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Farming insider: Gürkan Ilhan, Turkey

About Gürkan

Animals have been part of Gürkan Ilhan´s life since childhood. In his grandfather´s mountain village, a large proportion of his family have reared and cared for grazing livestock. His parents, on the other hand, worked as public servants: his mother as a nurse and his father as a teacher, but that did nothing to diminish his great passion for animal husbandry and agriculture. Alongside his work as a farmer, Gürkan also runs a veterinary clinic.

Farm facts

The farm in Eskişehir employs seven people. It comprises of both crops and livestock.

People who work in agriculture, cultivating crops, rearing livestock and working on the land, accumulate positive memories day after day.
Gürkan Ilhan, Eskişehir

Question time

Why did you decide to become a farmer?

I have always been involved in agriculture, cultivating crops and rearing livestock – I have dedicated my life to my farm. I love nature and I don´t like noise, so the further away I get from the city, the better I feel. For me, agricultural production and rearing livestock are the best and most fascinating forms of production. That´s why I work in this area and why I want to be a part of it.

What do you associate with independence?

Let me put it this way: I try to solve every problem that arises in this enterprise by myself. When I am with my employees, I become one of them. I take care of the livestock, I go into the fields and I treat the animals. If my workers have a day off, I can step in and do their work myself. That's what freedom is to me – understanding everything and knowing as much as possible. I'm responsible for everything that happens here and you have to know what you're doing. It makes me feel strong and I'm not accountable to anybody. That's what being independent means to me.

What does your daily routine as a farmer involve?

It's a risky business and it can be stressful because anything can happen. I have invested a great deal in my business and I inspect and monitor my animals, my fields and my facilities every day in situ. I am continually dealing with questions about animal health. In my establishment we have strict rules that everyone has to follow, including me, and that's something I place great emphasis on. Remaining sustainable is important if you want to rear livestock successfully, which is why we also pay particular attention to biosecurity.

How do you approach innovations and new technologies?

I've been in this business for 20 years. I used to have simple machines and simple systems, but I've kept up with the latest technology because I want to reach an ever higher level and produce high-quality products. That's why I monitor the general condition of my animals by computer and manage the whole facility digitally. If everything is in order, then I can relax a little bit.

On the road worldwide. Always closeby.

All farmers have their own character - which is reflected in their way of life, philosophy and the form of farming and livestock breeding. We visited our farmers around the world and wanted to know what makes them successful, what they stand for and what challenges they have to face. A journey across five continents.


Cole Vis, USA

“My wish for the future of the family farm is that it will still be run well in the fifth, sixth, and seventh generation.”


Arco Van Triest, Netherlands

“This farm has been running since 1900, and now my children are here.“


Adem Biçici, Turkey

“When I go out into the fields with my grandson, I see myself reflected in his curiosity.“


Brian Ryberg, USA

“I think the feeling of being part of something greater has always been important to me.“


Šandor Sabo junior, Croatia

“Whatever problems we are facing, we solve them together. For me, family is all about cohesion.“


Atila Sabo, Croatia

“Every morning, my brother and I agree what we want to do during the day, what our duties are. So we share the work and have passed on this structure to our children in the same way.“


Carla, Fábio and José Rossato, Brazil

“I never had any doubts; I never wanted to be anything but a farmer.”


Dimitar Vukudinov, Bulgaria

”Working with your own father means that you always have a wiser man with you to support you and look up to.”


Rodolfo Cura, Argentina

“The farm is everything to me. Working in agriculture is the greatest way to do what I love. For me, the farm means freedom.”


Heidi Verschelde, Belgium

"I think the next generation is showing a keen sense for the importance of nature."


Ievhenii Bondarchuk, Ukraine

"If you want to be a farmer, you can’t learn that in an institute. It’s something you have to be born with."


Luigi Torri, Italy

“I hope my sons will pass on the love and respect for the earth and all the values I taught them.”


Paweł Strzemiecki, Poland

“This love of farming, of the farming tradition, goes back generations in our family.”


Emma F., UK

“It would be great if one day the sixth or seventh generation of our family runs the farm.“


Peter Carlisle, UK

“Teamwork is the most important thing on our farm. Everyone does a little bit of everything. If we weren't a team, our business wouldn't be as successful as it is today.“


Henning & Arne Beecken, Germany

“The feeling of wanting to continue the work on the farm has grown day by day since childhood.“


Emanuele Bortoli, Italy

“Reliability and respect form the foundation for how we deal with one another. These are values I`ve always held in high esteem.“


Francis Bapst, Switzerland

“For me, the most important values are respect for nature, understanding our consumers and food production.”


Toni & Daniel Peterhans, Switzerland

”Spirit and passion are what leads to success, whether it's in farming or on the football pitch.”


Riccardo Casarotto, Italy

”Independence is a dream that we should all cultivate and pursue. Dreams are there to come true and to help you progress.”


Stephan Jansen, Belgium

”I look forward to waking up every day and being able to work with nature.”


Gizem Anar, Turkey

”People should love what they do, and I love farming. I enjoy looking after animals, plants and nature and try to feel connected to them!.”


Adrian Knuchel, Switzerland

”For me, team spirit means being able to live and work together. It means ongoing exchange, taking each other, mutual ideas and suggestions seriously.”


Gürkan Ilhan, Turkey

”People who work in agriculture, cultivating crops, rearing livestock and working on the land, accumulate positive memories day after day.”


René Vermue, Netherlands

”Team spirit and reliability are hugely important in both my personal life and my working life – be it with colleagues, employees, or in dealings with other farmers.”


Henrick Dieckmann, Germany

”For me, it´s important to be sustainable and healthy in what we produce.”

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