On May 2 and 4 2012 two farm visits and a training was organized for an international group of development professionals in the course Agriculture in Transition at the Centre of Development Innovation (CDI) and Wageningen University.
The first visit was to a care-farm in Barneveld, named Paradise Farm. After a brief background introduction about the history of (dairy) farming in The Netherlands, the group explored the farm premises, where professional care for elderly and youngsters is combined with diverse farm activities, including vegetables, strawberries, organic chicken and organic beef production. The elderly are effectively included into the farm activities, which greatly enhances their health and self-esteem. A farm-shop anex restaurant gives extra inputs to the farm, and enhances it’s relations with the surrounding population. A total of 7 families are getting an income from this farm – headed by IJsbrand and Nicoliene Snoeij.
In the afternoon another farm was visited: the Groote Voort in Lunteren. This dairy farm has specialized in excellent dairy production from Jersey cows for exquisite Remeker cheese production from raw-milk, that fetches high prices at the national and international market. The farmer, Jan Dirk van der Voort, was able to explain how he had learnt to produce his high-quality milk organically and without any antibiotics, by carefully balancing soil-plant-manure & animal management.