I come from a true farming family. Together with my wife Esther and our four children, I'm completely in the right place. I simply love animals. The calves come first, of course, but I also like to keep chickens as a hobby. We also have two large Swiss mountain dogs and two cats. I think they’re beautiful dogs and are they are extremely sweet. Esther really enjoys growing vegetables in the garden, such as French beans, lettuce and all kinds of other vegetables and fruit.
Until 2021, we shared the running of a Peter’s Farm in Emst, together with my brother-in-law Rob Foks. In 2022, we built an entirely new farm in Vaassen. The husbandries do not use any gas at all. There are around 700 solar panels on the roof, which provide sufficient energy for the husbandries and our house, but there is still enough to feed back to the energy grid. The solar collectors present are used to heat the water for the milk we give to the calves. When the calves arrive at our farm, Esther and Dietske, Rob’s wife, help rear them in the early stages. Around 2/3 of the floor area in the calf shed is fitted with rubber floors, allowing the calves to lay down in comfort. Every day, I use a shovel to give the calves roughage muesli mixed with chopped straw.
I think the world outside the business is also important. You can spend hours and days in the stalls, but there’s more to life than that. For example, I play an active role within our church supporting people in need. The collaboration with Rob gives me room, also for holidays. If you think that it’s better to do everything yourself, you have a problem, because you can’t collaborate then. You have to see each other’s strengths, how you can complement each other. That’s the only way to achieve teamwork.
People can drop by here any time, so to speak. We have nothing to hide. The door is always open. By showing people everything and telling the whole story, people gain insight. Whenever we hold open days, I often notice that there is still a lot of ignorance among outsiders. For example, I get asked questions like: do calves also produce milk? That makes me laugh out loud. Many visitors come out of curiosity: what’s going on inside?