News

JA Europe & Monsanto expand partnership to foster youth agricultural entrepreneurship

23 January 2017

JA Europe and Monsanto are expanding their partnership from six to 10 European countries, seeking to equip students with the skills they need to get a job or start a business in the agricultural industry.

Through this initiative, students aged 15-18 have the opportunity to try their hand at entrepreneurship with the mentorship of Monsanto business volunteers from across Europe. Activities include classroom visits, mentoring, innovation camps, masterclasses and seminars, job shadowing opportunities and national competitions.
Last year marked the launched of the Monsanto-JA Europe partnership across six countries: Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic, Romania, Slovakia and Turkey. This year the programme expands to Belgium, Spain, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. The year-long initiative gives young people the opportunity to experience running an agricultural business from top to bottom. In 2015-2016, the huge interest among schools and students to work with Monsanto experts in their mini-companies overpassed all targets quickly: during the first school year of the partnership, we reached 1,095 students in 53 schools thanks to Monsanto’s 57 employee volunteers.

“We are delighted with the success of the Monsanto Fund partnership with Junior Achievement in Europe” said Leticia Gonçalves, President of Monsanto Europe & Middle East. “It’s exciting to see young people show such passion and interest in agriculture and we enjoy working with them to explore the creative possibilities for agricultural entrepreneurship in Europe.”

Teachers employ learning-by-doing methods and help students build their very own mini-companies – turning ideas into action. Key to the success of the initiative are the Monsanto volunteers who share their professional expertise and guidance by mentoring students. Thanks to various activities organised with teachers and students, the volunteers can exchange and transfer their knowledge to the new generation.

We learned to respect other people’s ideas, to follow the instructions, teamwork and to act cohesively within a group,” explained participants from the AKIS student company in Turkey. “Now, we realised that we can produce qualified products with the correct division of labor. The idea of being helpful to other people is keeping our energy high. Thanks to Monsanto, we have such a wonderful experience.”

“Agriculture is one of the world’s most innovative and entrepreneurial sectors,” said Caroline Jenner, CEO for JA Europe. “Monsanto employees, in sharing their experience and expertise, are playing an important role in helping young people understand rural enterprise and the skills required.”

monsanto-fund
About JA Europe
JA Europe is Europe’s largest provider of education programmes for entrepreneurship, work readiness and financial literacy. In 2015 we equipped 3.5 million students in 39 countries with the knowledge, skills and attitude they require to start a business or get a job. JA works with the education and business communities as well as governments to provide young people from primary school to university with experiences that build the skills and competences they will need to succeed in a global economy. JA Europe is the European Regional Operating Centre for JA Worldwide®.

About the Monsanto Fund
The Monsanto Fund, the philanthropic arm of Monsanto Company, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to strengthening the communities where farmers and Monsanto Company employees live and work. Visit the Monsanto Fund at www.monsantofund.org 
 
For inquiries, please contact:
JA Europe Communications
media@jaeurope.org 
+32 2 735 97 20
 
Brian Carroll, External Communications Manager, EMEA Monsanto
brian.carroll@monsanto.com
+32 2 776 7601

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