Dr. Matthias Benke
Mars La Tour Straße 1-13
The Chamber of Agriculture of Lower Saxony (LWK) is an agricultural administration and advisory institution working in the fields of agriculture, horticulture and forestry. The tasks are wide-ranging, including official appraisals, advisory services, research and vocational training (agriculture, horticulture, forestry, dairy- and other animal farming, farm and home economics, agro-tourism among others). The LWK is an independent, self-governed legal entity of public law and commissioned by the federal State of Lower Saxony; responsible for compliance with more than 50 laws, regulations and funding programmes. To put the concept of self-government into daily practice the head offices and honorary office (elected representatives of professions and full-time professionals) work closely together. The highest decision-making body is the Chamber Assembly, which is reconstituted every six years. LWK employs about 2,500 members of staff, consisting of a wide range of experts, thus ensuring a high level of professional and multi-disciplinary competence (e. g., agronomists, foresters, geologists, geographers, biologists, legal experts and architects). The employees are located around Lower Saxony working in six departments (administration, subsidy programmes, agriculture, forestry, horticulture, LUFA Nord-West) at the head offices in Oldenburg and Hannover and in more than 26 agencies around Lower Saxony. LWK is partner in about 30 third party funded projects. These projects focus on grassland management; forage production and silage quality; testing of grass varieties; biodiversity, nature and water protection; land use and regional management; soil cultivation; organic manure treatment and renewable raw materials. PMO is the central node for their financial management. The PMO has access to several German project databases, which offers the opportunity to search for data relevant for Inno4Grass. Description of the units participating in Inno4Grass: Department 3.12 Sustainable Land Use, Rural Development, Project Management Office (PMO) and GIS (Dept. 3.12) is responsible for topics related to rural land use, e.g., rural development, emission assessment (building law), fertilisation, nutrient cycling, and the protection of climate, nature, water, and soil, and is involved in management and administration of projects. Department 3.9 Grassland and Forage Production combines applied research and farmer consultancy and is responsible for all questions involving grassland and forage production and management. This includes production; varieties of grasses, legumes and others; forage production and grassland quality; fertilization; harvesting.