‘Dates’ for your own farm

What happened?

Why is this news?

More and more farmers will have to stop their business in the future. This emerged from a study conducted by the University of Wageningen. Some of those peasants stop because they dont have a successor. For example, because their children do not want to take over the company. โ€œIn the past, it was almost obvious that you did,โ€ says Marloes of Dutch Agrarian Youth Kontakt (NAJK), an organization of young farmers. โ€œBut now people think about it much more, and often want to do other professions. It is also becoming increasingly difficult to be a farmer, for example by all new rules. Farmer you are 24/7, its a way of life. Not everyone sees that.โ€

Yet there are also a lot of young people who do see a life as a farmer. But not all of them come from a family with their own farm. Then theyll just take over those other companies, you might say. But its not that easy. For young farmers in such an acquisition often do not pay. There are also fewer and fewer farms to take over. And farmers dont just give their business to someone outside their own family.

In order to link young farmers to farmers who are looking for successors, NAJK Boer invented Boer. An online platform, where they can look for a suitable match. It looks a bit like a dating app, says Marloes: โ€œThe better your profile, the more chances you have.โ€

Who finds what?

Yke participates in Boers looking for Farmer. Hes 22, and his big dream is to run my own dairy farm: โ€œWhen I was 8, I went with my mother to get milk from a farmer. Thats where I started doing chores, and now Im still working there. A farm of my own is my dream. Milking my own cows. But my family doesnt have such a company that I can take over.โ€

To take over someone elses business, or start one yourself, theres a big price tag: โ€œYou have to buy land, buy animals, buy yard, and you have all kinds of fixed costs. Then youre really talking about millions. Thats priceless,

Farmer seeks Farmer links farmers and young people together. They then meet each other to come up with a deal that is feasible, says Marloes: โ€œIts also about a piece of gunfactor. We hope that the owner of the company will not want the main prize for it, but that they will make different arrangements with each other so that the company can continue to exist.โ€

Thanks to the platform, Yke ended up with a farmer: โ€œI went by and worked there for a day. We had a click, but he had it with another one. Now we both have to write a business plan so he can see who he likes best. Thats important, because its actually a kind of marriage youre going to enter into with such a farmer. That company is his lifes work. You have to work together and consult a lot if you want to take over something like that.โ€

Marloes hopes that they can connect as many young people and farmers as possible, so that companies do not have to stop: โ€œA large part of the land in the Netherlands is managed by farmers, taking care of the landscape and nature. It is important that attention be paid to this.โ€

Yke stays sober under the idea that he might soon have land and a farm of his own: โ€œIts not exciting in itself. Im really close now. I can almost touch it. But I will remain realistic. If the other person clicks better or the person is better, then so be it.โ€