On 13 April, in the Hall of the Five Hundred in Florence’s Palazzo Vecchio, there was the public ceremony opening the Georgofili Academy’s 262nd year.
After greetings were extended by the Councilor for the Environment of the City of Florence Alessia Bettini on behalf of Mayor Nardella, the Regional Minister for Agriculture Gianni Salvadori (who received an honorary diploma from the academy) representing President Enrico Rossi, pointed out the commonality of views and intentions regarding agriculture that the Regione Toscana and the Georgofili Academy share.
President Giampiero Maracchi then expressed some thoughts on current events and the academy’s modernity over more than two-and-a-half centuries of history. "Our members’ contribution today looks afield, with enthusiasm, as did the founders," Maracchi said. The president then quoted Pope Benedict XVI, who said that agriculture is the future of the planet. Agriculture is food but also energy, green chemistry, and landscape and habitat conservation. It is also an ethical and moral value: frugality and more conscious of waste show concern for the environment and a respect for nature and innovation.
Afterwards Prof. Franco Scaramuzzi gave the keynote address on the theme, “A Big Mistake to Destroy Agriculture”. Through a historical overview from the end of the Second World War up to today, Scaramuzzi highlighted, point after point, the current crisis in the primary sector, making an appeal to all farmers to remain united and confident in their potentialities despite years of seeing their freedom of entrepreneurial choice frustrated and their incomes beaten down. Prof. Scaramuzzi however expressed confidence in and optimism for the future of agriculture, which will necessarily be steered by unstoppable and general advances in science.
After a chorus of applause by the packed hall, President Maracchi officially conferred on Prof. Scaramuzzi the title of Honorary President "for the enthusiasm, expertise, and foresight demonstrated in his 28 years as president of the Georgofili Academy".
After the ceremony the honorary, foreign, and ordinary members received their diplomas, and the winners of the Antico Fattore Prize and the Prosperitati Publicae Augendae Prize their awards.
Prof. Maracchi’s remarks and Prof. Scaramuzzi’s keynote address are available at www.georgofili.it