Graditz Stud Farm

1. Introduction

The enterprise is based on a unique concept for healthy and natural beef meat on the Graditz stud farm with its wide grassland paddocks pasture parallelly the Hereford cattle of Mister Schneider.  As horses pasture very selectively, cattle is held in optimal crop field. Through this combination, the corresponding biodiversity and structure of the partially over 300 years old grassland is preserved.

The grazing of horses and cattle has positive effects on the biodiversity of insects and plants. The pastures in Graditz therefore also consist of a great variety: 81 % grasses (at least 9 sorts) 14,6 % herbs (at least 17 sorts) and 4 % leguminous crops (at least 2 sorts). A comprehensive feeding basis of grassland is thus available throughout the whole year.

The enterprise is based on sustainability, regionality and 100 % species-appropriate keeping.

2. Promoter profile

Graditz Stud Farm

First Name
Matthias
Last Name
Schneider
Birth Year
1967
Gender
Male
Education

Farmer; Agricultural Engineering Degree; Computing Engineering; Business Economy Degree

3. Farm Profile

Address
Gestütsstraße 04860 Torgau Alemania
Address

51.5440931788, 13.0566501617

Country
Germany
Farm area in hectar
50.00
Date of establishment of the farm
Date since when the promoter owns/rents the farm
NUMBER OF WORKERS FAMILY MEMBERS EXTERNAL WORKERS
Full time 1 0
Part time 0 0
Farm description

Mister Schneider cooperates with the stud farm on-site on the pastures. The surfaces in the stud farm are leased. Additionally, there has even owned land directly on the Elbe River since 2017. The mother cows are in the open air the whole year. This species-appropriate free-range husbandry in the herd has positive effects on the animal health and in doing so, on the health and rich in vitamins content of the beef. The cattle stands at least 20 months on the pasture, so that their meat matures gently. The beef is offered integrally. Hence, with the "Fillet pieces" also further parts, such as bones and leg slices are offered. Thus, clients show a renewed interest in beef produced here. 

Mr Schneider supports this additionally through the close to nature events - for example when he rushes the cattle from one of the pasture lands to the another along the Elbe River. This event is offered to people interested events are regularly fully booked. Besides, he offers events in cooperation with local butchers and catering, in which the focus is on the beef and its preparation with the herbs, that are to be found again on the meadows due to his cultivation method. 

4. Multifunctional/sustainable farming and European Agricultural Landscapes (EAL)

Landscape type
Free Text

The enterprise lies in the district of North Saxony. The area of Ostelbien (Land East of the Elbe River) stretches over 161 km² in a length of 23 km (North-South extension) and a width of 11 km (East-West extension). 

Around 6.600 inhabitants live here (state: 2014) in 31 villages and homesteads. Characterizing landscape feature is the Elbe River and the stud farm facilities Graditz with approximately 300 ha of grassland and pastures, where a merger of the landscape takes place between homes and stable buildings as well as pastures.

The grazing of the grassland surfaces is a type of land use with a long tradition. The Hereford cattle graze grass as well as herbs and results in excellent meat quality. At the same time, they maintain and preserve the grassland area.

Mr Schneider uses these foundations for the production and scores thereby also in the direct sale of his meat in greater Leipzig area. He promotes transparency and authenticity: concrete farmer with concrete cow on concrete meadow.

Through this kind of agriculture, the enterprise contributes to:

- Preservation and strengthening of the biodiversity;

- Preservation of traditional cultivation techniques;

- Promotion of the landscape value;

- Preservation of work opportunities rural area;

- Landscape tourism in rural area;

- Production of high-quality, safe and healthy food.

Advice/Recommendation

"I make sure that my enterprise is in line".

"As soon as I think about differentiating myself on the market, landscape is a very important element. The idea of about selling in a different way and looking for a niche is certainly worth it".

"Look precisely at what is done in other enterprises, in particular also in the sector of the value creation: what does the business do? What do the cooks do?".

5. Considerations, skills/competences involved and queries/questions

General considerations

It is essential for a farmer to confront the special conditions on-site. It results in limitations but in the most cases also in special chances.

Mr Schneider has implemented his enterprise based on the basic ideas of "Sustainable animal husbandry, agriculture & landscape" as holistic concept. That the enterprise could grow in only 3 years to full existence, is due to the production and above all due to the processing and marketing in the enterprise, that is absolutely coherent, and offers possibilities of nature experience for elderly and young, in the city as well as in the country. Besides the direct sale in Graditz, he also runs a farm shop in Leipzig.

The enterprise creates an added value for the region. Based on the principle of "Strengthen strengths" and "Everyone should do what he is doing best" he cooperates both at the level of the production (with other farmers and breeders) and in the processing and marketing (butcher's and catering).

In the end, the enterprise itself benefits, and so does the region and the landscape.

Up to now the experience is very positive. But there exist already lessons learned and crucial competencies can be identified.

It is important to care in detail about with whom you are cooperating. Especially if your final product and price at the end of the value chain is depending on the whole "production story" it is evident to work with people following the same visions like the farmer does.

Being able to analyse the market needs and identifying consumer needs helps to always improve further the quality of final products from raising the calves, innovative ways of pasturing up to slaughtering and butchering. 

Strengths Weaknesses
  • Solid customer base through experiential culture and continuous story.
  • Use of the modern media for regular contact maintenance (Mail-Newsletter, Facebook, Instagram).
  • Stable income basis in the pasture grazing.
  • Affordable workload through cooperations.
  • One cannot be a perfect marketer and perfect producer; one must recognize this and deal with it correspondingly.
  • A functioning network is necessary.
Opportunities Threats
  • To augment the product range (for example through additional poultry grazing on the meadows).
  • Raise and grow synergies.
  • System and concept are unique, but replicable.
  • Scandals in the food sector are always possible and potentially influencing.
  • Direct regional competition would be a challenge regarding the necessary prices in the direct sale.
Main Training/Skills/Competences

Mr Schneider is very well trained in many sectors. He feels very strong in the sector of the marketing. He builds on communication and transparency.

He is in permanent contact and exchange with the clients and asks for their opinion. In doing so, he stays on the pulse of time.

Furthermore, he is open for cooperation, and supports other sectors which are in interaction and business relation with him. The cooperation bring him freedom for his own focus.

Queries/Questions

- Starting a farm from almost zero is a challenging task. To reach a level allowing an adequate entrepreneurial income is not easy, but it is possible following a clear concept. Do you have such a concept?

- Biodiversity maintenance and the preservation of visual landscape character and keeping of traditional breeds are connecting the farm with local community again. Do people recognize you and your valuable work?

- Contact with local community is a chance to get in touch directly with social aspects and as well for business opportunities along added value chain.  Are you in direct contact with your clients?

Keywords

EAL Keywords