March: Spring excursions to Dairy farms

milk cows

Between 1950 and 2016, the Netherlands has lost six out of seven farms. Meanwhile, the amount of land and animals per farm is increasing. Join Boerengroep for three wonderful trips to the Dutch countryside, discovering striking stories from the field..

25th March: Organic farm De Beekhoeve. The story of a family dairy farm

Practical info:
Depart: 10:15h at the parking lot in front of Sports Centre de Bongerd (across Bornsesteeg)
We will go there by car. (van Teylingenweg 172, 3471 GK Kamerik; 0031 348 401254)
Excursion fee: €5,- (for transport, and a contribution to the farmer. Bring some lunch)
Sign Up for the excursion to the Beekhoeve farm on 25th of March: Subscription form 25th March

For those of you who have seen a passionate farmer speaking at the farewell of Jan Douwe can der Ploeg: that was Monique van der Laan! We will visit her at her farm De Beekhoeve. De Beekhoeve is an organic diary farm with 60 cows, located in Kamerik,  a village close to Utrecht. The cows are of the Maas-Rijn-IJsselvee (MRY) breed, and are red and white of colour. The family farm has more to it than only cows; sustainable entrepreneurshop and agrarian nature management are two basic, ethical principles. Citizens are involved on the land through activities, volunteering days, alternative financing possibilities, and more durable developments. One example that illustrates this well is the option to adopt a calf or a cow. In this way the relation between the consumer and the farm is secured over a longer period of time. In their farm shop they sell their produce and home-made foods such as cheese, butter, milk, meat, and fruit juices. One of the visions of the farmers is to gather a group of citizens around themselves and the farm for support, input, and to share the harvest. This is one of the ways in which family farmers can secure their future and assure continuation. In other words, lots of things to see, experience, and learn through the excursion tot De Beekhoeve. We will hear the story from the family farm!

 Spring Excursions pic


18th March: bike excursion to organic dairy farm de Hooilanden. The Ethics of dairy Farming

Practical info:
Depart: 9:30 at the tree statue of the Forum Building (15 min. bike). Bring your bike!
Excursion fee: € free (but bring some money, because the farm shop is open! If you bring a bottle, you can fill it with fresh raw milk for only €1)
Sign up: Sign Up for the excursion to the Hooilanden farm on 18th March: Subscription form 18th March

De Hooilanden is an organic dairy farm with 75 cows, located in Bennekom, a Neighbouring village of Wageningen. The same family keeps the farm for already three generations, and dairy farming is their main activity. Nature enjoyment matters a lot in the Hooilanden, that’s why others activities linking farming and nature are set up. Farm tours are organised, and people can as well have meetings in the farm, while enjoying a delicious homemade meal in a peaceful environment! Cheese, milk, butter, and cow meat are produced and sold on the spot, and we will have the chance to see how butter and cheese are made. Don’t forget to bring a bottle, you can fill it with fresh raw milk for only 1 euro.

Farming while respecting nature and animals are important for the Hooilanden farmers, and we will discuss the ethics of dairy farming together.

Spring Excursions pic

11th March: Conventional dairy farm of Hans Geurts. A fair price for the producers

Practical info:
Depart: 9:00h at the parking lot in front of Radix Building (Next to Forum)
We will go there by car
Excursion fee: € 5,-
Sign up: === FULL Sorry, you can’t sign up anymore for the 11th of March ===
11th March

The Farm.
Hans has a conventional dairy farm with 110 dairy cows and 70 calves. The cows are ‘double purpose’ (for milk and meat), of the Fleckvieh breed. He milks the cows with two milking robots, and from half of April until November, the cows can go outside in the pasture. Hans is married with Nicolien, and they have three sons. One of them, Luc, is thinking on taking over the farm, and maybe turning it into an organic farm. (Address: Veulensewaterweg 22; 5814 AK Veulen).

Fair Prices for the Producers.
Since 2003, Hans Geurts is active in the Nederlandse Melkveehouders Vakbond, NMV (Dutch Dairy farmer Union). For 8 years, he was part of the Executive Committee, out of which 3 years he was the chair. Currently, he is also chair of ‘Aarde Boer Consument’, a platform of several farmers unions and foundations, like Boerengroep. In 2007 already, far before the milk quota was ended and all phosphate problems started to rise, Hans wrote a document Afschaffing van de melkquotering: een historische vergissing” , where he warns about the negative consequences of ending a quota. During the excursion, Hans will give a tour on his farm and share with us all his rich knowledge on the struggles of dairy farmers, politics, and the need for fair prices.

Spring Excursions pic