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  • Member ofVereenegung fir Bio-Landwirtschaft Lëtzebuerg asbl.

André & Marie-Anne Schmit

Pioneer of organic farming

Family father André and his daughter Marie-Anne Schmit run a dairy farm in Dudelange. André converted the exploitation in 1988 according to the guidelines of the Vereenenegung Bio-Landwirtschaft Lëtzebuerg asbl. He is therefore considered to be one of the pioneers of organic farming in Luxembourg. He has always been committed to the development of this way of farming and did so with a certain curiosity and eagerness to experiment. After completing her agricultural studies, daughter Marie-Anne joined him to run the farm together.

Animal welfare is the top priority

The farm specialised in keeping dairy cows. In the course of time, it was converted to improve the animal husbandry significantly. A herd of 24 black and red cows has plenty of space for grazing and exercising on the 23 hectares of grassland. The new barn with stalls is located right next to the pastures and allows free circulation of the animals as well as an easier access to the pasture. In addition, the milking technology has been optimised and the accommodation of the young animals according to organic guidelines is particularly appropriate for the species. Marie-Anne takes the 2-3 months old calves out for a walk from time to time. She always keeps an eye on her animals and pays great attention to their welfare. Moreover, medication is used as little as possible and only in emergencies. Even during calf births, she leaves the mother cows by herself, as it is usual in the natural environment, and only intervenes in the event of complications.

On the organic farm, attention is paid above all to the cultivation of fodder and hardly any fodder is purchased. The prerequisite for healthy and high-performing dairy cows is the feeding method. Thus, hardly any concentrated feed or maize is used in the fodder. The family runs their dairy farm sustainably, since it uses the natural cycles and efficiency of the cows. Only animals that feel comfortable are willing to perform and, due to the age-related increase in performance, a longer life cycle is an advantage. That is the reason why every cow receives optimal care and has its own diary, where her origin, development and state of health are recorded. Some years ago, Anne-Marie even won the 3rd place in the women's team at the Convis Dairy Award.

Besides the work with the dairy herd, the two farmers cultivate 21 hectares of arable land with changing crop rotation. The fruits planted are used exclusively to feed the animals and are not marketed. About two thirds of the arable land is field forage (including clover grass), but wheat, spelt and triticale are also grown in smaller quantities.

As no direct marketing is performed at the farm due to the unsuitable circumstances, it is very important that their fresh organic milk is sold as such to the BIOG dairy. Marie-Anne is a member of the BIOG cooperative and a shareholder in the BIOG dairy, which collects, processes and markets its milk.

We fully support organic farming. Without any ifs and buts!

André Schmit
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