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Farming insider: Van Triest Farm, the Netherlands

About the Van Triest family

62-year old Wim Van Triest works in partnership with his son, Arco (37). Together they run a dairy farm with 120 dairy cows. The farm has been in the family for four generations, and Arco will soon take it over from his father. Arco's wife already works in the management, and their five children love running around the farm. This gladdens grandpa Wim's heart. Annie Van Triest, Wim's mother, has been living on the farm for 70 years.

Farm facts

The fourth generation of the family business: Father and son work hand in hand.

Location: Van Triest Farm, Emst, the Netherlands

Crop cultivated: Sugar beetFeed for dairy farming

Special features: The Van Triest family also makes fence posts from the wood that grows on their land.

This farm has been running since 1900,
and now my children are here.
Arco Van Triest, Netherlands

Question time

This farm has been running since about 1900. Did it always belong to your family?

Annie: I have been living here for nearly 70 years. We had seven children, one of whom went on to run our farm – and that is Wim.
Wim: Yes, I was born and raised on this farm.
Arco: And his father lived here as well. We have reached the fourth generation. Now my children live here alongside my grandmother. It is wonderful to see how everything is so interwoven. What makes our farm special is its history.

Father and son work together here.

Wim: I started at the age of 16. I left agricultural college and started working on the farm. I went into partnership with my father, and built up the farm further. Later, I took over the farm from him. I must say that I am very happy to be working with Arco now, like I did with my father.
Arco: I think it is really cool and I am proud to do this with my father. We work together very well; we are very alike. It works really well. I like the way that he has structured things.

And soon you will take over the farm?

I have not taken over the farm yet, although I hope to be able to do so soon. But that will only be when he says “OK, I'm stopping".
Wim: Arco and his wife already handle a lot of administrative things like the accounting. It takes a big weight off me to work like that.
Arco: My grandmother can also see how the business is continuing and growing. She is very interested in how we will do it all – that is lovely.
Annie: We meet for coffee, and everything gets discussed, but I don't really have a say myself. There is no need.

You have 120 dairy cows to take care of. Can you still have a private life?

Wim: I think that as a farmer you have to make sure that you have a private life, you still have free time, and everything doesn't revolve around the farm all the time. We give each other some freedom. If Arco says “I have to leave at six this evening”, then I take the baton and do the milking for a while. And if I am planning something, Arco takes over for me. It is wonderful to be able to do it in the family like that.

What business challenges does your farm face?

Arco: Really, the big challenge at the moment is politics. What is going to happen? What is planned? What will the status of the farming sector in the Netherlands be? I hope that farming will continue to be well supported, because it is an honest, sound, and smart sector.
Wim: I have always wanted to have a viable business; this could be through buying land, cow's milk quotas, phosphate rights and so on. I have always tried to generate a full income from the farm. Really, that was always a challenge for me.
Arco: Financially, it is indeed challenging. Also, the work keeps changing, and you work like an animal. The weather. You are also dependent on things like that.

Arco, would you also like to hand on the farm to your children in the future?

I hope that my children will take over the farm. I would like it if one of them carried on in this place. That would be cool. But if they go somewhere else, that is fine for me as well. But it's not like I will force them.

To be a farmer your heart needs to be in it. What are the happiest moments on the farm?

Wim: You know, sometimes when I look across the fields in the morning, then I feel happy.

When I hear the lapwings across the land, then it is spring. Or when we start mowing the grass, the first or second cut... Those are the happy moments on a farm. I also love it when Arco's children run around here and help out a bit. That is great fun.

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.

More insights about our farmers


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.”


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.“


Arco Van Triest, Netherlands

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


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.”