Béla Jankovich de Jeszenice

Private Land Conservation Ambassador

Béla Jankovich de Jeszenice: Increasing awareness on nature and its diversity is the first step.

Béla Jankovich de Jeszenice engages strongly on the intersections of agriculture, the environment and technical and social innovation.

He leads the operations of his family’s estate ‘Jankovich Birtok’ in Hungary and is also the Chairman of Commonland’s Board, a charitable organisation supporting the restoration of degraded landscapes.

Béla is an advisor to Anterra Capital, a global Venture Capital Fund focused on food and agriculture technologies and an active investor and board member of AgroVIR Kft, a regional leader in farm management software.

His work and efforts to preserve private land make Béla an ideal ENPLC ambassador. Discover his vision, the tools he uses and how his work matters for future generations.

Our purpose is to inspire, connect and share, by building a family estate for generations to come.

It takes time to find balance in this approach, trying different practices - not always successful. Learn and try, fail quickly and move on, and celebrate successes. Because once it starts to get together, it is so rewarding to see nature thrive!

Béla Jankovich de Jeszenice Tweet
De Jankovich de Jeszenice family

Interview

Marie Orban, ENPLC: “Thank you, Béla, for being part of the ENPLC communityCould you share with us how you approach conservation measures in your land?”

Béla Jankovich: “At first, I wanted to know the ‘baseline’ of the status of nature on the Estate, to be able to measure changes or improvements over time. To my surprise, I couldn’t find a standard approach to going about this kind of nature inventory, and therefore we created our own way forward. Three biologists spent several weeks in the field. They made an inventory that resulted in the Jankovich Birtok Flora and Fauna Field guide, with close to 700 species, with their description and drawings.

A long-term approach is crucial as it takes approximately 20 years – or one generation – to restore a landscape. After 5 years I can say that we reached significant success on all levels for the farm and the society – from a natural, social and financial point of view. This is the best way to pass on a better estate to future generations.

Regenerative agriculture is the answer, it’s one of the ways to achieve the climate and biodiversity goals of the EU.

“We work with a combination of several nature inclusive practices: regenerative agriculture, extensive forestry, free ranging cattle, sustainable hunting while including the local community.“

The estate currently consists of: arable land, forests, fruit orchards and pedigree Hereford cattle.
On about a quarter of our arable land we grow alfalfa, to improve the soil with its root structure, biomass and nutrients for a period of four years.

The estate currently consists of: arable land, with its own drying and storage facilities, forests, fruit orchards and pedigree Hereford cattle.

We grow wheat, durum wheat, rapeseed, corn, sunflower, alfalfa, and niche products like hemp, crimson clover, black radish and spelt.

New forests to prevent erosion

Béla Jankovich: “Over the last decades we have planted a large area of new forests, especially on marginal lands or lands with inclination, to prevent erosion, capture water and carbon, and improve the biomes.

The forests comprise oak, linden, birch, poplar and acacia, and are harvested in such a way that there is a substantial net growth of biomass and forest biomes.

The forests comprise oak, linden, birch, poplar and acacia.

Herds of Hereford cows roam the grasslands of the estate.

Herds of Hereford cows roam the grasslands of the estate

During the winter months they stay in a spacious paddock where they are fed alfalfa and other fodder grown on the estate.

Their manure is valuable for land improvement, and their rotational grazing essential for the health of our grasslands.

Our quality pedigree Hereford cattle are renowned, and sold in Hungary and abroad. This year we are starting to sell to consumers our Hereford beef via a prime home delivery grocery in Budapest, in line with the farm to fork goals.

“In our orchard we grow stone-fruits – plums, peaches, cherries, apricots, and nectarines.

 

These are sold to regional markets. Over time we are converting the orchard to a fruit forest, moving away from monocultures with the aim that a diverse gene-pool of different edible plants will result in a more self-balanced biome, where less maintenance is needed and results in a more diverse habitat for wildlife.

We grow stone-fruits – plums, peaches, cherries, apricots, and nectarines.
The natural springs and lush vegetation of the valleys, combined with the many connecting forests and shrubs, result in an ideal biodiverse habitat

The diverse landscape of the estate is home to a wide variety of biomes that are located at short distances from each other.

Lakes, streams, marshlands and swamps, mixed forests, shrublands and grasslands are connected, and result in a rich habitat.

We value this habitat as a core to our estate, and protect and strengthen it where possible.

Béla Jankovich de Jeszenice: We celebrate and share our connection with nature and the local community, and aim to inspire family, friends and visitors by building a family estate for generations to come.

Want to know more on regenerative practices such as crops cover, borders, crop rotation, grazing and integrated livestock, water retention and erosion prevention?

Curious about agricultural technologies such as precision farming, thermal drone, calving sensor and much more? 

Visit the Jankovich Birtok website

Thermal drone deployment in mowing season

LIFE ENPLC Team

Content Creator

The news items collected on this blog have been written by project partners of the LIFE ENPLC project.