1. Intro

The farm was small-medium size, with milk buffalos, managed by the father. Mariaoliva started very soon to be involved in the farm management and she was very attracted by working with those big black animals producing milk. Since she successed to her father by agreement within the family, when she was 19 years old, she converted the animal production to organic farming. Sheds and other premises were renovated and the farm vision was based on natural production of buffalo mozzarella cheese as main product. Corn and hay for fodder are cultivated to feed the buffalos.

2. Promoter Profile

Name Mariaoliva Lombardi
Age 26
Gender Female
Education High School
Marital status Single
Number of children 0

3. Farm Profile

Address Priverno (Latina), Lazio (Italy)
Farm Area in ha 18 ha
Date since when the family owns the farm 50 years
Nº of workers on the farm (Family members) 4 (Full time) 0(Part time)
Nº of workers on the farm (Other than family members) 0 (Full time) 1 (Part time)

Farm description before succession

The farm was based on extensive buffalo breeding to produce milk buffalo, that is traditional heritage of that area called Agro-Pontino, former marshland drained in the years between 1926 and 1937. Buffalos were substituted after the drainage by bovine races, but in the last years buffalo breeding came back prevailing. The farm was therefore a traditional small but extensive buffalo farm.


Modernization of previous buildings, new sheds and mechanization were necessary to convert the farm to organic agriculture and produce corn and hay to get forage for feeding buffalos. The milk quality is constantly monitored to get high fat and quality milk as a result of the mixed diet from pastures integrated with organically produced forage. Milk buffalo mozzarella cheese is highly appreciated as a traditional product of Agro-Pontino, as well as in the area of Caserta, where Mozzarella di Bufala Campana is a registered PDO label.

4. Succession Process

The succession process was inspired by Mariaoliva who decided very soon, when she was 18 years old to become farm leader, by agreement with the father, predecessor. It was immediately clear that organic production and farm modernization could make the difference for a more sustainable and profitable farm based on buffalo milk production. The new farm plan was in continuity with the old farm tradition but with more professional dairy rearing focused on high quality milk and value based on high quality milk for buffalo mozzarella.


Bureaucracy and lack of information in the offices were the most challenging threats to be faced.

Authorization and regularization of building renovation and new premises were quite difficult to obtain and time spending

Also to get the first instalment took some time before becoming effective farm leader.

Family support was very important to go on despite of some delays and difficulties, including financial issues. 

Main Training/Skills/Competences

A training based on in-depth knowledge of the Rural Development Plan is fundamental to start-up own new farm project.

Training on farm management is very important for decision making, investments and adequate use of human resources.

Training on organic buffalo milk production could be really needed as there is a lack of specific competence.

Training enabling to solve practical problems, such as bureaucratic issues for youngsters starting as farm leader could be absolutely important to overcome ongoing difficulties.


“When the starting point is a traditional heritage such as buffali breeding it is very important to get full advice from the experience of the predecessor, but it is also fundamental to implement this competence with own life and work vision. It is always possible to improve what was previously performed in a traditional way by adding innovative ideas and planning changes to make more effective, competitive, rentable and sustainable agriculture.”


5. Considerations, skills/competences and queries/questions.