Peter Kukan: Work in agriculture is wonderful in that it knows no stereotype

Every day, week or month is different in agriculture. Quite simply, this job knows no stereotype.

And that, according to farmer Peter Kukan, is what's great about the profession. "There are always new and new challenges that push you further," he describes.

Peter Kukan has always enjoyed working in the fields and with animals. His father, with whom he used to go on rolls and take care of pets from a very young age, certainly had a lot to do with that. And this remained with him until he reached adulthood. "I don't remember ever thinking of working in any other field, because I was absorbed in this work with everything that goes with it. Although there are certainly areas of work that are less physically and mentally demanding," he explains.

Top milk suppliers

He graduated from the Secondary School of Agriculture in Nitra in the field of farming and entered agriculture in 1999 after basic military service. He started as an assistant agronomist on the Agrovia farm in Horní Otrokovce. After a few years he became a mechaniser and later worked as an agromechaniser, he was in charge of the centre in Agrovia and later also of the Agricultural Cooperative in Šalgovce. "From 2023 I will be Regional Director in the Hlohovec region at Sanagro," says Peter Kukan. He is therefore responsible for the Food Farm Dolné Trhovište, EKO Food Farm Leopoldov, Agrovia Farm, Agricultural Cooperative Dolné Otrokovce and Agricultural Cooperative Šalgovce, which have become part of of Sanagro in 2018. "We deal with crop and livestock production. In crop production we grow crops on 6970 hectares of land. Of this, we have converted 960 hectares at EKO Food Farm Leopoldov to organic crop production in 2024," says Peter Kukan.

In conventional production, the farms grow cereals, oilseeds, pulses and fodder for cattle. In livestock production, dairy cattle are reared. "Within the primary milk producers, we are among top suppliers with a daily supply of 28 000 litres of milk," adds Peter Kukan. In total, he said, 75 employees and 18 technical and economic workers work on the farms.

Work in agriculture is suitable for active people with a connection to nature

Peter Kukan took his job like any other job at the beginning, but it was only over time that he realised the responsibility he had. "This work has become a strong part of my life," he adds. He says the company places great emphasis on modernisation, working with people and interpersonal relations are important. There is a friendly atmosphere and a collective spirit on the farms, but expertise and quality are also important.

He admits that interest in the profession is generally weak across the country and especially in the region, where there are many other employment opportunities. However, Peter Kukan would recommend working in agriculture to young people and to all active people who have a relationship with animals and nature. "What makes this industry great is that it is impossible to be stereotyped in it. Therefore, you don't have a lot of opportunities to come to burnout," says the farmer.

At the same time, it's working outdoors and with live animals, so it's often influenced by factors that humans can't change. That is why he believes it is a great achievement to have quality, dedicated and committed people on the farms.

He would like to lead farms to become modern, stable and competitive companies with a lot of quality and hard-working people. At the same time, he would also like to see the profession attractive to young people, thus helping to modernise the whole agricultural sector even further.

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