Up until 1967 Hardy Vogtmann studied agriculture and food science at the ETH Zurich. He was appointed professor for agriculture at the University of Kassel in 1981, where he also held the first chair for organic farming in Germany.
Vogtmann is regarded as THE pioneer for organic agriculture in Germany and beyond, and has acted as an advisor to Prince Charles since the 1980s. From 2000 to 2007 he headed the German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation. Following this engagement, he presided the environmental foundation EuroNatur for three years and since 2012 he is president of the German League for Nature.
„When I met His Royal Highness, it was more to acquaint him with the idea of organic agriculture. He had the feeling that we needed a different kind of farming, but he didn‘t exactly know what kind. And our idea was to show him organic farming and that he would catch fire with it - which he did - but he was still uncertain. So he sent his private secretary and his veterinary over to Germany and we showed them some very good examples here. They came back and said, ‚Sir, I think we can do it!‘“
Prof. Dr. Hartmut Vogtmann - Background
Hartmut (Hardy) Vogtmann was born in Essen, Germany in 1942. Following a bricklayer apprenticeship, he studied agriculture and food science at the ETH Zurich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology). At the age of 32 he became director of the Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL) in Oberwil, Switzerland. In 1981 he was appointed professor for agriculture at the University of Kassel, holding the first chair for organic farming in Germany. From 2008 – 2012 he acted as vice-president and since 2012 as president of the German League for Nature. Vogtmann is regarded as THE pioneer for organic agriculture in Germany and beyond.