Agriculture & forestry in Liechtenstein
Liechtenstein was an agricultural economy a mere 60 years ago, suffering from the war raging around its borders. Since then agriculture has declined, as it has done elsewhere in Europe. It is, however, still an important industry in Liechtenstein, and many 'business' people maintain links to their agricultural heritage, keeping livestock and being involved in the harvest or markets.
With much of the valley sides heavily forested, forestry is another important industry that has declined in the face of hi-tech industries on the valley floor. Many villages provide logging rights to its inhabitants, thus keeping the forests well maintained at minimal expense.
When you see the agricultural workers, especially on the steep slopes of Planken or Triesenberg, you realise what a hard life it remains, though I am sure that many people still regard it as rather romantic. With the Heidi valley just over the border in neighbouring Switzerland, this is the 'chocolate-box' image many people have of Switzerland, Liechtenstein and Austria.
If you venture out into the mountains of Liechtenstein, you will find high meadow pastures grazed by herds of typically 'Swiss' cattle. These are animals belonging to village inhabitants, and are sent to the high 'Alps' every summer. The milk producers are kept in the cattle sheds to keep them from harm, whilst the rest are free to roam almost anywhere on the Alp. Why not stop at an Alp, next time you are in the mountains - you will get a hearty welcome, and you can buy a meal of cheese, meat and a fresh glass of milk from them - there is nothing better!