[Explore Europe in Korea #3] Anseong Farmland: The home of Korea's dairy farming history

연합뉴스 / 2021-06-13 11:08:43
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▲ This photo shows a number of sheep grazing along Korea's largest experimental theme ranch, Anseong Farmland. (Yonhap)


ANSEONG, June 12 (Yonhap) -- Anseong Farmland, a place where livestock graze freely on the wide grassland and is filled with rye, sunflowers, and cosmos for different seasons, is a representative tourist destination in Anseong city of Gyeonggi Province. The theme park designed for experiencing work in the livestock industry is around 1.29 million square meters in size.

The outdoor space is perfect for families with children to enjoy together, and the theme park is also a place that holds the history of dairy farming in Korea, which began with the help from Europe.

◇ "I want to provide children in Korea with enough milk," former President of South Korea Park Chung-hee fulfill his dreams

Recently, a woman in her 20s with bright blue eyes visited Anseong Farmland. The woman was the granddaughter of a German engineer, who visited Korea to support the dairy business in the 1960s when the "Handok dairy demonstration ranch (hereinafter referred to as Handok ranch)," the former Anseong Farmland, was established.

The story ends by the granddaughter visiting the farmland, which her grandfather's took pride in, and witnesses how much Korea has developed since then.



▲ This photo shows a team of German advisers dispatched to support dairy farming in Korea in the 1960s. (Yonhap) 


The relationship between Anseong Farmland and Germany has now continued over three generations.

Opened in 1969 as Korea's first modern dairy ranch, the Handok ranch was built with the support of the German government's vice minister and German engineers.

This opportunity was brought upon Korea as President Park Chung-hee visited the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany) in 1964 to encourage Korean miners and nurses who were dispatched to Germany.

Park wanted to revive Korea--especially rural areas, where people's average income was no more than $100, and dreamed of feeding enough milk for children.

In response to this dream, the German government dispatched four professional engineers, including veterinarians and ranch managers, as well as provided tractors needed for ranch management.

Taking advice from German experts, the Holstein cattle, which is a major cow breed raised in Korea for the purpose of producing milk was also imported from Canada at the time.


▲ This photo shows a monument built at the opening of the Handok dairy ranch. (Yonhap)


Based on the transfer of advanced dairy technology from Germany, the Handok ranch began to distribute dairy farming skills to Korean farmers, and has been operated by a Korean agricultural bank Nonghyup so far.

Since then, Handok ranch has played a leading role in the development of the domestic livestock industry by fulfilling the demands for different periods, such as making a demonstration ranch with livestock species in the 1980s, superior Korean beef breeding ranches in the 1990s, and organic livestock demonstration ranches in the 2000s.

◇ Family theme park provides first-hand experience for the livestock industry

As time changed, the growth of the livestock industry slowed down, limiting ideas for new development models carried out by the Handok ranch.

Handok ranch, which has served as a cradle for the growth of Korea's livestock industry, has changed its appearance to an open space where people can see and enjoy the experience of dairy farming.

Starting with the establishment of a riding center in 2009, the "Anseong Farmland" opened in April 2012, combining tourism and experience.


▲ This photo shows buildings within the Anseong Farmland built in German architectural styles, in order to preserve the origins of the Handok ranch. (Yonhap)

Half of the ranch's land is decorated as a theme park and opened to the public. In addition various facilities and programs are operated to help visitors feel familiar with the livestock industry.

The most visited area in the farmland is the experience ranch classified by animals.

The sheep village and rabbit village allows visitors to freely come and go and play with animals in one space.

Visitors can also compare a variety of foreign cows up close, including bulls, black cows, and Hanwoo, which is a breed of small cattle native to Korea.


▲ This photo provided by Anseong Farmland shows one of the livestock performances where ducks are filed in one line and marching together. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

Anseong Farmland's outdoor performance programs are also impressive. The theme park provides a livestock performance program where ducks, pigs, cotton sheep and horses march and livestock play showing organs trained by each livestock.

The newly opened pet park "Paradise Dog" was created to reflect the growing trend of pet owners in Korea.

The scenary of the large pasture which changes every season has become the "photo spot" within Anseong Farmland.

In the spring, rye and rapeseeds cover the pasture while sunflowers appear in the summer, cosmos and pink muhly grass in autumn create an atmosphere for visitors as if they're are abroad.

The park is also equipped with a variety of food and beverage facilities, and Anseong Farmland Organic Ice Cream, which can only be tasted here, is especially famous.


▲ This photo shows the organic ice cream provided at Anseong Farmland. (Yonhap)

This is an ice cream made from milk after raising cows as organic pastures in Anseong Farmland at a nearby farmhouse, and is considered a must-eat food in Anseong Farmland as it is rumored to be rich in taste.

In addition, there are children's playgrounds, kids' cafes, and various rides enjoyed by family-level customers.

◇ 'Untact Tourist Sites' draws more attention after pandemic

Anseong Palm Land peaked at 600,000 visitors per year in 2019, after surpassing 1 million paid visitors in 2016.

The biggest number of visitors is in October every year, when cosmos and pink mulley cover the garden.

Growth slowed down in 2020 due to the pandemic of the novel coronavirus infection (Covid-19), but visitors seem to be rebounding as it has recently attracted attention as an "untact tourist destination" in the Corona era.


▲ This photo provided by Anseong Farmland shows the pasture at Anseong Farmland filled with cosmos during autumn. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

Kim (36), who visited Anseong Farmland with her children, said, "As I am reluctant to go to crowded indoor spaces, I find an open natural space like this one. It is even better because I can feel the exotic atmosphere at a time when it is difficult to travel abroad to Covid-19."

However, many visitors are regretting that indoor experience classes such as pizza making and cheese five senses, which were popular before Corona 19, have been suspended altogether suspended.

An official from Anseong Farmland said, "Since Anseong Farmland is originally a ranch, quarantine efforts have always been made to the extent that hand sanitizer is placed everywhere before Covid-19. We will do our best to establish ourselves as a safe tourist destination in line with the Covid-19 era."




(C) Yonhap News Agency. All Rights Reserved

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