BERCHTESGADEN, Germany (AP) -- They were once a fixture of the Alpine areas of south Germany, Austria and Switzerland -- rugged farmers scratching out a living in the high plateaus and remote valleys.
Today there are far fewer of them as their descendants abandoned the hardships for more comfortable lives in towns and cities.
However, some still carry on the old ways, including Josef Wurm and his wife Elisabeth.
Each year, between June and September, they and others like them drive their livestock from the valleys to the high mountain meadows, where they produce milk and cheese the old-fashioned way and sell their products to hikers and mountain bikers.
Here's a gallery of images from Matthias Schrader.
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