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The Witzenhausen University Association, founded in 2008, has two roots, one is the

Association of Tropical Farmers

and the other is the

Association of Sponsors at the Department of Organic Agricultural Sciences at the University of Kassel Association of Graduates and Friends Witzenhausen

The Association of Tropical Farmers was founded in 1906 as a "support fund" and comradeship association for graduates of the German Colonial School. The sponsor was the Deutsche Kolonialschule GmbH. In 1922, the association was reconstituted after World War I and became co-publisher of the Kulturpionier (from 1937 sole publisher), the forerunner of the trade journal Der Tropenlandwirt. In 1923, the association also became a shareholder in the Deutsche Kolonialschule GmbH. Until 1927, the association was a part of the Deutsche Kolonialschule GmbH and all activities were carried out under the umbrella of this institution. With the registration in the register of associations at the district court in Witzenhausen, a support association became an independent association, which had its seat and its possibilities of action within the Deutsche Kolonialschule GmbH. By a group of former association members under the leadership of Dr. Curt Winter, the association was newly founded in 1948. In 1949, the Kulturpionier was republished by the association as the "Zeitschrift des Verbandes Alter Herren der Deutschen Kolonialschule für die Kameraden und Freunde." Name changes over time:

-     1906 to 1937: "Association of Old Gentlemen of the Comradeship of the Wilhelmshof"

-     1937 to 1941: "Verband Deutscher Koloniallandwirte e. V."

-   1937 to 1945: "NS-Altherrenbund" This foundation led to a split of the predecessor association.

-   1948 to 1968: "Verband Alter Herren vom Wilhelmshof in Witzenhausen e.V."

-   1968 to 1984: "Association of Tropical Farmers from Witzenhausen e.V."

-   1984 to 2006: "Association of Tropical Farmers, Witzenhausen e. V."

-   2006 to 2009: "Witzenhausen University Association (VTW) e.V."

The association members were always closely connected to the Deutsche Kolonialschule GmbH and the teaching staff. An active group of association members around Dr. Curt Winter worked on the reconstruction of the society and the teaching facilities as early as 1952. As a result of these activities of Association members and the former teaching staff, the school was reopened in 1957. From 1952, with the assistance of Association members Dr. Konstantin Heinemann and Dr. Paul Tag, the monograph series "Tropical Cultures" was published by Ruhrstickstoff AG. This series of publications was a contribution to updating the state of knowledge about foreign crops. In 1962, Dr. Dr. Bieber, head of the Teaching Institute for Tropical and Subtropical Agriculture, in cooperation with the course of studies at that time, published a first summary account of tropical and subtropical cultivated plants as a manuscript. Reproduction of the manuscript and illustration by drawings were done by the course of study and the Association.

It is mainly thanks to the Association members Dr. Curt Winter, Gerhard Sontag, Erich Mylord and Kurt Stade that the library was preserved and rebuilt. An outstanding role was played by Erich Mylord, who began in 1963 with the systematic evaluation and mapping of technical articles from foreign journals. He recorded about 70,000 technical articles from 140 journals in English, French, Italian, Spanish and German (1963 to 1985). This work was then continued by Kurt Stade, who also restored old holdings (1979 to 1990). Through contacts with the Volkswagenwerk via association members Prof. Dr. Peter Wolff and Klaus Hartmann, with the help of Prof. Dr. Nordhoff and the "Volkswagen Foundation", a professional refurbishment of the library holdings and registration was achieved (1967 to 1973). The association contributed financially to the first expansion and redesign of the library (DM 10,000). Through donations from its members for decades, the library's holdings have been and continue to be expanded. To update the stock of books and periodicals, the association exchanged about 300 copies of the journal "Der Tropenlandwirt" with other publications. In addition, about 130 copies were sent to subscribers. The data files for the exchange and subscription processing were continuously updated in the association office.

Seeds and plant material were obtained for the greenhouse after the end of World War II, largely from Association members.

The creation of the Ethnological Museum is largely due to members of the Association. For about 100 years, through their donations and loans of exhibits, they have allowed this collection to come into being. Walter Breipohl and Hans Bagdahn are to be mentioned in this context. Both of them worked tirelessly to prepare the exhibits for the reopening of the museum in 1977. Subsequently, Hans Bagdahn voluntarily managed the exhibition and conducted the guided tours for more than 10 years.

The publication of the Kulturpionier was carried out exclusively by the association (Dr. Curt Winter, Dr. H. Golf, Prof. Dr. Peter Wolff, Hans Hemann) until 1961 and that of the Tropenlandwirt from 1962 until 1984. From 1979 to 1984, Hans Hemann took over the editorship on an honorary basis and thereafter integrated it into his former activities until 2009.

The strengthening of the location Witzenhausen (university, DITSL) with the aim of a promotion of foreign agriculture was realized with the foundation of a professional event "Witzenhäuser Hochschulwoche" in 1970.

Horst Zielenski organized a job service for association members for more than 20 years from 1979. This service was discontinued in 2000, because the demand decreased strongly and the offers of jobs abroad decreased strongly.

Since 1980, the Association has maintained its own office. In 1986, Egon Schülke replaced the index card system with a database for the administration of the association and updated it in a timely manner. The bookkeeping was administered by Egon Schülke on a voluntary basis from 1985 to 2009.

In 1968, when the teaching institution in Witzenhausen was still called "Höhere Landbauschule", the non-profit Fördererkreis was founded.

With the transformation of the "Höhere Landbauschule Witzenhausen" into the "Gesamthochschule Kassel" (GHK), later university, Prof. Dr. Feltz, former director of the "Höhere Landbauschule", thought about how the traditionally good connection to agricultural practice could be maintained and expanded. At that time, the "Fördererkreis" was founded at the GHK Witzenhausen with the aim of maintaining and strengthening old, good ties between agricultural practice, agricultural administration, the agriculturally related industry and the university. Special achievements in final theses of students have been honored with prizes. These funds came from the "Gustav Hacker Stiftung", in which the Fördererkreis holds a stake.

The board of directors was composed as follows:

First chairman was domain tenant Heinrich Schultheis, domain Frankenhausen,

Second chairman Dr. Konrad Jacob, Körle, Raiffeisenverband attorney Kassel, further board members Johann Heinrich von Henniges; Lucklum, Dr. Reuffurth, Landwirt-schaftskammer Kassel, first managing director G. Roth, Hofgeismar. Except for Dr. Reuffurth, all members of the board were former graduates of the old Höhere Landbauschule and members of the Altherrenverband Agronomia Kassel Witzenhausen.

For professional reasons, Messrs. von Henniges and Managing Director Roth left the board. New members of the board were Wolfgang von Scharfenberg, former president of the Kurhessen and Waldeck Chamber of Agriculture, Gut Kalkhof near Eschwege, sales director Jaap H. Vogelsang, sales director of Massey Ferguson GmbH Eschwege and Jürgen Bringe, technical advisor of Kali u. Salz AG Niestetal, who also took over the management. At that time there were 30 members. In 1971, a contact study was held for the first time together with the Fördererkreis and the GHK; 130 farmers and consultants from Hesse, Lower Saxony and Westphalia took part in this event. After this very successful start of further education, the contact study became a permanent, annual institution in Witzenhausen for the meeting of science and practice. Over the years, attendance leveled off at an average of around 200 participants.

By 1978, Managing Director (GF) Bringe had succeeded in increasing the number of members to 135. In 1979 the 1st chairman H. Schultheis left the board at his own request. The new 1st chairman was Ferdinand Schultheis, Domäne Frankenhausen. A new member of the board was Dr. Konrad Grass, Director of Agriculture, Hessian State Office for Food, Agriculture and Rural Development. (HELELL), Kassel.

In 1985 Klaus Thilo Kroeschell, Homberg Mardorf, became 1st chairman.

In 1988, the Fördererkreis existed for 20 years. Many projects of the GHK could also be supported financially, the Fördererkreis now counted more than 500 members. Dr. Jacob left the board, his successor was Helmuth Behler, Raiffeisen-Warenzentrale Kurhessen (RWZ )Kassel, who was a member of the board until 1994. His successor was Dir. Reinhard Stieglitz, RWZ Kassel, who was later succeeded by Dr. Christian Karst of RWZ.

In 1998 there was a change in the board and in the management. After 35 years as agricultural advisor in Hesse and almost 30 years as managing director of the Fördererkreis, Jürgen Bringe left the board. The Fördererkreis now had almost 700 members. Johannes Heinz Uloth now took over as managing director. In 2004 Klaus Snethlage took over this task. Mrs. Hesse, Mrs. Zeuner and Mrs. Hilgendorf were very committed in their support. This support was then taken over by Mrs. Beck and in the same way she took care of many administrative tasks that were necessary. The last board (Klaus Thilo Kroeschell, Klaus Snethlage, Dr. Christian Karst, Henry Thiele and Christian Hartje) now accompanied the merger with the Association of Tropical Farmers to the Witzenhausen University Association after almost 40 years of association activity.