Andreas Essich had a key experience in Lower Saxony in the 1980s: a speaker predicted to the young agricultural master that one needed to become a “millionaire” in order to succeed on the market. This phrase impacted the life of Andreas Essich and his family, because ever since the Swabian took over the Lindenhof in Hunsrück in early 1988, there have been signs of growth that continue to the present day. Andreas Essich is now cultivating the farm with his son Moritz and an entire Lindenhof team.



Construction has been taking place on the Lindenhof in Bockenau for about 30 years. At first, the family systematically increased the number of dairy cows to 250, step by step. No large stable was ever built during this process, nor was a stable enlarged by means of extensions. “We built consecutively, i.e. little by little,” says Andreas Essich. And while doing so, we always kept the following in mind: What can the farm tolerate? What is feasible financially and from a work standpoint? And as it became clear that son Moritz would take over the family business, the decision-making criteria once again changed. “As of this time, I was unable and unwilling to make decisions on my own anymore, so we left different options open for some development measures”, explains Andreas Essich. One example is the milk technology matter. Milking parlor, robot, or rotary milking parlor? A lot of versions remained under consideration for a while; only with the latest expansion to 400 cows was the decision made to finally choose a rotary milking parlor.


The Essich family uses innovative solutions. The solar energy collected on the farm is not fed back into the grid but rather used in an ice machine itself. This ice cools down the collected milk until it is picked up by the dairy plant. If it is warm in the summer and greater cooling performance is needed, then more solar energy is available. “When we decided on this solution, it was barely feasible economically”, recalls Andreas Essich. “Power was available for a few cents on the spot market. Since the war in Ukraine, our solution combined with the biogas plant has been a blessing.” Even in other aspects, other decisions have proven to be spot on in hindsight, like the ones related to stable construction. The new stable has been designed as a 2-row freestall with open yard. Dry cows have access to the pasture, and the high costs of building the stable are now paying off thanks to programs such as Hochwald MilchPlus and QM++. At the same time, the cow-to-space ratio has been created in a way to benefit animal welfare. “We have now reached organic levels in cattle breeding. And it is not because we wish to switch to organic but rather because it actually pays off for us.”

The ice machine and biogas plant are a blessing

Andreas Essich, farmer


“The farm festival is only supposed to be the beginning,” says Andreas Essich. “In the future, we wish to deliberately open up to visitor groups and make our work transparent. Consumers have become increasingly uncertain for years. We can demonstrate that the size of an operation like ours and cattle welfare can go hand in hand.” This is also why Lindenhof is also preparing a seminar/meeting room for school classes and kindergarten groups. A farm learning facility in the truest sense of the word. One thing that the children perhaps will rarely or never see is one of the Essich men driving a tractor. Both of them have a soft spot for cows and farming – but neither of them like driving the tractor, which is in stark contrast to the classic farmer cliché, who spends most of his time on the tractor. “Our apprentices can fill in for us there wonderfully. They get excited when they are given the opportunity to drive the tractor, while we take care of strategic issues and our cows”, explain the Essich men with a smile. A farm with 400 cows, well-positioned for the future, with the next generation on board, and making investments in a new stall, the infrastructure on the farm, and animal welfare. They surely do not have any more projects up their sleeve in the coming years. Or do they? “In the future, the solution will not be continued growth but rather a trustful relationship with consumers who ultimately should get a clean conscience about our products. Who else is supposed to inform them and convince them of our work if we don’t do it ourselves?,” says Andreas Essich staunchly. The Lindenhof in Bockenau will continue to develop. It is located at an unusual location for a dairy farm, whose creators turned it from a small-scale operation to a farm with more than one million liters of milk per year. As such, the Essichs have already achieved their “millionaire” dream.


A steadfast eye to the future

At the Schäfer family farm, generations work hand in hand for a secure future.

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On the way to the future

Everyone’s talking about sustainability, environmental protection, and CO2 neutrality. This is also happening in the Mörshausen district of Homberg. 

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