The Department of Organic Farming & Cropping

The department was founded in 1981 and was very influential re the further development and profile sharpening of the Faculty of Organic Agricultural Sciences.


Background of teaching ranges from organic agronomy and crop cultivation including vegetables and culinary and medical herbs to internal and external aspects of organic farming. Forms of teaching are lectures, seminars, tutorials, practicals, excursions and projects linked to the different bachelor and master programmes of the Faculty.


The departmental research, covering a broad range of topics at times of its foundation, is steadily focussing on subjects of organic farming and cropping, in specific the creation of agro-ecosystems with high potentials of resilience. Other topics are still on the list of investigations.

Other Activities

Staff members of the department are engaged in the self-administration of the faculty, the university and are active in different national and international associations, i.e. IFOAM, ISOFAR, board of trustees of the Zukunftstiftung Landwirtschaf, scientific advisory committee of the BÖLW and the Federal Scheme Organic Farming. Furthermore members of FOEL are contributing to actual controversial topics of current agriculture i.e. genetic engineering in agriculture, conventionalisation of organic agriculture, environmental effects of current agrticulture, etc.

Human and other resources

The department consists of three positions for scientists, one personal chair for organic vegetable production, two positions for lab and field technicians, respectively, one position for a field worker and half a position for a secretary. The group is completed by a varying number of positions sponsored by external funds for scientific projects, actually seven.
At the campus the department operates one chemical and one microbial laboratory, at the Hessian State Estate Frankenhausen it also conducts one station for field research. The head of department is responsible for the research farm of the Faculty, the Hessian State Estate Frankenhausen, an organic mixed farm of 320 ha with a herd of 100 dairy cows plus progenies.