The Federal Office for Agriculture (FOEN) is a federal agency of the Swiss Confederation. It is a specialized office of the Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research (WBF) of the Swiss Federal Government (Bundesrat). The Office is divided into 5 Directorates (Political Control and Resources, Production and Ecosystems, International Affairs, Markets and Value Added, and the last area is Direct Payments and Rural Development). In addition, the three Federal Agricultural Research Institutes (Agroscope) and the National Stud in Avenches are subordinated to the BLW. Bernard Lehmann was appointed Director of the Federal Office for Agriculture (FOAG) on 1 July 2011. Before taking up this post, he was Professor of Agricultural Economics at the Department of Agricultural and Food Sciences of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETHZ). Agricultural research supports an agriculture which produces healthy foodstuffs and preserves a life worthy landscape. Research further takes care of the Swiss cultural landscape which will continue being the living and working space for the rural population and whose importance for recreation and tourism is growing constantly. Agricultural research pursues those goals actively by working out the fundamental decisions for the development and the consequent continuation of the agrarian policy. Basic idea of these research activities is sustainability. These lie within the influence of the three dimensions of sustainability: the economic, the ecological and the social dimensions. Knowledge remains a key factor in guaranteeing that agriculture is competitive.