A holistic Demeter farm including a cheese dairy
Making the world a little bit better
The Kass-Haff is situated in Rollingen and managed by Tom Kass and his wife Anja. Since 1999, the Demeter exploitation follows the principles of biodynamic farming methods. Tom Kass familiarised himself with organic farming during his studies and could not possibly imagine to run his farm any other way after taking over the family business. The maxim of both of them: The conversion of a farm to organic needs to take place in someone’s mind beforehand and elementary questions about agricultural production can only be addressed by organic farming methods. The contact to other farmers has been the main motivation for him. Working on the farm fulfils both of them with satisfaction since they want to make the world a little bit better by what they are doing.
Diversified farm with a purpose
The Demeter farm offers a vast field of activities. The Kass-Haff keeps dairy cows of the Montbeliard race. They started with a mother-bound calf rearing technique, where the calves can drink their mother’s milk for as long as possible. Their “farm mates” are pigs, laying hens and goats, who deliver the organic meat and eggs for the farm shop. The acre fields are mainly cultivated with potatoes, the harvest of which represents a lovely activity for school children. A part of the highly nutritious fresh milk is transformed into soft cheese as well as into the famous Stoffi in the farm’s cheese dairy.
Closing the natural cycle
The biodynamic production method pays close attention to follow a holistic approach with interactive effects. Tom and Anja want to close the natural cycle by combining the production and sales of their products with the education of young people. The multiple jobs on the farm are carried out explicitly by people and not machines. Thus, they have a versatile offer of activities and welcome visitors and school classes in order for them to explore the farm. The pedagogical education is an elementary part of the whole concept and the relation to their customers is very dear to them. “People have completely lost the natural relationship to what agriculture means. Thus, we want to connect both ends again.”
For me, biodynamic farming is the only coherent way of farming. This is the only way I can face my customers with a clear conscience.
Development of the farm
In 2012, the private farm was converted into an ltd, of which Tom and Anja hold the majority of shares, the OIKOPOLIS Participation SA owns 30 percent of them and the rest is held by private investors. Moreover, one of the 11 NATURATA organic shops is located on the farm and the cheese dairy of the BIOG cooperative round of the diversified production. “We are nevertheless functioning like a typical farm”, which can be demonstrated by the fact that are cows are milked without a robot.
Tom Kass is a member of the BIOG cooperative and a shareholder of the BIOG dairy, which collects, processes and markets his milk.