Growing up in the countryside in the Netherlands, spending a lot of my free time as a kid on neighbouring farms, I got interested in farming and technology at an early age. As a result, I ended up studying Agriculture Engineering at Wageningen University. Via a trainee-ship I got into contact with McCain Foods and, after a while, this resulted in working for McCain Corporate Agriculture for some years. It gave me the opportunity to work with a lot of different people around the world under very different growing conditions. This experience gave me a very good understanding how to adapt farming practices to various conditions, climate, soil, culture etc.
In the last 10 years as Farm Manager in South Africa, and now Technology Specialist with McCain, I have the freedom and opportunity to implement changes bringing farming innovation to life in various regions around the world. This starts with being involved from the early stages of analysing a problem, working out a solution, working together with colleagues and suppliers, to getting the technology to work in the field and train the local staff. It’s great to be able to see a project through, from the first scratch on a paper to getting it to work in practice. It’s a great opportunity to use my skills and interests to implement real improvements.
The latest exciting project I’m involved in is the McCain ‘Farm of the Future’, where McCain is really challenging the team to find ways of putting regenerative potato farming practices into action.