What does it mean to be a member of the Agriculture Section?By: Sherry Wildfeuer
Category: Biodynamics, Section for Agriculture
by Sherry Wildfeuer
Each person’s path to biodynamics is unique, as is each member’s contribution. Some are drawn to study anthroposophy, the spiritual scientific worldview out of which Rudolf Steiner gave his lectures on agriculture, because their souls find nourishment and meaning in this modern path of human development which grounds itself in clear thinking and exact observation. Every aspect of life can be enhanced through the insights attained along this path, and people who recognize its value can cultivate the life of anthroposophy with others in the context of the Anthroposophical Society.
Rudolf Steiner founded a School for Spiritual Science at the center of the Anthroposophical Society, for those who want to carry active responsibility within the Anthroposophical Society and are willing to represent anthroposophy in the world (again, each in his or her own way). They make a commitment to deepen their inner life through participating in the so-called “Class Lessons,” which offer meditative guidance for the striving soul on the path from ordinary consciousness toward conscious communion with the spirit.
Within the School there are several Sections in which people can come together to fulfill the inner needs arising through their calling to a particular vocation, such as medicine, natural science, the arts, and to find ways to more effectively represent that particular aspect of anthroposophical work. Members of the School of Spiritual Science who feel a calling to agriculture, however this may manifest within their destiny, may apply to join the Agriculture Section by contacting Sherry Wildfeuer (610 935-0302; sherrywlf (at) verizonnet; PO Box 1045, Kimberton, PA 19442) and writing a letter expressing briefly their background and intentions in joining.
What is the work of the Section?
The members of the Agriculture Section in America meet at least once a year, usually in winter before the International Agricultural Conference at the Goetheanum in Switzerland. We take up the same theme that is taken up at that conference in order to connect ourselves with the worldwide biodynamic movement. We also work with the Michael Letter by Rudolf Steiner that has been chosen by the Section leaders at the Goetheanum, and we work with a Class Lesson of the School of Spiritual Science. In addition, we take the opportunity of coming together to share our current questions and work, and to ask ourselves if there is a need in the biodynamic movement which we might turn our attention to.
Rudolf Steiner expected the members of the School for Spiritual Science to be engaged in “spiritual research.” What does this mean? The foundation of such research is the individual member’s commitment to the gradual transformation of his or her own consciousness. But each person is moved by quite specific research questions which usually occupy him or her over many years. Section members stimulate and educate one another through the common themes and study, and through following each other’s individual work.
This inner activity is balanced by efforts to serve the biodynamic movement as such. Over the years the Section has taken initiative to support biodynamic seed growing, the regionalization of Preparation making, and now, biodynamic training. The Agriculture Section prepared and hosted weekend conferences on training, with the aim of developing a format and curriculum that draws on and enhances existing resources and activities. Out of these conferences in February of 2008 the intention arose to collaborate with the Biodynamic Association in creating the North American Biodynamic Apprenticeship Program (NABDAP), which began in the spring of 2009 and now has 47 participating mentor farms, 38 apprentices, and 22 graduates
This year at our winter meeting we recognized that the underlying reality of life which Rudolf Steiner refers to in the Agriculture Course as the “etheric” needs to be further elaborated for those who have not studied his earlier work. We set ourselves the challenge over the coming years to take up this theme amongst ourselves and, if we can, to publish our efforts to make clear what we mean when we say, for instance, that the goal of farming is to enliven the solid earth.
Many people recognize the value of biodynamics before they meet the rest of Rudolf Steiner’s work. The Anthroposophical Society has groups and branches in many places on this continent and would welcome any inquiries from those who would like to learn more about anthroposophy.
[In the US: www.anthroposophy.org/groups or 888 757-2742;
in Canada: info (at) anthroposophyca or 877-892-3656]
Sherry Wildfeuer represents the Agriculture Section on the North American Collegium of the School for Spiritual Science. You may contact her at:
sherrywlf (at) verizonnet
PO Box 1045, Kimberton, PA 19442