I was born in Soest in 1955 and I grew up with one sister and two brothers. My grandfather had a farm in Soest but he had several sons. Only one of them could take over the farm. So my father started a job as a labourer for a farmer in our village.
In 1969 we moved to De Betuwe and I went to the agricultural school. My father started a mixed farm with calves, pigs and some milk cows. After getting my diploma, I came back home to work. In 1979 I got married and we built a house next to my parent's house, where we still live. At the front there is a dead end road, to one side a kitchen garden, an entrance and a ditch. Behind the house there are barns and at the other side lots of grassland. In 1990 I took over the farm and we stopped raising pigs. We decided to concentrate on raising calves. In 1998 we switched to the Peter's Farm system. I always liked being a farmer but all the rules and regulations don't make it very easy. Nowadays you have to get some education about filling in all the forms correctly. But I think it is all part of the age we live in.
We also have some cattle for a hobby, a cow that provides us with milk, chickens for laying eggs, and a few cats that are very good at catching mice. We grow vegetables in our kitchen garden and we produce our own buttermilk and butter. A busy life indeed. Especially for the kids we have a few horses and some sheep. They love horseback riding and nursing the little lambs. When you're a veal farmer there's no time for hobbies. Fortunately it's different for the children. One of our daughters designs 3D cards and puts them on CD. The boys like playing soccer, karting and every now and then they enjoy a computer game. After a hard days work I am always glad to find some real Dutch food on the table like kale and sausage or meat hash. But perhaps the best of all is a delicious leg of chicken!
Peter' Farm calves live in herds. This animal-friendly housingsystem gives the calves the freedom to choose for themselves whether they wish to walk, stand, lie down, play or sleep. In the stables there are skippy-balls to play with and brushes ro rub against. When a calf enters a feed station, it is recognised by the computer because of a chip each calf has in its ear tag. The calf can decide for itself when and how much it wishes to eat. In this way each calf is able to build its own biorythm. All information is stored in the computer, so we can see precisely how much each calf ate. The calves get both milk as roughage muesli. We are proud of the Dutch Society for the Protection of Animal (De Dierenbescherming) has given us the better life mark.
View above our corporate film
Better Life Farmer Rob Foks is proud that he raises his calves under the better life mark of the Dutch Society for the Protection of Animals (De Nederlandse Dierenbescherming). In addition, he tries to make his company more and more sustainable.
View above the Better Life movie (in Dutch)