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History

Ramello is a farm located in the heart of the Magadino Plain, in the southern part of Switzerland (Canton Ticino) only a hundred kilometers from Milan Airport. The story of the Magadino Plain and that of the farm are closely related.

The main farmhouse was built around 1790 and is one of the oldest buildings in the plain. In the 19th century the farm was owned by a wealthy  family, which built the two lateral barns, forming the beautiful Lombard court.

In 1918 COOP ( today the leading Supermarket chain in Switzerland ) bought the farm with the objective to produce, transform and sell agricultural products, mainly because during World War I Switzerland, as the whole of Europe, had experienced a severe food shortage.

In the period between the World wars important public investments in irrigation and drainage schemes  took place in the Magadino Plain (Plan Wahlen). COOP also carried on significant investments in buildings and irrigation systems.

In 1951 Albert Feitknecht senior started his 36 years long career as farm manager, he belongs to the small group of pioneers in the Swiss seed corn production. Under his leadership Ramello became an efficient and profitable farming operation based on seed production (seed corn and wheat), a dairy operation with 50 cows and a 60-70 mothersows.

The big changes in the Swiss agricultural policy induced COOP to lease the farm in 1987 to Albert Ulrich jr. and Rose who returned from a 8 year international experience (Latin America, USA, Zimbabwe and Spain) with a seed company to manage the farm.

After 10 years COOP decided to sell the farm, so Albert Ulrich and Rose realized  the dream of four generation of Feitknecht’s to own the farm they worked on.

Many developments took place in Ramello in the last quarter of a century, so a new pig barn was built in 1991 those allowing to sell our piglets in a premium segment ( animal welfare friendly and regional), more than doubling the milk production, introducing new crops ( rice, potatoes under plastic, malting barley, soybeans and lupine ).  In the late 90ies agro tourism was established, especially groups who visited the farm and tasted our products.  In the early 90es we introduced conservation tillage ( no and minimum till) in several crops. From 2006 to 2007 we installed a voluntary milking system, for various reasons it didn’t respond to the expectations .

In 2010, together with two partners, we built the first biogas Plant in Ticino, thus permitted to optimize the manure management and cutting fertilizers cost. 

Our daughter and the three sons are all involved in agriculture ( Thomas 1982 – Michael 1983 both born in Zimbabwe, Ana Cristina 1985 born in Seville Spain and the youngest Adrian 1988). Thomas works partially for Lely milking systems  and is responsible for the dairy operation in Ramello, Michael MSc in agriculture ETHZ lives in Panama City and works for Syngenta Latin America, Michael is married to Monica (Spanish) , they became parents of twins on January 12th (Iago and Emma)

 Ana Cristina (As well a MSC degree from ETH) lives in the Central Part of Switzerland where her husband Lukas (Also BSc agronomy) runs a farm contracting business, since Spring 2014 they are proud parents of baby boy MAX, while Adrian (BSc in agronomy) together with his parents and Tom  is managing the farming operation at Ramello. 

© Masseria Ramello 2011 - 2019. Credits Ducklin' Sagl