The comprehensive regional development project (PRE) creates new and innovative links between agriculture, tourism, art culture and history. The task of mountain farming is not only to produce food, but also to cultivate the land and conserve the beautiful mountain landscape, thus protecting steep slopes from soil erosion and avalanches. In addition, the development of high-altitude territories as far as reaching the Alps provides an important basis for tourism. Agriculture in Klosters provides jobs, nature-based food and a diverse living and recreational environment.
The municipality of Klosters Serneus comprises a diverse cultural landscape, from the municipal border in Saas (988 m. above sea level) to the Verstanclahorn (3298 m. above sea level), which is managed by around 96 farming enterprises. Slightly more than half of the farms are engaged in full-time farming. However, the majority of the farmers also pursue other occupations and duties.
Half of the farms run their business as dairy farms and supply valuable cheese, whey cheese and butter. The other half keep suckler cows. In addition, horses, sheep, goats, lamas, woolly pigs and of course chickens and many other animals romp the Klosters grazing lands.
The following cow breeds can be found grazing on the meadows and pastures:
Brown Suisse, Red Holstein, Swiss Holstein, Suisse Jersey and Original Braunvieh (dairy breeds)
Rhaetian Grey Cattle, Brown Swiss, Piedmontese, Angus, Limousin, Herford, Highland Cattle, Chariolais and Simmental (suckler cow breeds)
Agriculture and Tourism
Agriculture and tourism form a symbiotic community. If there was no functioning agriculture, there would be no cultural landscape, so tourists would not come. Yet without tourism or other attractive workplaces in the region, many farming enterprises could no longer survive today. Thus, both sides are reviving each other. In Klosters, farmers do not only offer the finest local produce, but also other exciting activities such as lama trekking and horse-drawn carriage rides, event locations or serving guests in “Besäbeizli” (small . The many traditional festivals together with actively cultivating customs, allow guests and locals to grow closer and create identity.
The farmers of Klosters are very keen on preserving an intact cultural landscape and have committed themselves, with a cross-linking project, to maintaining the structural richness, biodiversity and valuable biotopes with near-natural and sustainable management in the interest of the entire population and tourism. An important contribution is to prevent the overgrowth and silting up of alpine pastures and steep slopes by means of targeted measures. Forage production and ecological aspects are optimally coordinated, and nature conservation concerns are integrated into each individual farming enterprise.
Following the refined direct subsidy scheme, subsidies are aligned on the objectives of the Federal Constitution. The core elements are:
- Cultural landscape subsidies for the conservation of landscapes
- Food security subsidies for maintaining a secure food supply to the population
- Subsidies for the conservation and promotion of biodiversity
- Subsidies for the conservation, promotion and evolution of diversity and quality of cultural landscapes
- Subsidies for the promotion of natural, environmentally friendly and animal-friendly forms of production (e.g. organic and integrated production)
Most of the animal-related subsidies are reclassified as security of supplies subsidies. The security of supplies subsidies is based on acreage, whereby grassland is assumed to be used for the keeping of roughage-consuming livestock (minimum stocking density). Compliance with the ecological performance standards remains a prerequisite for the payment of direct subsidies.
All public services which agriculture is required to provide under the Federal Constitution (Article 104) are funded by means of specific direct subsidies. The focus of each individual direct payment instrument is also reflected in the name of the respective subsidy type.