I'm a second-generation farmer. My father kept dairy cows and calves, and I used to help him where I could. When I eventually took over, I decided to just continue with the calves. In 1997, Hermien and I came into contact with Peter's Farm. We were immediately sold. That’s how calves are supposed to life: freely. Running, playing and relaxing, when it suits them. I get a particularly warm feeling when I see the calves lying together, all stretched out.
Within Peter's Farm, there is room to allow the natural hierarchy of calves to be expressed. Because they can choose when they want to eat or drink, you often see the same calves being first to feed. Thanks to a chip in the calves ears, the computer knows exactly which calf is present at the drinking station, and how much and how quickly the calf feeds or how often he comes back. That gives you a good idea of the welfare of the calf. Most importantly, however, a farmer should walk among his calves. This allows you to immediately know which animals need extra attention and care.
We are very satisfied with our business and have no plans for expansion. I’m still trading cattle and sheep, and Hermien works part-time in a clothes shop. All these different activities provide us with a fulfilling life. People, just like calves, need variety in their lives. You shouldn’t try to constrain them.