SDARL Class XI had an amazing day 8
on their International Seminar Tour!


Starting our day in Nijmegen, Netherlands with Barenburg, a family owned global seed company, specializing in grass for forage and turf. The company started in 1904 with the ideal to always put people first because people make the difference. They have 900 employees and are operating on 6 continents including the US. Research and development is extremely important to the company to stay relevant and provide the quality grasses they’re known for. Our tour of the labs, warehouse, and seed processing was really amazing!

Up next we traveled to Jacob Van der Borne’s potato farm on the Netherlands/Belgium border. What an amazing and knowledgeable guy! He’s so much more than just a potato farmer. He is using precision farming and taking it to the next level! Jacob works with 60 other farmers to grow potatoes on 180 fields a year in rotation with other crops, growing potatoes only 1 out of 4 years. Precision applying everything and collecting and analyzing data on everything in production, utilizing an app specially built for his farm. He’s a McDonald’s Flagship Farm and sells about 10% of his potatoes to them as well. All waste products are reused on his farm. Check him out on YouTube or any social media platform to learn more!

We capped off the day with a wonderful meal at the Chez Leon restaurant. What a great day!

SDARL International Seminar DAY 9


On February 9th SDARL Class XI was joined by the USDA Foreign Ag Service. Hearing how they work with the European Union (which has 27 member countries) was fascinating. It was reiterated that European farmers are a lot like America farmers and have a lot in common, the biggest difference is the increased regulation and mandates European farmers have to deal with. Much of this is due to the European Green Deal. FAS works on our behalf to promote and build trust in American ag, point out issues in proposed legislation, work with trade, and many other things. The EU legislative process is different than in the US and was fascinating to learn about.

Next up we met with Copa-Cogeca. Copa (representing European farmers) & Cogeca (European Ag Cooperative) started as separate organizations in the late 1950’s and then joined forces in 1962. The members of Copa-Cogeca are commodity groups and ag organizations. Think of it for example if say Farm Bureau and Farmers Union merged together and had other commodity groups as their members and were a unified voice for agriculture. They have a lot of clout because of representing so many groups. It also creates a unique balancing act because there are a lot of different viewpoints! Trying to create a positive message and have the farmers tell their story is a big focus right now.
On to the next! We had an opportunity to explore Brussels and the city Square on our own in the afternoon.
If you’re interested in experiencing your own International Seminar, apply for SDARL Class XII before applications close on March 20.


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