´45/´30, SWR, 2019
watch (only in German)
Johannes Baron of Bodman is the oldest of the four children of Baron Wilderich of Bodman and his wife Maria-Claudia. A little over 12 years ago, in his late thirties and being the managing director of an organic farmers’ cooperative in Cologne, he took over the business at Gut Bodman on Lake Constance. Following the family tradition, he led the predominantly forestry and agricultural business for many years and managed various houses in the town of Bodman that belong to the family’s estate. Johannes shouldn’t have taken over the business, as he says, but he never seriously considered not doing it. The economist, who was studying, seemed too tempting to turn the Bodman estate into an ecologically sustainable organic farm and to bring the slowly decaying old houses of the town center back into new splendor. He successfully did all of this. The Bodman domain has recently been completed, including the old Hotel Linde. Johannes Baron of Bodman is often called the “Green Baron” at the lake — which is certainly true with regard to his clear stance on ecological agriculture and the importance of sustainable management and construction. But he sees himself above all as an initiator, administrator, manager and investor. He prefers to leave the agricultural, forestry and construction work to the “experts”, as he says, with whom he has worked closely for many years and who have since become part of the family, e.g. his brother-in-law and architect Tobias Jaklin, who oversees and helps develop the numerous construction projects, or Bertram Ledergerber, with whom he is now the largest organic apple producer on Lake Constance. Johannes Baron of Bodman is a humble and busy visionary, who not only uses the opportunities he has through his noble title and the associated property, but does so successfully and future-oriented.