms of venues and facilities, play to their talents design rehabilitation programs, and parents and staff together to complete the transformation of greenhouses. The whole process, so that young people participate in farm affairs enthusiasm and initiative has been greatly improved, but also allow them to form a good team spirit, make their own ability to have a good faith. After this they are group activities, volunteer groups formed the farm, the design and implementation of the Farm "Halloween PARTY" with social workers, they organized and led the activities to other teenagers bring a good demonstration.

3. Third, the development of agricultural education, agricultural production and promote urban consumer understanding and awareness

The project team during the past year, the establishment of a "eco-home music band" micro-channel public number, through the "village classroom" approach, development of agricultural education services to participants and the public. In the first phase, a total of six on-line village classroom, teenagers and urban consumers want to increase the understanding and knowledge of agricultural production. The project team conducted a statistical background to the public through the number of push and circulated, and found that the amount of reading constantly upgrading.


4. Fourth, through participant observation and interviews, to understand the feelings and changes in youth participation in agriculture

This project is an action research, our study focused on youth participation in agricultural activities after the impact they bring on, they are also very concerned with agriculture and the interaction between agricultural producers and the impact of this process, this observation for us to understand the current "Town - village" and - tension "consumer producer" and other relations have help, we will establish a new type of thinking and practice "city - town" and "consumer - producer" lay the foundation for the relationship.

In the first phase of the project team members primarily use participant observation and focus groups to gather information. We found that there are three key concepts emerge gradually in the first stage, they are "green living", "growth" and "relations."