Attivitą della Rete

Rural4Learning 2016 for future farmers

On-line learning on RDP themes: more than 1500 students involved, 31 secondary vocational schools for agriculture - Students interested in RDPs opportunities and links with careers in agriculture

In the transition to a sustainable future, in which agriculture and nature play an important role, the NRN Project "Rural4Learning. RDP school for future specialist", promoted by the Italian Ministry of Agricultural, Food and Forestry Policies, aims to create opportunities for concrete school-job alternance experiences (on-site study visits, labs, workshops and face to face meetings) integrated in the school programme. Besides that, the project aims to test and transfer effective methods and tools at regional level, in order to contribute to young students stronger involvement. These two objectives will be achieved in 2 ways: -on the one hand an innovative way of networking, in line with NRN objectives on "informing civil society on rural development policy"; -on the other hand, an on-going interactive program focused on Rural Development, which include: short e-learning courses, field training, intensive learning in seminars and support tools for start-up ideas.

Info Box

Ų     Approach
R4L bringstogether a broad range of actors (Schools, local farmers, researchers, NRN or RDPs bodies) to share ideas and expertise. The challenge is tocoordinate the efforts so that they complement.
The R4L projectincludes video-teaching lessons witha focus on farmers successful practices; interviewswith experts discussing successful case histories; rural farmers presentations about their work on specific topics. Theobjective is to improve the understanding of rural development, sustainabledevelopment and food production. Along the way it's also possible to discoverexamples of RDPs benefits for young farmers.
Moreover R4Lprovides on the field training(RuralCAMP summer school) to explore new ways of developing farming and foodproduction: study visits, seminars, stage and labs are specifically designed tosharpen skills, elevate job perspectives and ignite creativity. The R4L programmealso includes high impact talks in fairs,face to face with young farmers, to make agriculture cool for young generations.In order to help the farmers of the future, young farmers share theirexperience, challenges and views about key thematic areas relating to ruraldevelopment, like management of natural resources, farming, food production andsustainable innovation.
Ų  Who is it for?
The currentprogramme involves teachers and students of secondary vocational schools. Studentscan apply as individuals for the "open" course or as classes. Rural developmentstakeholders, as well as regional and local organizations (i.e. ManagingAuthorities, Partners and Lags) take also  part in the project, in order to support the creationof an efficient and interactive network.
Ų  Duration
The wholepackage of skill training cover six months. The online learning course, juststarted, lasts  three weeks and  include a number of skill pills on specific topics, which are followed byverification tests to measure the knowledge acquired, surveys to collectopinions and reference materials in different formats to support users indeepening their knowledge. Everybody will receive feedback to his demands,comments and idea from R4L team.
Ų Outcomes
Evidence from NRNpilot projects, from academic research and from extensive consultation with R4LPartners shows that enhancing students 'core business competencies' canaccelerate their growth. The Rural4Learning 2016 positive impacts are: i) to improvethe understanding of rural development policy; (ii) to analyse how goodpractices of young farmers can be converted into a tool for sustainable growthof young students; and (iii) to spread these contents Italy-wide for allrelevant stakeholders at a regional level, through the support of ruraldevelopment programs.
Ų  Evaluation
This month,Rural4Learning reached 31 secondary vocational schools for agriculture, morethan 2000 Italian students, through a combination of activities: a workshop inRome, online-learning courses, news and information through the website and thefacebook platform.


Attract new generations to learn about agriculture requires effective collaboration among different systems like schools, local farmers, research Institutions and NRN/RDPs bodies. Through this collaboration we want to put into practice the following key components:

  1. Partnership: define an interactive and participative model for knowledge transfer, through a process of field test with the Italians Regions and autonomous provinces.
  2. Quality: ensure valuable learning path, also by transferring the latest technologies and knowledge about environmental sustainability of agriculture. Innovation: inspire learning, start up and the building of both human and social capacity, based on the experience of other in the network
  3. Governance: a road-map to implement at regional scale integrated and multi-fund actions starting from the experience of Rural4Learning project.
Rural 4 learning - Watch the movie.

Paola Lionetti


PianetaPSR numero 52 -aprile2016