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Farming Insiders: Paweł and Wiesław Strzemiecki, Poland

About Pawel and Wiesław

Paweł Strzemiecki inherited his family’s multi-generational farm from his father Wiesław. He was given the first hectares of land in 2001, when he began his studies at the University of Agriculture, but has been running the whole farm himself since 2006. Before retiring, his father Wiesław had worked in agriculture for more than 50 years, and he likewise ran the farm together with his father for a long time. It is now looking likely that Paweł’s two sons will also follow the same path.

Farm facts

Family-run farm where several generations work together.

Location: Farm in Rokitno in Lubuskie voivodeship

Crops cultivated: cereals, rapeseed and pulses

Special features: During his working life, Wiesław Strzemiecki was a coach for adolescent farmers. He taught agricultural trainees on his farm, showing them the modern farming methods at that time and how to run a farm.

This love of farming, of the farming tradition, goes back generations in our family.
Wiesław Strzemiecki, Poland

Question time

Paweł, what values are important to you as a farmer?

I place great emphasis on values that I pursue in life in general, not just as a farmer, but as a human being generally. I strive to be perceived as a fair and reliable person, to be trustworthy and helpful to other people. This is the approach I apply to my land – in other words I want to be honest in a way with my land too, not to betray the ground we work on. I invest in the land, not only to harvest but also to give something of myself into it.
Wiesław: This love for farming, for the farming tradition, goes back generations in our family. My grandfather, like my father, was a farmer.

And I think it’s hugely important to feel this love. I inherited it, taking after my parents, and I have always done the work with joy, with passion. That’s what makes our multi-generational farm what it is, along with our tradition that goes back a long way.

Paweł, what challenges did you have to face when you took over the farm?

First of all, farming is quite a complex business, a complex profession where you have to gain expertise in many different areas. So it was a great challenge to acquire the knowledge to not only manage the farm, but also to run it in a way that maximizes its potential. Part of this involves introducing more and more modern technologies, including those related to precision agriculture. I had to learn to work on these things systematically. But I have managed to introduce more and more different technologies on my farm, and there are plenty innovations to come that I dream about today, but which might become reality in the future. I am certain that technologies will also help to ensure that the work farmers do is perceived more positively by outsiders too – when consumers see that we don’t just care about our own profits but also about the environment we all live in.

Wiesław, was it hard for you to hand over the farm?

I relinquished my duties as manager of the farm, as the person who makes decisions, bit by bit. In doing so, I taught my son what it means to be a farmer in charge of a business and I involved him more and more in decision-making. The handover was gradual, not sudden, which meant it wasn’t difficult to pass on my farm to my son, because I trust him and believe that he does now and will in future continue to do a good job. It is reassuring that he is happy in this role. I feel a sense of fulfillment. In the beginning it’s merely a dream to find a successor – and I also hope that my grandchildren will be interested in agriculture and perhaps become farmers themselves.

You are positive about the future. Paweł, do you think that the future of your two sons is also on this farm which you inherited from your father?

It is up to them what they want to do with their lives, and it’s hard to say what things will be like in 15 to 20 years when they are grown up, and making own decisions for life. Certainly it would be nice if they take over the farm, the land that they will inherit from me. And then expand it so that they also have the chance to run a farm that feeds them – I’d like to lay the groundwork for that and continue to modernize the farm. In any case, I hope that at least one of them takes over the farm, but I wouldn’t force them to do so. Regardless of whether they take over the land or not, I hope they are able to work in a way that makes them happy.

…although the way things look now, it seems there is some interest there even at a young age…

Yes, right now they are interested in what I do. They often join me at work and even cultivate their own little fields. My older son also helps my wife in her garden, where he has his own vegetables. He likes this kind of work too. My boys also try to copy me somehow, and it speaks for our abilities as parents that we can get them excited about what we are doing. After all, if they copy me then it means I’m teaching them something which they enjoy. I try to talk to them a lot about what I do, to answer questions.

If my children take over the farm one day, either both or just one of them, then I will certainly want to have given them understand that you always have to strive for growth. In a sensible way of course, as I did – first they need to take care of the land they own.

Paving the way. For a fruitful tomorrow.

Farm life is often characterized by family cohesion and traditions that have grown over decades. Around the world, many generations live and work on farms under one roof, and at some point the question of farm succession comes up. Our new Farmer Portraits focus on this generational change that many farmers are facing. Young and old alike - we visited farmers on their farms to have them tell us about their stories, their challenges and their hopes.


Cole Vis, USA

“My wish for the future of the family farm is that it will still be run well in the fifth, sixth, and seventh generation.”


Arco Van Triest, Netherlands

“This farm has been running since 1900, and now my children are here.“


Adem Biçici, Turkey

“When I go out into the fields with my grandson, I see myself reflected in his curiosity.“


Brian Ryberg, USA

“I think the feeling of being part of something greater has always been important to me.“


Šandor Sabo junior, Croatia

“Whatever problems we are facing, we solve them together. For me, family is all about cohesion.“


Atila Sabo, Croatia

“Every morning, my brother and I agree what we want to do during the day, what our duties are. So we share the work and have passed on this structure to our children in the same way.“


Carla, Fábio and José Rossato, Brazil

“I never had any doubts; I never wanted to be anything but a farmer.”


Dimitar Vukudinov, Bulgaria

”Working with your own father means that you always have a wiser man with you to support you and look up to.”


Rodolfo Cura, Argentina

“The farm is everything to me. Working in agriculture is the greatest way to do what I love. For me, the farm means freedom.”


Heidi Verschelde, Belgium

"I think the next generation is showing a keen sense for the importance of nature."


Ievhenii Bondarchuk, Ukraine

"If you want to be a farmer, you can’t learn that in an institute. It’s something you have to be born with."


Luigi Torri, Italy

“I hope my sons will pass on the love and respect for the earth and all the values I taught them.”


Paweł Strzemiecki, Poland

“This love of farming, of the farming tradition, goes back generations in our family.”


Emma F., UK

“It would be great if one day the sixth or seventh generation of our family runs the farm.“


Peter Carlisle, UK

“Teamwork is the most important thing on our farm. Everyone does a little bit of everything. If we weren't a team, our business wouldn't be as successful as it is today.“


Henning & Arne Beecken, Germany

“The feeling of wanting to continue the work on the farm has grown day by day since childhood.“


Emanuele Bortoli, Italy

“Reliability and respect form the foundation for how we deal with one another. These are values I`ve always held in high esteem.“


Francis Bapst, Switzerland

“For me, the most important values are respect for nature, understanding our consumers and food production.”


Toni & Daniel Peterhans, Switzerland

”Spirit and passion are what leads to success, whether it's in farming or on the football pitch.”


Riccardo Casarotto, Italy

”Independence is a dream that we should all cultivate and pursue. Dreams are there to come true and to help you progress.”


Stephan Jansen, Belgium

”I look forward to waking up every day and being able to work with nature.”


Gizem Anar, Turkey

”People should love what they do, and I love farming. I enjoy looking after animals, plants and nature and try to feel connected to them!.”


Adrian Knuchel, Switzerland

”For me, team spirit means being able to live and work together. It means ongoing exchange, taking each other, mutual ideas and suggestions seriously.”


Gürkan Ilhan, Turkey

”People who work in agriculture, cultivating crops, rearing livestock and working on the land, accumulate positive memories day after day.”


René Vermue, Netherlands

”Team spirit and reliability are hugely important in both my personal life and my working life – be it with colleagues, employees, or in dealings with other farmers.”


Henrick Dieckmann, Germany

”For me, it´s important to be sustainable and healthy in what we produce.”

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