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Farming insider: Stephan Jansen, Belgium

About Stephan

In 2014 Stephan Jansen took over the family farm in the Wallonian village Freloux from his parents, who migrated to Belgium from Germany almost 40 years ago. He lives on site with his family and previously studied agriculture at university. Some years ago, the farm developed a second mainstay by which it could make money; the old, unused agricultural buildings were converted into office spaces for tenant companies.

Farm facts

Family-owned since the 1970s. The business is located in the region of Wallonia.

Farm size: This is a 130-hectare operation with a wide variety of crops and diversified fruit production.

Cultivated crops include sugar beet, wheat, corn, peas and potatoes.

Features: The buildings are more than 200 years old; back then, Freloux was the smallest municipality in Belgium.

I look forward to waking up and being able to work
surrounded by nature every day.
Stephan Jansen, Freloux

Question time

Why did you decide to become a farmer?

Farming as a trade is something I've always been interested in, but it was only after a one-year internship that I discovered my real passion for agriculture. As a farmer, I am in close contact with nature, and even though the fruits of my labor always remain directly connected to the climate and to global market prices, it is nevertheless still a pleasure for me to wake up and work surrounded by nature every day.

What do you associate with independence?

Being independent is a huge opportunity to be your own boss. Every day is different.

How do you view your role as a farmer?

The specialty of my operation since I took over the farm and since diversification of the fruit production is direct sales, which means I'm in direct contact with my end customers. My aim is to gain people's trust. To do so, we farmers must be able to earn our money in "fair" ways in order to improve our image through good communication and the best environmental practices.

How do you approach innovations and new technologies?

For me as a farmer, it is crucial to keep developing by attending training courses regularly. Since I took over the family farm, I have invested in new machinery and new technologies. I introduced the RTK system, for example, and I use section controls on the sprayer. These help me be more precise and able to use less of the product, and I simply take more pleasure overall in driving and operating my machines.

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.

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Arco Van Triest, Netherlands

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

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Adem Biçici, Turkey

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

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Brian Ryberg, USA

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

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Šandor Sabo junior, Croatia

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

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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.“

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Carla, Fábio and José Rossato, Brazil

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

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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.”

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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.”

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Heidi Verschelde, Belgium

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

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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."

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Luigi Torri, Italy

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

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Paweł Strzemiecki, Poland

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

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Emma F., UK

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

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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.“

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Henning & Arne Beecken, Germany

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

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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.“

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Francis Bapst, Switzerland

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

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Toni & Daniel Peterhans, Switzerland

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

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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.”

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Stephan Jansen, Belgium

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

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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!.”

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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.”

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Gürkan Ilhan, Turkey

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

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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.”

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Henrick Dieckmann, Germany

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

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