Congratulations to the whole family

Friday, March 22, was a little gray outside, but heartwarming inside the walls of the Flevoland Natural Pavilion. Dozens of farmers and non-farmers poured in, some on clogs, others came on OV bikes. At The Fifth De Nieuwe Boerenfamiliedag, we greeted old family members and welcomed new faces.
Published on Mar 28, 2024

De Nieuwe Boerenfamiliedag 2024

This special day marked five years of Smarter Farming Together - an age we are proud of. Joszi, co-initiator of De Nieuwe Boerenfamilie mentions, "Five years ago we started this family with the phrase "The farming landscape is in need of transition, now five years later we don't have to convince anyone of that." That transition? We are in the middle of that.


"Today it became clear that De Nieuwe Boerenfamilie, more than ever, stands like a house. You can't ignore us anymore."


In five years of agricultural transition De Nieuwe Boerenfamilie has grown into a movement with more than 1250 members, we have forged more than 350 matches - and made many more connections behind the scenes and we have been able to personally support 75 unique farmers in their search for new earning models. And in the words of NBF co-founder Joris: "Today it became clear that De Nieuwe Boerenfamilie, more than ever, stands like a house. You can't ignore us anymore."

Joris Lohman & Joszi Smeets, founders of De Nieuwe Boerenfamilie

Meeting at the bus

The theater play Melkbus kicked off the day. The play depicted the gap between countryside and city in a recognizable but also humorous way. Two opposites, Ton from the city and farmer Gerrie, are diametrically opposed. Until they actually meet. "These are encounters that should happen more often," the audience remarked afterwards. And NBF member Diana van Veelen aptly added, "The milk can theater brings emotions at play into focus, and that's exactly the depth we miss in the encounters we have." Also book the Melkbus theater to start the dialogue? You can!


"Days like this, filled with inspiring stories, set me positive for the transition in agriculture." Thus Alex Datema. 

Alex Datema during the De Nieuwe Boerenfamiliedag 2024

Slowing down to speed up

The theater was followed by an inspiring panel discussion with transition frontrunners and former Boerenversneller participants: Cornelis (2019), Marijke (2020 and 2023), Jaring (2022) and Diana (2020) shared their stories and motivations. "The agricultural transition needs people to fight and wake up with us," Cornelis said. And days like this are the perfect way to connect these fellow fighters and co-awakeners.


"The agricultural transition needs people to join in the fight as well as wake up with it," he said.


The former participants came to the conclusion that slowing down is needed to accelerate. Diana and Marijke emphasized that "Getting to know yourself and continuing to follow your passion is incredibly important in transition, and that takes slowing down." In fact, being a leader in transition is really not always easy. It means catching more wind from time to time in order to also clear the path for others. On the contrary, you then have to not sour and remain realistic, according to Jaring. For young farmers to be positive in the game is the most important thing there is. Missed the whole conversation? Read here the interview with these farmers back here.

Panel with former participants. From left to right: Cornelis Mosselman, Jaring Brunia, Diana van Veelen & Marijke Dirkson

Sixteen great stories

Connection, positivity, and getting to know yourself. The participants in the most recent Boerenversneller experienced this firsthand. Sixteen enthusiastic farmers pitched innovative plans for their farms in three rounds. From adding value to goose meat and the introduction of herb-rich grassland to sustainable farm expansion, everything was discussed. And more importantly, the farmers asked the attendees for help in order to move them forward. This resulted in brand new connections and fruitful collaborations. 

Are you a farmer and want to do things differently? Sign up for the Boerenversneller edition 2024, online participation is also possible!

We express our great thanks to all the partners and stakeholders of five years of De Nieuwe Boerenfamilie. Without them, we could not have celebrated this special milestone.

Visitors listen to farmer Cor's pitch

Photography: Tess Janssen