The second Austrian Federal President, Michael Hainisch, received the Wilhelm Exner Medal for the great services he had rendered to the national economy. The impetus for awarding the medal to the then incumbent Federal President was his commitment to social policy.
Hainisch studied in Leipzig and Vienna, where he received his doctorate in law in 1882. He then moved to Berlin and attended economics seminars taught by Gustav Schmoller and Adolph Wagner. After working briefly at court, in the financial procurator’s office and in the Ministry of Education, Hainisch devoted himself to working independently of the party on agricultural and sociopolitical issues as well as on popular education activities.
Since 1892 Hainisch was active in agriculture and developed his property in Jauern am Semmering into a model farm. He also took part in professional agricultural organizations and was elected president of the board of directors of the German Agricultural Society in 1920.