I’m sure that livestock sometimes think that we humans must be off our rockers. But as a farmer, there’s nothing better than successfully bringing together tradition and progress. My name is Josef Müller. Our 80 Braunvieh cows produce high-quality dairy and meat produce – – thanks to modern technology and livestock-friendly traditions. Of course, with us, successful dairy farming begins at the nursery. And the quality of milk and meat will only be right if the breeding is given high priority first. Raising Braunvieh is of course also a passion, and it’s great to watch a heifer calve and see the next step in the breeding process. Our herd management is supported by modern technology in order to efficiently interpret the reams of data created by 80 cows and calves, all of which is to increase the success of our operations. We send our calves up to pasture in the Allgäu at 6 months of age where the tough weather in the Alps, including heavy rains and high winds, make the animals tougher and in later life much less susceptible to illness. In due course that improves longevity and means animals living to a healthy old age. We don’t just sell milk and meat; we also sell heifers, excellent breeding stock, via our breeding association’s auctions. Our Allgäuer Braunvieh is especially sought after for export because of its long lifespan, sturdiness and strength. The breed is also in high demand because of its particular resistance to heat, remaining healthy in those highly stressful conditions. Thanks to state support, the changeover to livestock-friendly freestall barns has become even easier to implement. This is an example of tradition, efficient organisation and new production techniques coming together to benefit both man and beast. Our livestock are primarily fed a diet that we produce ourselves: grass silage, corn silage, groats and hay. That allows us to make the best use of our own land as well as being the most sustainable long-term approach, both ecologically and economically. A family business is for us a mixture of living space and work space. And in that lifestyle you don’t count the hours you work. Generations live and work together on the farm. In such a situation, harmony is everything, where peace in the family is most certainly the greatest sign of success. Because, as a dairy farmer in the Bavarian Allgäu, I naturally think in terms of generations – and when our cows are doing well, we’re all doing well.