Good information and effective training program

The Netherlands is well known for its productive and innovative dairy farming. But when organizations want to learn more about Dutch agriculture they are usually connected to mainstream Dutch organizations that promote large-scale and high-input systems. Meanwhile, within the Netherlands itself the negative side-effects of these systems have become painfully apparent in terms of environmental and social consequences; a story which is not included into the messages of mainstream agricultural promotion.

Many of these farmers have re-introduced a number of ‘old’ practices in their farming enterprise. Popular initiatives include on-farm cheese making, farm shops, care farms, re-integration of crops and livestock, using dual-purpose breeds, improving soil quality, and using medicinal plants to reduce antibiotic use.

This history is largely unknown beyond the Netherlands. And this is unfortunate, as this knowledge is of immense importance for countries where such ‘old elements’ are still in place – though usually referred to as old-fashioned and to be replaced by modern techniques.

Direct contact with these farmers in combination – together with good background information and effective training approach – enables visitors to shift their views of their own reality. In this way it is possible to make a ‘technology leap’ and develop locally appropriate sustainable dairy systems, while preventing the negative side-effects of modern dairy farming that are now known in The Netherlands.

How does it work?

Our tailor-made tours for groups of farmers, veterinarians, government- university- and other (livestock) development experts are usually located on Dutch farms. But can also be held in a preferred location of the client.

The farms to be visited can vary – and will be selected according to location and specific characteristics. Choice can be made in terms of: organic or non-organic farms, multi-purpose or specialized dairy farms, care farms, pig farms, crop- en vegetable farms etc.

Workshops can be held in any preferred location, and can include presentations of:

  • Background and lessons learnt in Dutch dairy farming
  • Natural Livestock Farming: how to improve milk quantity and quality
  • Healthy Cows, Healthy People, Healthy Environment: natural dairy farming for food security, food safety, income and biodiversity
  • Dairy farming and climate change

Dutch Farm Experience workshops are often part of an overall training program organized by another organization (university, company) in the Netherlands.

Programs can also include the organization of stay, food and travel (max 8 people). In
case of a larger group, special arrangements need to be made.Many governments, universities and NGO’s have questions about the best way forward in agriculture and livestock development, in order to satisfy the needs for food for the growing urban populations, while also aiming for food-security and poverty alleviation in rural areas.

Please note: Dutch Farm Experience links you with Dutch dairy farmers, but is in itself a NOT a dairy farm

  • We do not organize training for individual farmers
  • We do not organize internships or working places. For internships at organic farms, please visit WWOOF
  • We do not provide services for exporting Dutch cattle or goods related to dairy farming
    Tours are not possible on Sundays
  • Farmers/individuals visiting the Netherlands and interested to visit a Dutch farm: please go to the nearest farm during the opening hours of the farm-shop – for example at Lekkerder or Landwinkel.

The Dutch Farm experience program

A choice can be made between tours/workshops of 0,5 day, one day and a full program of max. 1 week.

The program includes a combination between background info, farm tours by host farmers and training questions and evaluation. All trainings and tours include background info on Dutch farming, visits to different farm types, and analysis of how to use the lessons learnt in the own country context. On request we can also organize visits to companies, laboratories, research institutes etc. related to dairy farming.

The most popular programs have 1 day duration for a group of 20-30 participants, and include:

  • Arrival and reception at farm 1 (to be selected)
  • Introduction: history of Dutch dairy farming and lessons learnt
  • Introduction to farm 1 + on-farm tour
  • Lunch with (organic) farm produce
  • Travel to farm 2 (to be selected) – or additional training on farm 1
  • Evaluation of tour

The programs of 0.5 day duration only have the first activities + lunch.

Longer programs also include: visits to various types of farms, training on use of participatory planning and monitoring tool Wheel of Cattle Health and Wellbeing, training on cattle housing and health (based on Cow Signals), training on cheese making and marketing. Longer programs are best with a group of max 8 participants.

Reservations: In order to make a good program and enable you to visit the best farms, it is preferable to inform us at least one month before the date of the tour.

interested? Contact us to discuss the possibilities.

After the COVID crisis we have re-started the tailor made tours!  Get in touch for the latest possibilities. 

Get in touch

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