Interview with a Boerengroep Board Member – Yanina Willet

Boerengroep is made by a multitude of people, and we thought it’d be nice to regularly introduce one of our board members in the form of a small interview. Who are the people in Boerengroep? Where do they come from? And what do they see in Boerengroep?

This week we’re happy to share some facts about Yanina Willet, who has been a friend of the Boerengroepies for a long time, until she decided to finally join the team last year!

What is your name?


Where are you from?


Do you have a farming background?

Nope, but I love plants and food

What do you study?

MSc Plant sciences and MSc Development and Rural Innovation

Who found who first? You or the Boerengroep? (How did it happen? How long have you been active in BG?)

I don’t really remember not knowing about Boerengroep, my housemates at Droevendaal had been involved with these things and I was just really motivated to do some more activism in relation to agriculture since the first Voedsel Anders conference I attended a couple of years ago, and so joined Boerengroep.

And how long have you been active in the Boerengroep?

A bit more than a year now.

What are you doing in Boerengroep? (your function) Is it something on the agenda?

I have been really involved in the Circular Farming Platform from the side of Boerengroep the past year, but at the moment I am helping to organize the FEI and I came up with the Idea to make some Farmers tales in corona times by video, so we’re working on that too.

Can you give us something secret away about the Boerengroep?

Sometimes we secretly dance at the office and eat chocolate cake.

When you are asked what you do on Wednesday nights, what do you say? (friends, family)

Hangin’ out on the Land, probably eating.

If you be any kind of farmer/animal/crop/garden tool/machine, what would you be?

Probably a pumpkin, climbing on stuff when I feel like it, growing on sturdy stems, together with my pump friends. Sweet, or salty in meals, but quite nutritious and filling. You could basically survive weeks on me. Got me in many shapes and colors, and sometimes you even just wanna grow me because I’m pretty ;P

What kind of food would you feed our board members during the meetings?

This question is really tricky because that could be an infinite amount of things. When I cook, stuff just emerges out of the stuff I have in the kitchen. Most of the times I don’t really know what I will be cooking. But for sure I’d make sure they have a lot of nice foodies.

What is the most inspiring thing you have done with the Boerengroep? (event, meeting, lecture, excursion…)

Hard to say but I guess it would be the excursion to Beersche Hoeve biodynamic seed breeding farm.

If you had a private meeting with the Minister of Agriculture of your country, what would you ask/tell him/her? (Carola Schouten, Angela Merkel, Phil Hogan…etc)

I’d ask her to please change most meadows in the Netherlands into food forests please, and say we can make that happen if we want to. Just got to imagine what it would be like.

Who is your farming hero? And why? (like a favorite product?

All farmers who dare do experiment because that is what is going bring us forward.

On a scale of monoculture to polyculture, where would you place yourself?

Depends of the day, the time and the place.  I’d say somewhere between strip-cropping and managed forests.