Cornelius Strasser

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Biodynamic consulting and foundation work

In 1989 I finished my studies in Witzenhausen with a diploma thesis, which was very important to me personally and which had developed over a longer period of time during my studies. The unwieldy title is: "On the methodology and epistemological justification of the usual and Goethean science - illustrated by the example of farm animal ethology". In it, I was concerned with the question of whether and how science can arrive at such viable (true) findings that, based on them, decisions can be made about how we humans may or may not treat animals, for example. In my studies I had become acquainted with many results of science and methods, but this basic question had not been addressed in the official study program.

Cornelius Sträßer - Diploma in Agricultural Economics, graduated in 1989. Currently: Project Manager at Software AG - Foundation.

About the agricultural practice to the consultation

Only in brief my professional stations - and what was important to me:


  • Agricultural practice in organic farming: arable farming, potatoes; combination of practice and very simple research.
  • Establishment of the Demeter association and inter-association consulting ring in the state of Brandenburg : business start-ups, financing, basics of biodynamic agriculture, increasing soil fertility on sandy soils, clarification of personal goals, creating space for the realization of ideals, shaping cooperation, coaching in agriculture.
  • Continuation of consulting as self-employed.
  • Project manager at the Software AG Foundation = SAGST, within this framework:
    • Accompanying projects that combine (biodynamic) agriculture with non-profit purposes, especially research projects; as well as projects from the fields of pedagogy and integrative medicine,
    • Project management "Juchowo", a 1,800 ha biodynamic dairy farm in Poland; in connection with agriculture, development of social therapy, experiential education and research,
    • Working on an own research question for the further development of research methods, which are about knowledge of "individualized conditions" - similar to integrative medicine, where every person can react differently to the same medicine.

Review of the study

For all these activities, the studies in Witzenhausen prepared me well in various respects:


  • 1 year of practice before the study and ½ year of practice after the fourth semester were required.
  • A broad overview of agricultural sciences was offered.
  • Thinking in contexts was encouraged especially by the courses of Prof. Kickuth on ecology, of Prof. Boehncke on animal health and by the conversion exercises to organic farming.
  • There was a lot of freedom to acquire and try out knowledge together with other students according to our own needs.
  • I was able to learn a lot in discussions with professors who had different views on agriculture and science than I did.
  • The same is true for the arguments in the departmental council, where at the time there was a lot of discussion about the status of organic agriculture and how to realize other examination achievements than always only written exams.
  • And I had the opportunity to work on an "outsider topic" as a diploma thesis. Special thanks to my supervisors: Thomas van Elsen, Christian Schüler and Engelhard Boehncke.

Fundamental issues of science and agriculture

In retrospect, it is apparent to me that the various professional activities are all connected with some big questions:


  • What do the ideas of thought (like the content of science) mean in relation to reality?
  • What is not only "right" (cognition) but also "good" for man and the world?
  • How can, besides the material aspects, the realms of life, soul and spirit be included in the scientific process of cognition - without giving up the basic principles of science?
  • How can I make myself the "observation and measuring instrument" for life, soul and spirit?
  • How do I act responsibly in view of the fact that my personal cognitive ability leads me only to partial truths, which can always be supplemented and relativized by further aspects? (Not to mention real errors).
  • What is the relationship between the type of land management, food quality and people's health? I mean health physically as well as mentally and spiritually. In my opinion, the cooperation between agriculture, nutrition and medicine is one of the urgent tasks to be able to achieve real sustainability.


Particularly in view of the societal challenges posed by Corona and our understanding of disease, death, life and health, the questions outlined appear to me to be extremely pressing.

In the remaining years of my professional life, I want to contribute to answering these fundamental questions while helping to ensure that such ideas are explored by others and that "good" can be realized. I am pleased that I can also accompany projects that are carried out at the University of Kassel-Witzenhausen again and again, and that I find valuable discussion partners there as well.


Saro Gerd Ratter: What a pleasure to read how one can "successfully" meet the many pressing questions of our time with a broader horizon and what contribution the studies in Witzenhausen could make to this. I have experienced my studies in Witzenhausen (1982-88) also in this direction as very enriching and am pleased also thereby now in the Schweisfurth Foundation projects for a new agrarian culture and a respectful handling with animals to accompany may.

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