Case Study

Revitalising forgotten landscapes


Revitalising forgotten landscapes


1. Introduction

The Adlegg Foundation offers an innovative concept for conservation and preservation of a cultural landscape. A common interest (landscape) and commitment of all partners are the basis of the concept. The success of the concept is based on the use of goats for landscape conservation, production of products (milk, cheese and meat) from the region for the region, strong community involvement and direct customer contact.

2. Basic information

Main promoter

Oliver Post

Start of the practice



Buchenberg, Germany

Organisations involved

Oliver Post started in 1995, in 2003 an association was formed as a first step to formally organise the interests of different stakeholders, and in 2008 the Adlegg Foundation was established.

Total surface of land farmed in ha

Oliver Post’s farm is based on approx. 115 ha of grassland, of which approx. 40 % are classified as protected area. The land is marginal and was mostly abandoned before Oliver Post started his initiative in 1995.

Ownership of the land used for transhumance farming
  • Own land
  • Rented private Land
  • Rented public land
Basic produce
  • Goat milk
  • Goat meat

The cheese dairy processes 30.000 liter of milk per year. Based on a wholistic marketing approach, the dairy products as well as goat meat is sold directly to the consumers. The grazing enables and fosters the maintenance of an open and attractive landscape rich in biodiversity. The pastures are located in the hills of Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg.

DE27E Oberallgäu
  • Main farm



3. Situation before startup/ change/ continuation

Oliver Post took a side-entry to farming business. After he had acquired a farmstead with 5 ha of land close by, he realised that many farmers in the region were ceasing their activities because farming was no longer profitable. Thus, the arduous cultivation of marginal land was no longer attractive. 

In 2003, Oliver Post took the initiative to form an association. In 2008, the Adlegg Foundation was established. In the same year the Foundation presented the development concept “Kreuzthal Network”. The objectives of the concept are: 

  • Promotion of sustainable and nature conservation-oriented agriculture
  • Promotion of gentle, above all, family-friendly tourism
  • Environmental education and development of local supply

The Foundation lends its land to Oliver Post, the leading farmer.

4. Transhumance farming business description

Landscape type
  • Meadows
  • Pastures
  • Natural grassland in pre-alpine region
Animal type/ breed

The foundation aims at high-quality niche production, processing and direct selling. Therefore, they decided on particular animal breeds: German Improved Fawn (Bunte Deutsche Edelziege) and Thuringian Forest Goat (Waldziege).

The breeding is aiming now for higher milk production based on grazing on meagre pastures as well as low input of concentrated feed and robustness (i.e., no need for veterinarians).

Movement patterns

The animals are herded in the hilly region surrounding the barn.

Kind of cooperation

Under Oliver Post’s leadership, the Foundation manages a dairy goat husbandry. It consists of 60 dairy goats and offspring. In addition, the Foundation has a small pension cattle husbandry (130 cattle per year, aged 1-2 years).

Markets addressed/ product selling

The cheese dairy processes 30.000 liter of milk per year. Based on a wholistic marketing approach, the dairy products as well as goat meat is sold directly to the consumers.

Threats & challenges

Oliver Post was explicit that, purely from an economic perspective, other locations for goat farming are more effective. At the same time, he was sure that an essential regional added value of this livestock farming could arise from the non-profit interest of landscape conservation and preservation. Creating such a value could be a vital advantage for the region.

5. Decisions taken


The interest in moving livestock among pastures for Oliver Post and the Foundation is conditioned by the situation in their particular region. Oliver Post started from scratch to become a farmer and designed the farming system the Foundation implemented. His basic idea is “Agriculture is loyal to its location”. Oliver Post decided to carry out the work he is doing and for his way of living.

The significant positive effects on biodiversity and the way of living are attractive to those following this lifestyle. The economic situation of the Foundation is stable. However, to pay needed workforce and to enable performance of animals (in terms of milk and meat) on meagre grassland is challenging.

Decision for the kind of animal/ specific breed

The Foundation supported by regional stakeholders has been the basis of the farming activity. In the meantime, a goat stable has been realised. 

The decision of organic production from the beginning was in line with the decision for the animal breeds. It enabled a holistic approach and regional market entry for the produce.

A biologist accompanied the grazing for four years to document the effects of grazing on the cultural landscape in terms of biodiversity and richness of wild flora and fauna.

It is remarkable, that the marginal land, currently used and managed and improved from a biodiversity point of view, was mostly abandoned before the initiative was started.

The pasture is partly private land and partly public land. Parts are owned by the Foundation, most parts are rented land.

The demand for grazing is high in the region but not in marginal places. As part of the land before the initiative started was abandoned, access to land is affordable.  

Decision for the production system

Oliver Post and his wife mange the farm with 1 or 2 fulltime employees (internships, apprenticeships, future leaders of the farm). The goats are on the hills from mid-May to mid-October. For milking and during the night the flock is in the stable. The young pension cattle stay on the hills. 

Diversification of income

The Adlegg Foundation cooperates and collaborates well with regional farmers, direct marketing initiatives and municipalities for selling in local farmers’ markets and directly on the farm. The direct sales on the farm are organized in a simple way. A fridge is placed close to the stable at a highly frequented hiking path.

Multifunctional aspects

More optimized breeding is mixing Bunte Deutsche Edelziege and Waldziege to improve the performance. The primary grass feed is supplemented with concentrated performance feed.

Although the farming activity is rewarding, without a great passion for agriculture and nature conservation, the project would not have come into being – either on a small or a large scale.

6. Training/ skills to establish the business

The Office of Agriculture and the Bioland Association provided advice in terms of a farm development plan from the beginning. In addition, intensive cooperation with ProRegio – Society for Landscape Development and the PLENUM project in Baden Württemberg occurred.

As Oliver Post took a side-entry to farming business, he was open about how to plan and what he could expect from his farm.

Oliver Post, as well as the Foundation, work based on good communication and a high transparency level.

7. Next steps to move on

Oliver Post will continue to combine tradition and innovation. The next crucial step for the whole initiative and the Foundation will be the generational change and the handover of responsibility. The overall strategic whish and need is to let the next generation take over.

For the ongoing development, the aim is to:

  • improve results of dairy farming from goats
  • use existing capacities in processing
  • entry into the production of autochthonous seeds
  • deeper cooperation with other farmers

8. Quote and recommendation of the promoter

It is worth the efforts. But there is a need for strong new young leaders. 

Linking agriculture, region and landscape is critical.

The farmer needs great stamina. He stuck to the path, even if it was by no means always easy.

Recommendation to other farmers:

Think carefully about what makes your location different from others. Both positive and negative. Then, work out the positive features and strengthen them! It is important to think ideas further and to the end:

  • What is the consequence of an action in one area for the other area?
  • What happens when we act in a certain way?