Elisabeth Köstinger, Federal Minister for Agriculture, Regions and Tourism of the Republic of Austria
Elisabeth Köstinger was born in Carinthia on 22 November 1978 and grew up on a small family farm in St. Paul in Granitztal.
In 1998 she took her school-leaving examination at the Federal Secondary School Wolfsberg; afterwards she worked as assistant at the Carinthian Health Insurance Fund until 2003. At that time she started to study journalism and communication science as well as applied cultural sciences at the University of Klagenfurt. At the same time she worked as a free-lance in the communication sector.
Already at an early age she was active at the Rural Youth (Landjugend). First at the local group in Granitztal, then as district head at Wolfsberg, and soon she became provincial head of Carinthia. Finally, she became head of the Rural Youth at federal level from 2002 to 2006. In 2007 she was elected Chairwoman of the Austrian Young Farmers’ Association (Österreichische Jungbauernschaft). Her extraordinary commitment at the Austrian Young Farmers Association and in the Farmers’ Association (Bauernbund), of which she is Vice-President, paved her way to the European Parliament.
At the European Parliament she became Member of the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development and of the Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality. In 2014 Köstinger was, owing to her commitment, “EU delegate of the year 2014” in the category “agriculture and rural affairs”.
In 2017 she ran as a candidate for the national elections at her home Province Carinthia. With an excellent preference vote result she made the leap into the National Council and was elected President of the National Council on 9 November.
In December 2017 Elisabeth Köstinger became Austria’s first female Minister for Agriculture and Tourism. On 29 January 2020 she was sworn in as Minister for Agriculture, Regions and Tourism.