Land Trust NOW

Christopher Mann speaking at the Michael Fields Agricultural Institute which he co-founded with his wife Martina & Ruth Zinniker

Thru the ‘Traveling Speakers Program’ run for many years by Margret Shipman, I was asked to bring a weekend workshop to the Michael Fields Institute in East Troy WI. Over 3 days we explored The Spiritual Guidance of the Individual and Humanity– one of the rare lecture series’ that Rudolf Steiner reworked & cast into the form of an essay. It was there that I met & became fast friends with Christopher Mann & his beloved co-worker Angela Curtes, Land Protection Specialist & founder of GROUNDED LLC. Christopher was very excited about his new project – The Alchemist, a film he made with Frigyes Fogel – following those who are called to heal, & consecrate the earth through biodynamics…He was such an inspiration to my daughter & her Waldorf School friends who he hosted, sharing fascinating bits from his amazing biography, (His parents knew Steiner & did the Mann translation of the Calendar of the Soul).

The Biodynamic Association has a great bio of Christopher.

Throughout his lifetime, Christopher created land trusts to support biodynamic, organic, & sustainable agriculture, along with research & education.

Christopher, his wife Martina & Ruth Zinniker founded the Michael Fields Agricultural Institute (MFAI) in East Troy, Wisconsin in the 80’s. Back in those days it was the mission of MFAI to train biodynamic farmers, as well as do research into organic & biodynamic methods.

Christopher hadn’t been out to MFAI for years because they had gotten away from working biodynamicly; but when he saw my program he came out wanting to support Anthroposophy which he said was sorely missed. He talked about how the Class Lessons of the School of Spiritual Science used to be held in the upper room of the beautiful barn where we held our workshop.

At that time Perry Brown had just become the new Executive Director. He admitted that he knew nothing about biodynamics, & that Anthroposophy was new to him. Everyone who attended hoped that the workshop would spur a fresh impulse into MFAI

I was to come back to do another workshop for St. John’s which never happened. Although a few years later the spark was again ignited when Petra Zinniker held the Prep makers conference there of which I was able to offer a Candlemas Festival ‘Applying the Wisdom of Light – BD 501 and 508 – Tools to bring the cosmic light into the earth.’

I knew that some of the parcels of land had been sold off, but recently they sold half the campus to a group that runs a meadery! Then I was shocked to hear that the remaining part of the MFAI campus donated by Christopher & Martina Mann, including the two amazing architecturally stunning barns are now on the market!

Originally they had offered it to a land trust that Christopher had co-founded, but then just before it was to be transferred, the board of MFAI upped the asking price.

Pastor Rogers, of Victory Christian Academy seeking to bring inner city youth from Milwaukee to learn about agriculture & growing food was the highest bidder – but the MFAI board turned down the higher offer & has instead decided to sell the remaining campus, to another maker of alcohol, a whiskey distillery .   

Dear friends, they have 40 days to close. Perhaps we can still turn the tide by reaching out to Perry Brown the Executive Director of MFAI to ask them to reconsider. Wouldn’t we want the legacy of Christopher Mann to be upheld & honored?


Join Us TODAY Saturday 10/23/2021 at 1:30pm

We will be meeting at Zinniker Farm

N 7399 Bowers Rd, Elkhorn, WI 53121

One thought on “Land Trust NOW

  1. Dear friends – I plan to follow thru & at least have a conversation to ask more questions, like where will the $ from the sales go?

    from Lisa Daiman: It seems like someone can create an odd and barely needed gizmo, post a kickstarter to get it backed and earn 3x what they actually asked for. Yet an impulse as deeply needed as BD and the roots of the work laid down by Zinniker Farm struggles to get support. Sigh…. One would have hoped that Michael Fields was strong enough and connected enough to the BD impulse and its grounding in Anthroposophy that they might have been instrumental is supporting ZF.

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