Demeter mourns a well-deserved pioneer of the Biodynamic movement

After a fulfilling life in which he has driven the global Demeter movement with contagious enthusiasm, Friedrich Sattler has died at 89 years of age. "His wisdom, friendly attentiveness, awareness and incomparable Biodynamic experience will be missed", said Demeter CEO Alexander Gerber, in honour of the farmer and consultant. As one of the last pioneers of the Biodynamic movement Fritz Sattler has not only taken his share of Demeter work but also helped steer the course of development for sustainable agriculture on all continents up into old age. For many years and indeed right up to his death Friedrich Sattler has been a member of the Certification Commission of Demeter International. Cornelia Hauenschild, responsible for the global certification of Biodynamic enterprises, emphasizes: "We are losing not only a reliable partner in all certification issues; his good judgment will be difficult to replace."

His work has decisively influenced the association for years. Friedrich Sattler worked for over forty years in Demeter bodies such as the Board of the Demeter Association, the Standards Commission of the Research ring or with Demeter International. After the war, his original intention was to study chemistry, but this wasn’t to be. And so his love for agriculture, discovered early in life, could come to bear fruit. The young man graduated from an agricultural apprenticeship at the Biodynamic enterprise ‘Bomlitz’, where he discovered his talent of working with animals, especially with cattle. In 1948 Sattler came to Talhof in Heidenheim, binding their fortunes together over many decades and where he also met his wife Hannerose Haupt. The conditions on Talhof, one of the oldest Demeter farms in the world, were far from easy, but Friedrich Sattler understood how to enhance soil fertility through the Biodynamic preparations. He also knew how to promote the development of the farm organism as a whole and how to breed up a line of cattle.

The training of apprentices and promotion of the Biodynamic method through lectures, participation in the research circle and in the Demeter Association, as well as lectures at the university of applied science - Fachhochschule Nürtingen were always close to his heart. Already in 1983 Sattler was honoured with the Gold Medal of the State of Baden Württemberg for special, outstanding contributions to the education and training of farmers. From 1975 to 1996 he participated in the then Commission for Masters’ examinations for farmers in training, this work also being recognised by the Federal President with a certificate in 1984. In 1989 Friedrich Sattler was presented with the Order of Merit (ribbon) for his Biodynamic work.

 

Also as an author Friedrich Sattler had a fine reputation – be it in the magazine "Lebendige Erde”  or together with Eckhard von Wistinghausen with the fundamental work "Biodynamic Farming Practice" or as concrete assistance to interested colleagues with the book "Conversion to Organic Farming". He made Countless trips inside Germany and abroad, especially to Eastern Europe, Israel and Spain, where he gave lectures, supported conversion to the Biodynamic method or carried out Demeter inspections, all of which added to his reputation as a competent Biodynamic practitioner. At home and abroad his competent advice in a wide variety of work areas was frequently sought out.

Influenced by the proximity of death as a young soldier when he suffered a bullet wound with large blood loss, Friedrich Sattler made the anthroposophical path of knowledge the basis of his life, giving himself to the service of others and to the common cause. His main aim was always to include the spiritual world. "Here too may Friedrich Sattler continue to be a great role model for us all" emphasises Alexander Gerber.