Sara Maria Müllner
Sara Maria Müllner
Since October 2016, I work within the team as a student assistant sharing the position with Armin Bajraktarevic. My tasks include assistance with day-to-day routine and research projects. Essentially, I grew up in Austria on a farm specialized on intensive crop production. Nevertheless, it took me several years and few detours – to History of Arts and to European Voluntary Service in Denmark – until I discovered Agricultural Sciences as my calling. It was my experiences in Denmark that made me rediscover my roots in farming and made me realize how much it meant to me. There I met a family that impressed me: They ran a commercial mink farm (which is allowed in Denmark), while keeping a variety of other animals and growing vegetables for their own needs. Their style of attentively combining self-sufficiency with a commercial branch at the farm was new to me and changed the way I viewed farming.
Developing my personal approach to agriculture laid the foundations for my wish to engage in farming in my future. Soon after I returned to Vienna, I enrolled for Agricultural Sciences at BOKU – and felt passionate about this field ever since. I love how it combines so many sides of life, of science, of society: the work with soil, plants, animals and circuits of nature, the influence on the environment and social structures, the scientific principles, the impact of economic considerations, the close relationship with human and social development, the opposition of differing approaches and the endless debates on how to do things the right way. A great variety of philosophies of life find their expression on farms on a smaller scale, and in food systems on a larger scale. Mainstream philosophies in societies define agriculture’s direction and boundaries. Throughout studying I repeatedly discovered captivating ideas, subjects and relationships I enjoyed much to learn about. Soon, I found myself tending towards livestock production.
In 2016, under supervision of Tina Leeb, I completed my group work Bachelor’s thesis on the effect of fixation on behaviour in sows kept in farrowing pens with temporary crating. It was through her that I heard about the vacant student assistance position and, shortly after, was welcomed to the working group!