The Business Community

In the beginning there was a vision

The Dottenfelderhof has been managed biodynamically since 1946. After an interphase of conventional management from 1958-1968 the lease contract from the then tenants expired. In March 1968 the “collective farming Dottenfelderhof” was founded by Ebba and Dietrich Bauer, Johanna and Knud Brandau, Irmgard and Ernst Becker, Johannes Klein and Lieselotte and Manfred Klett. This business community became after long negotiations with the Hessian Ministry of Agriculture tenant of the yard.

The business community became a five-year lease, which was only to be renewed if the economic viability shown by annual balances, the conservation of soil fertility by scientific advices and the viability of the business company could be demonstrated beyond that period. The fourth condition was that an extension of the lease contract would only be considered, provided that no overriding usage claims were made by official side.

Despite difficult starting conditions, the first three points could be fulfilled. After hard arguments about point four, the lease contract was extended by 18 years in 1973. But the pressure of the authorities and the land market remained. After the presentation of an exposé to the state of Hessen, a long-term guarantee for the future was achieved at the end of 1979.

After the business company´s proposal, the non-profit organization "Landbauschule Dottenfelderhof e.V." (“Agricultural School Dottenfelderhof e.V.”) acquired the farm buildings and about 20 ha of the surrounding land with the help of the GLS Bank in Bochum. The land of Hessen acquired the remaining 130 ha. These were than leased to the Agricultural School for 18 years.

In 1981, the “Agricultural Community Dottenfelderhof” GbR (Landwirtschaftsgemeinschaft Dottenfelderhof = LWG) was founded, which manages the Dottenfelderhof as a subtenant. The members of the business community are at the same time members of the agricultural community with executive responsibility. In 1995, the agricultural community Dottenfelderhof was converted into a limited partnership (KG).

Today our business community consists of the families Denneler, von Mackensen and Roland Wagner, who are at the same time partners with unlimited liability of the agricultural community Dottenfelderhof KG. The business community is responsible for the agricultural management, for the processing and marketing and for the cooperation with the Agricultural School Dottenfelderhof. On a weekly basis the business community meets and discusses the management and development. Decisions are generally made unanimously in this circle.