The professorship’s objective is the creation of agridiversity. A healthy agricultural sector is based on a diversity in the focus of agricultural businesses and the business models that they use. Businesses where entrepreneurs are successful in turning their personal qualities and their workmanship into value.
The Dutch agricultural sector attributes its success to the very effective production of high-quality food at a low price. Upscaling continues and the need for businesses that focus on high production is decreasing. This also means the opportunity to focus on the value that agricultural businesses provide to their environment. It means broadening our perspective: for people, Nature and the landscape. Farmers have so much more to offer for the benefit of society as a whole. Together with hundreds of students of our university of applied sciences and a wide network of organizations, we work on agridiversity. We work towards creating businesses that are suited to entrepreneurs and their environment. The challenges we are faced with are huge and farmers have the solutions, because this is not just about food, it is also about the countryside, Nature, water, neighbours and health.
Your own route to added value
As a farmer you are challenged to find your own route. How do you get it together? Whatever people may say about farmers, as a farmer, you are the one, along with your family, who has to make and actually makes decisions on the farm. What kind of farmer do you want to be? And also: How can you be a farmer? What suits you, your business, your environment and the market?
On this journey, you will take various paths and will reach many different ‘destinations’. The professorship works alongside farmers to see and find opportunities. For the students, for the farmers, for all of us. A beautiful and vibrant countryside needs farmers who, as entrepreneurs, provide products and services that are of value. Of value to the population and society, and of value to Nature and the countryside.
The professorship works towards making takeovers the basis of strong businesses, towards the relationship between businesses and Nature and the landscape, and towards the connection between farmers and the rest of the population. In order to make the added value clearly visible, we work on the BoerenDonut (translation: Farmer’s Donut), based on Kate Raworth’s ‘Dougnut Economics’.
Trailblazing epochal agriculture
In order to create added value, it is vital that you know the world around you very well. Therefore, the professorship gladly works together with De Nieuwe Boerenfamilie (translation: The New Farmer’s Family), an initiative of The Food Hub. Students of the University of Applied Sciences are involved in this through the student network of Grensverleggend Boeren (translation: Groundbreaking Agriculture. Together, they take networks and possibilities to a higher level, on the way to agriculture with added value.
The golden age of agriculture is not over – it advances into the golden age of the agricultural entrepreneur!