Adam Hrebíček: Agriculture is an open-air factory, workers are in close contact with nature

Working in agriculture is never monotonous, it is not accompanied by a daily routine.

The work is done outdoors with the changing seasons. "It's an open-air factory, the workers are in close contact with nature," describes farmer Adam Hrebíček, who is a regional Director of Sanagro for the Turiec region. He himself has enjoyed farming since he was a child. "I spent my summer holidays at my grandparents' house in the village, that is, at harvest time. I was fascinated by combine harvesters, tractors and machinery," he describes. He also used to go to agricultural exhibitions and that's when he decided to follow this path.

He studied at the Secondary Agricultural School in Topoľčany and then at the Slovak University of Agriculture in Nitra. He has been working in agriculture since 2015 and started working for Sanagro in 2016, when he joined the Dolné Otrokovce Agricultural Cooperative as an agromechaniser. "I took care of crop production and mechanization and at the beginning of 2017 I became the head of this farm," explains Adam Hrebíček.

Young people work on the farms, as well as experienced ones, before retirement

Since 2021 he has been acting as Regional Director for Turiec Region. "So I am not in charge of one farm, but four. Agricultural Cooperative Turiec, Agricultural Cooperative Mošovce, Agro - Háj and Agro - Háj Mošovce," he enumerated. They are involved in agricultural primary production, i.e. the production of cash crops and fodder crops for livestock, whether for dairy cattle, beef cattle and dairy sheep farming. They produce cow's and sheep's milk for dairies and meat farming for other customers. "We employ young people from the age of 20 up to experienced pre-retirees and we also use retirees in season," adds Adam Hrebicek. There are 64 men and 21 women working on the farms.

Older workers, he said, have been working on the cooperative all their lives, and the younger workers have been brought up by their parents, who also worked on cooperatives, so it's in their blood. "Those who don't know what farming is all about will give it a try and quickly flee to the comfort of factories or other industries," adds Adam Hrebíček.

He therefore sees the shortage of skilled workers as one of the challenges facing the agricultural sector. He points out that the development of new technologies is also progressing rapidly in the agro-industry and is finding its way to young and skilled people. At the same time, he says, working on the farm tends to be in a smaller team of people who know each other and have bonds with each other.

Fighting climate change

According to Adam Hrebíček, agriculture in Slovakia is also struggling with climate change and is trying to adapt to it. For example, new technologies and crops suitable for our conditions are being sought. At the same time, they are dealing with problems such as overpopulated wildlife or the struggle on the commodity market and low marketing prices. Legislation and the problems associated with it are also a problem. "We want to develop a management system in our region called Agroforestry and, of course, to increase the production and quality of the crops grown each year, to expand specialty crop production and to milk enough milk to be economically efficient," he describes.


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