Prof Gerold Rahmann
1962: I was born on a small dairy farm in Frisia. At age 18, I left the farm for civil service (drug rehabilitation center in a big city), and realized that farming is my world.
1983: At age 23, I started to make my education as a trainee on a mixed family farm in the mountainous area of middle Germany, and then started in 1984 to study agriculture at the Faculty of Organic Agricultural Science in Witzenhausen, University of Kassel, Germany. This was the place where I came in touch with Organic farming and IFOAM (funding place).
1989: I received my diploma in agriculture economics, and in 1993 my PhD in Rural Development at the University of Goettingen (Germany).
1993: After my two children were born, I became post doc at the Faculty of Organic Agricultural Science at the University of Kassel (Germany). In 1999, I finished my habilitation (professorship) in agro-ecology and system research in the field of organic animal husbandry and nature reserve protection.
2000: I became funding director of the new established German Federal Research Centre of Organic Farming, with the focus on “Development of the Organic Farming of Tomorrow”. This is a well-funded (100 person staff, modern laboratories, 600 ha large experimental station, well-equipped infrastructure) and challenging position to support the organic world. The scientific work is focused on the EU organic standards with the targets of “scientific impact“ AND “reality impact.“ The research is without influence of the German government but it expects high quality research and independent scientific recommendation in all aspects of organic farming.
2006: I became, in addition to my main job as institute director, Professor at the University of Kassel at the Faculty or Organic Agricultural Science.
From 2015 to 2017 I have worked 2.5 years on sabbatical in Ethiopia to establish the "Green Innovation Centre - Ethiopia", an initiative of the Germany Ministry for Foreign Cooperation. In this position, I was responsible to coordinate and initiate the issue, Organic Agriculture. After this sabbatical I came back into my job as Director of the Thuenen Institute of Organic Farming.
From 1986 till 2002, I also ran a diversified, self-sufficiency focused organic farm with some friends.
I have published more than 50 scientific and more than 350 other papers. I wrote several books, mainly in the areas of organic animal husbandry. I have visited and worked in more than 140 countries all over the worldI am member and active part of many associations and committees in the organic sector: e.g. IFOAM – Organics International, ISOFAR, FibL, TIPI, Bioland, FAO-ORCA, KTBL, NABU, Slow Food.
After Tschernobyl in 1986, I became member of the German Green Party, and over more than 25 years I have been a member of several communal parliaments and policy working groups. In these functions, I learned a lot about policy decisions and motions.