Born in 1956 I have graduated as a veterinarian in Utrecht, the Netherlands. During my 12-year fieldwork with various farmers’ organizations and ministries of agriculture in Latin America (Nicaragua and Bolivia) I have gradually learned to combine technical experience in animal production systems with innovative methodological approaches.
Later on I was involved with numerous programs in Africa and Asia through programs of ETC Foundation: Compas and Prolinnova. Curious to learn more about the situation of the farmers in my own country, I worked with sustainable dairy farmers in the Netherlands, in the Duurzaam Boer Blijven program between 2007 and 2011.
Author of various publications (including films) I am passionate about strengthening ‘people-centred’ approaches towards sustainable livestock development: Endogenous Livestock Development (ELD). Since 2005 I am one of the coordinators of the ELD international network and facilitator of the ELDev mailing list that links around 400 experts in livestock development throughout the world.
Over the years I have developed an extended network – both in developing countries the Netherlands. Moreover I have developed an array of practical technical expertise, especially in the field of sustainable dairy production. I have become an experienced trainer with clear insights in the challenges and opportunities related to (livestock) development issues – with a special focus on linking the lessons learnt in countries like the Netherlands to the realities of developing countries. Being a natural team player with a critical mind, I have also guided numerous young development professionals in their career orientation (in January 2011 I was formally graduated as personal Enneagram personal coach).
At present I am an independent livestock consultant with Dutch Farm Experience: training and tours for international visitors to innovative and sustainable Dutch farm initiatives; providing background info on Dutch Agriculture and relevant lessons for developing countries (www.Dutchfarmexperience.com)