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International Leadership Workshop for Rural Youth





29th Workshop in 2019: "Gaining skills - sharing knowledge - building networks". 07.–20.08.2019

Participants. © BLE



The International Workshop

Every other year, the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture organises the International Leadership Workshop for Rural Youth. It has been taking place for over fifty years in Herrsching on Lake Ammersee in southern Germany.

Participants 2017

Participants 2017. © BLE

The desire expressed by many European rural youth leaders in the 1950s to build up a permanent training centre for the mutual exchange of experiences and ideas came from a meeting of the representatives of the FAO (UN Food and Agriculture Organisation), UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation) and WAY (World Assembly of Youth) on 22 July 1960 in Paris. There, Germany declared its willingness to establish an International Workshop for Rural Youth Work.

Leaders from all over the world were to be given many different forms of support and provided with ideas for the further development and strengthening of rural youth work.

Ever since the first event in 1962, all international seminars have been conducted at the House of Bavarian Agriculture in Herrsching (Lake Ammersee) under the patronage of the FAO. Over 1900 participants from roughly 150 countries have attended the 28 international workshops that have been held to date.

Important inspiration and concrete ideas for improving rural youth work have been implemented all over the world in the past decades.

Unique in the world, this workshop enjoys an excellent reputation in the rural youth movements of all continents.


+49 (0)228 6845-2681, -3920

Federal Office for Agriculture and Food
Workshop Secretariat
Department 323 - International Cooperation and Global Food Security
Deichmanns Aue 29
53179 Bonn, Germany




"I just never liked it to end." - Noeline Nalukwago, Uganda
I hadn't expected before to attend such an international workshop. So at first, I was nervous but as days went on I liked it so much that I didn’t want it to end. I really enjoyed it and the skills and knowledge I gained from it.

"I learned the importance of communication." - Hiromitsu Iio, Japan
I have had many experiences so far and have been studying. However, this workshop was more exciting than any experience so far and I was able to learn through many encounters and the respect each side gave to the other, I understood my own subjectivity, leadership and cooperation. In an international network, words are really important. Especially for those who aim at becoming rural leaders. Using precise words and deepening understanding together is really important. I strongly learned that one skill is to understand by listening to people's stories and that this skill is different from talking about my thoughts. But, I also learned to supplement my language skills by making reliable relationships via improved communication skills using the various methods that were taught in this workshopBy learning and spending time with people from all over the world, I learned the importance of communication, my ability, and what I need to learn. I would like to study more in the future so that we can meet everyone on the international stage as rural leaders again. Thanks for everything; you gave me many opportunities to learn.

"A huge family around the globe" - Seher Gumus, Türkei
Working in a group with different cultures as well as different personalities is exactly what the Seminar is about: "Inspiration from Diversity!" Even if it was challenging sometimes, we have seen that with communication and collaboration: Everything is possible and we can get the result. Regarding leadership skills, knowing my capabilities is another feedback of the Seminar, as we all have the chance to express ourselves at the same level. For my personal interest, I also learned different techniques of presentations; like role playing and pecha kucha and I know better now how to enrich my presentations. And the best thing about the Seminar is having all these experiences in a very comfortable environment where everybody feels at ease and makes others feel at ease too. As a final remark, I would like to mention that networking is one my expectations before the Seminar and now, I believe that I have a huge family around the globe.

"A once in a lifetime opportunity" - Trevor Mtisi, Simbabwe
The seminar is a worthwhile once in a lifetime opportunity, which is structured in a way that prepared us physically, through the well-timed excursions and mentally through the presentations and class activities. Personally, I felt empowered because the seminar constitutes an excellent foundation for good leadership and interpersonal cooperation which are keys to the development of communities.

"In Herrsching I saw peace, I felt it and I lived it." - Hana Voca, Kosovo
As a person who was born and raised in a conflict zone, I must say, I do believe in peace and I am eagerly willing to work for it. In Herrsching I saw peace, I felt it and I lived it for two weeks with hundred people coming from different countries. Politics, race, religion and other meaningless ideologies did not make any sense when we joined together to build our teams, when we shared Bavarian food, when we clapped to Russian songs or danced Taiwanese dance. Herrsching indeed works! I suggest to make this kind of seminars for politicians - maybe they will find a way to get inspired by diversity.