close to farmers
Farming insider: René Vermue, Netherlands
Born and raised on his family´s farm, René Vermue developed a passion for farming at a very early age. Having gained a degree in agriculture, he now lives with his wife Carolien and their three children Merel, Jasper and Thijs on the farm his family have owned for generations in the Dutch village of Arendskerke. When he´s not out and about in the fields, he likes to expend his energy on a mountain bike or out hunting.
Family-owned: since 1911. The farm is located in Zeeland province
Farm size: 50 hectares
Cultivated crops: Sugar beet, sweetcorn, onions, grass seed, catch crops
Features Buildings and cultivation dating back more than 1,000 years
Tradition Every year the farm begins its onion harvest on René Vermue´s birthday, June 22. The variety cultivated is Troy.
Team spirit and reliability are hugely important in both my personal life and my working life – be it with colleagues, employees, or other farmers.
Why did you decide to become a farmer – and can you picture yourself doing anything?
The way of life, this feeling of freedom – I would never have wanted to do anything else, and the fact that we produce foodstuffs as a result of it all makes it the ideal combination. Sitting in an office for 40 hours a week wouldn't suit me at all. Being a farmer is my way of life, my passion.
What do you associate with independence?
Independence means a great deal to me. With all the state-imposed rules and regulations, it's not as simple as it used to be, but we can choose which crops we want to grow and can sell to anyone who is interested. I’m able to use my time as I see fit, doing what I want when I want. That's what independence and freedom are all about!
How important are respect and appreciation for you, both in your personal and your working life?
Having respect for one another is a value that's hugely important to me – but that also includes having respect for plants and the foodstuffs we produce from them. An appreciation of what we do and our wholeness with nature!
How do you approach innovations and new technologies?
I'm very interested in them. I go to study group meetings, attend exhibitions and field days, and apply the theory in practice where and when I can. I'm always thinking about new and creative solutions.
Paving the way. For a fruitful tomorrow.
Farm life is often characterized by family cohesion and traditions that have grown over decades. Around the world, many generations live and work on farms under one roof, and at some point the question of farm succession comes up. Our new Farmer Portraits focus on this generational change that many farmers are facing. Young and old alike - we visited farmers on their farms to have them tell us about their stories, their challenges and their hopes.