About Thomas Rippel
I am a bio-dynamic farmer working as part of a community of practical idealists on the community supported agriculture Luzernenhof. I am also active as the Project Manager Fundraising Operations of the cooperative Kulturland Genossenschaft. The cooperative is a land-trust with the aim to turn agricultural land into a modern commons. The cooperative buys agricultural land with the money of its members and leases it out to socially engaged organic farms like Luzernenhof. As of early 2018, 100 hectares of land have been secured for 10 farms.
I grew up in Austria and Hungary and studied economics, environmental engineering, Chinese and Positive Psychology at the University of Melbourne, Sichuan University, University of Nottingham Ningbo China and the University of Pennsylvania. In my early 20s, I took a timeout to live and work on an organic farm in Switzerland. Those three months changed my life and set me on a path that I am still pursuing passionately today: Working with my hands in the soil. I re-connected with the world in a way that I hope I can share with many more people around me.
In 2011 I launched a the non-for-profit Organic Standard with the goal of creating a financial incentive for farmers to improve their soil fertility through CO2 offset certificates. I initiated several sustainable farming projects in Switzerland as well as being involved in EU financed agricultural projects. In these projects I explored several approaches to manure treatment, composting and the use of biochar. Some of my projects have been profiled on Swiss, German and Spanish national television, as well as in print by journals and newspapers such as the Süddeutsche Zeitung, Tages Anzeiger, Blick an Abend, The Atlantic or La Contra.
I completed a 5-year vocational training to become a certified organic farmer in Switzerland and subsequently wrote my thesis on composting and biodynamic preparations, completing an advanced degree in bio-dynamic farming (Fachmann für biodynamische Landwirtschaft).