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Honorary President, Philip Freiherr von dem Bussche passed away peacefully

Our former President, and, until his death, Honorary President, Philip Freiherr von dem Bussche passed away peacefully on April 8, 2024 at the age of 74 after a long illness. The DLG owes a great deal to Philip Freiherr von dem Bussche, who ranks as one of the outstanding personalities of the German and international agricultural industry.

When Philip Freiherr von dem Bussche joined the DLG as President it was a stroke of luck not only for the DLG but also for the whole of the German agricultural industry. He embodied the modern farmer and the responsible entrepreneur like no other. He led the DLG into the 21st century with great foresight. With his instinctive grasp of the fundamentals of social and economic development he set forward-looking policies for agriculture and the food industry.

The enlightened rationale behind all of Philip von dem Bussche's actions was founded on his Christian-humanist convictions. His charismatic leadership and vision for the future went far beyond the industry he served. He saw change and renewal as an opportunity for further development and growth, whether on a personal or business front. Socially, he interacted with others confidently and effectively, inspiring their loyalty with his empathy and humour. From his home in Lower Saxony, Germany, he developed a global vision that will carry us far into the future.

He shaped the DLG for decades, serving as a sympathetic source of inspiration  for us all. Initially his contribution was as a business professional but then he became a long-standing member of the Executive Board, and from 1997 to 2006 served as President, then as Chairman of the Supervisory Board and most recently as Honorary President. He developed the DLG into a leading international organisation and a successful promoter of the agriculture and food industry. He was also a significant guide and role model for the younger generation in the industry.

In 2006, the DLG awarded Philip Freiherr von dem Bussche the Grand Golden Max Eyth Commemorative Medal, its highest award, in recognition of his great services, and on the same occasion he was made Honorary President for life.

In addition to his work for the DLG, Philip Freiherr von dem Bussche ran a farm with a focus on arable farming, pig breeding and forestry in Ippenburg (Osnabrück district), Germany, which has been family-owned since 1345. Since 1991 he has been involved as a partner of an agricultural partnership in Krostitz in Saxony. From 2000 to 2005 he was a member of the Supervisory Board of the former KWS SAAT AG, in 2006 he became a member of the Executive Board of KWS SAAT and from 2008 to 2014 became its spokesperson. Since December 2022, he has been Chairman of the Supervisory Boards of KWS SAAT SE & Co. KGaA and KWS SE.

He was a sought-after advisor, especially in the strategic orientation of family-run companies in the process of generational change, and as such worked for the companies GRIMME Landmaschinenfabrik GmbH & Co. KG, Maschinenfabrik Bernard KRONE GmbH & Co.KG and Pfeifer & Langen GmbH & Co. KG.

The DLG's thoughts are with his family and they will always honour the memory of Philip Freiherr von dem Bussche.

Hubertus Paetow
President of DLG