Kulturland eG was founded in 2013 and grew out of 40 years of experience with farm ownership associations of the bio-dynamic scene. With Kulturland we developed the blueprint for a new organization which would mainstream the idea of non-profit farm associations and make this concept relevant to the wider society. Therefore, we embedded the concept into a nationwide professionalized structure which takes care of the necessary legal, financial and communication work.
Our goal is to preserve farmland for community-connected ecological farming on a long-term basis, thereby developing a new model of tenure which might also influence land market regulations and the political sphere. We encourage citizens to take responsibility for their share of farmland. They can do this by signing up to shares in the cooperative and thus becoming collective owners of the land which, we call Commons 2.0.
The acquired farmland is rented to community connected eco-farmers on a long-term basis. In the lease contracts we grant everlasting security of tenancy subject to farms that pursue organic farming, reserve at least 10% of the acreage for 10% biodiversity purposes and are engaged in community activities like regional marketing, environmental education, farming endangered breeds or working with handicapped persons.
Dr. Titus Bahner and Hans A. Wiehler are the staff members currently working on RURALIZATION.
Dr. Titus Bahner is co-founder, board member and managing director of Kulturland eG. He holds a diploma in agricultural sciences from the University of Kiel and a PhD in economics at the University of Witten-Herdecke. He has been an advisor and project developer to diverse initiatives and projects related to rural development and organic farming in Germany and the EU. He was the coordinator of the European network Forum Synergies that fosters the exchange of practioners of sustainable rural development. Before that he was German co-coordinator to the EU COST network “Rural Innovation”. He gained two years of practical farm experience in Germany, Rwanda and the UK.
Hans A. Wiehler is a self-employed consultant and works part-time for Kulturland eG. He holds a degree of forestry from the University of Oxford and an MBA Sustainability Management from the University of Lueneburg. He gained experience in rural development as a climate protection officer of a rural district and in this role supported projects of Community Supported Agriculture (CSA). Before that he was the policy officer of the German Bioenergy Association and gained insights into policy and regulation related to agriculture and rural development. He has also been involved in diverse research projects with the University of Hamburg and Wuppertal Institute of Climate, Environment and Energy.