Plans for an agricultural school for youths in the country were set in motion in 1946. An estate in Bonyhád in southern Hungary was purchased by World ORT and building work was under way in order to adapt it to a training farm with boarding facilities. After extensive renovation the Bonyhád training farm opened in early 1948, with an initial intake of 16 students. Later, two groups of students were taught simultaneously: one working towards Hachshara and Aliyah, the other working with a view to continue in farming in Hungary. Field work, gardening, fruit and vegetable cultivation and dairy and poultry farming were among the subjects taught. During the summer months, two additional hectares of land were leased for sowing wheat, making the farm as self-sufficient as possible. During the winter, focus shifted from work in the fields to theoretical studies.
The farm was officially inaugurated in September 1948 in the presence of Hungary’s Minister of Agriculture and local officials. The Minister was so impressed with ORT’s work that he arranged to send state-developed poultry breeds to the farm and promised to grant it benefits otherwise available only to agricultural cooperative societies.
In October 1948 the Bonyhád farm participated in the first regional agricultural show held in Szekszárd. The ORT stall received much praise and was discussed in detail in the local and regional press. The weekly magazine, Tolnymegye, wrote: “The ORT exhibition aroused special interest, as it showed new methods in model farming and some exemplary gardening”. Even before it opened, the local, non-Jewish community expressed an interest in participating in the farm’s courses. In 1949 ORT agreed to accommodate local farmers, providing an evening class at the farm specifically for them.