30 years of commitment to rural areas: the village development school in Thierhaupten celebrates its anniversary

30 years of commitment to rural areas: the village development school in Thierhaupten celebrates its anniversary

Photo: Thomas Baumgartner

Managing Director Gerlind Augustin presents Agriculture Secretary Michaela Caneber the “pioneering cherry cow,” the SDL’s mascot.

The School for Village and Rural Development Thierhaupten (SDL) recently celebrated its 30th anniversary. County Council President, Martin Seiler, and Bavarian Minister of Food, Agriculture and Forestry, Michaela Caneber, visited the inner courtyard of the former Benedictine monastery, where various players in rural development have been supported for 30 years.

In his speech, he recalled founding father Holger Magel, who created a musical instrument with schools to enable citizens to help shape their living space. According to Seiler, since the opening of the SDL in Thierhaupten in the Augsburg region, more than 45,000 people at more than 200 events have been informed and supported in local development. “Every year, SDL Thierhaupten receives more than 250 mayors,” says Seiler. “The numbers speak for themselves.”

“The aim of the Village and Rural Development Schools in Thierhaupten is to reach, empower and bring people together,” said Michaela Caneber. With a “commitment and passion for the subjects and for the people of rural areas”, this was very successful in the Augsburg region. In light of the many challenges such as climate change, the energy crisis and economic transformation, it is currently important to design processes of change as quickly as possible. However, it is always about reaching people. “Citizens want to be emotionally taken,” Caneber said.

Martin Berner, president of the Bavarian Community Council in the Upper Palatinate, also praised the inclusion of people in SDL Thierhaupten: “You are the only management that involves the local people in the projects, which leads to a high level of acceptance.”

Christian Cree, as Vice Chairman and Member of the SDL Advisory Board, presented ideas for future development. Municipalities often need quick individual solutions that must be included in long-term strategies. It is important to expand networks and integrate different disciplines more closely. In order to shape the far-reaching change in the countryside, new methods must be developed and forms adapted. “We also want to get people involved in politics,” Cree hopes. (evening)

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