Farming in the Alpine region is traditional, diverse and valuable for nature. At the same time, the future of alpine agriculture is often uncertain: young people as potential farm successors must decide whether they remain in the region or migrate because of lack of prospects, e.g. to metropolitan regions.
A continuation of alpine pasture and mountain farming and thus the attractive Alpine landscape as the basis for biodiversity and mountain tourism, the culture and tradition as well as the regional added value in many regions is only possible if there are well-trained and motivated farm successors as well as professional young farmers for alpine farming, which recognize opportunities for development in the Alpine region for themselves and their business. It is also necessary to participate in an appropriate technological progress and innovation specific to the mountain farming.
Political processes such as the further development of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) at European level or the European Strategy for the Alpine Space (EUSALP) are trying to help shape these developments. In the case of decisions with an impact on the future of mountain farming, new paths should be taken and the young people should be encouraged to contribute their own ideas. For example, the digitalization allows cross-sectoral approaches to solutions as well as new life and work models - also in the Alpine region. In this context, the diversification of agriculture is of particular importance, which can open up new or additional income sources besides agricultural income. The targeted cooperation of the mountain areas with the surrounding metropolises also offers new opportunities and future perspectives.
By active and age - group - oriented participation of the young generation,
• new and creative approaches, such as producer-consumer cooperations, solidarity farming, caring community, crowd funding models, online marketing of products and services shall be recognized and exchanged as well as innovations are mobilized and
• ultimately lead to political recommendations at regional, national or European level.
In many regions of the Alpine region, making mountain farming fit for the big challenges (climate change, biodiversity, additional income perspectives, professional combinations and the expansion of connectivity and mobility) are a major challenge because of the imminent migration and marginalization of the land. By an international and interregional exchange of experiences among the young generation of mountain farmers and their staff and with agricultural policy experts, concepts for securing the future can be worked out together, that improve the prospects for staying in the Alpine region or even coming back.
The project was initiated during the EUSALP Bavarian Presidency 2017 as focus topic of the Action Group 6.