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Demeter mourns death of biodynamic pioneer Friedrich Sattler

Sun, 03 Apr 2016 | By NNA staff

The pioneer of the biodynamic movement, Friedrich Sattler, died early last month. Demeter has paid tribute to a man who was instrumental in guiding its development on all continents.

Friedrich Sattler, 1926-2016
Photo: www.demeter.de

DARMSTADT (NNA) – One of the giants of the biodynamic movement, Friedrich Sattler, died last month at the age of 89. The biodynamic association Demeter praised Sattler as one of the great pioneers of the biodynamic movement.

“We will miss his wisdom, friendly attentiveness and incomparable biodynamic experience,” the chairman of Demeter in Germany, Alexander Gerber, said. Fritz Sattler had not only maintained his involvement in the work of Demeter to a ripe old age but had als been instrumental in determining its direction on all continents.

Sattler was a member of Demeter International’s certification commission right up to his death. His work crucially influenced the activity of the association over many years.

His original intention to study chemistry after the Second World War could not be realised so Sattler undertook an agricultural apprenticeship on the biodynamic farm Gut Bomlitz and discovered his gift for working with animals, above all cattle. In 1948 Sattler joined the Talhof farm in Heidenheim whose fortunes he guided over many decades. It was also here that he met his wife Hannerose Haupt.

The conditions on the Talhof, one of the oldest Demeter farms in the world, were not easy, Demeter writes, but Friedrich Sattler had understood how to enhance the fertility of the soil in the best possible way with the biodynamic preparations and the mindful, individual development of the farm organism. He built up a well-recognised beef herd on the farm.


Training apprentices and supporting biodynamic agriculture through lectures, involvement in the Demeter Forschungsring research facility and in the Demeter association itself, as well as lecturing at Nürtingen technical college, were always very close to the heart of the farmer. In 1983 he was awarded the Baden Wuerttemberg State Medal in Gold for outstanding services to the training and advanced training of farmers. 

In 1989 Friedrich was awarded the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany for his services to biodynamic agriculture.

Sattler also made a name for himself as an author. As well as contributing to the journal Lebendige Erde he was responsible for books such as the basic work Der landwirtschaftliche Betrieb – Biologisch-Dynamisch together with Eckhard von Wistinghausen and the volume Umstellung auf den Ökolandbau.

His book Growing Biodynamic Crops . Sowing, Cultivation and Rotation was published by Floris Books.

Numerous trips throughout Germany and all over the world – including to eastern Europe, Israel and Spain, where Sattler lectured, helped with the conversion to biodynamic agriculture and undertook Demeter inspections – established his reputation as an expert in biodynamic agriculture.


Item: 160403-01EN Date: 3 April 2016

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