News - May 17, 2010

Twenty million for Dairy Campus

Waiboerhoeve is to be sold off. Other experimental farms will lose their scientific function.

The province of Friesland, the municipality of Leeuwarden and Wageningen UR have agreed on the development of the Dairy Campus in Leeuwarden. This means around twenty millions euros will become available for improving dairy farming research, teaching and practical training. In due course Wageningen UR will dispose of the research farm Waiboerhoeve in Lelystad. This is what Paul Vriesekoop, manager of Wageningen UR Livestock Research, has said
The province of Friesland, the municipality of Leeuwarden, Wageningen UR and the Aeres Group, which provides vocational and applied university courses in agriculture and nature, have reached agreement on the investment budget for the Dairy Campus. The investment sum of twenty million is needed for new buildings, an innovation programme and a teaching programme.
Livestock Research is responsible for the innovation programme while Van Hall Larenstein is in charge of the teaching programme together with the Aeres Group. The facilities of the Nij Bosma Zathe practical centre are being developed to become the Nij Waiboerhoeve research farm. As the dairy farming research will be concentrated in Leeuwarden, Wageningen UR is planning to dispose of the Waiboerhoeve research farm in Lelystad.
Knowledge centre
Wageningen UR's experimental dairy farm in Zegveld may be turned into a regional knowledge centre for the Green Heart (green belt in the Randstad metropolitan area). This would mean the end of its function as an experimental farm for the dairy sector. The provinces of Utrecht, Noord-Holland and Zuid-Holland, the agricultural organization LTO and the district water boards have agreed to an innovation programme aimed at developing the peat meadow areas. It includes a role for a regional experimental farm. The regional financers have until the end of the year to work the innovation programme out in more detail. Then a final decision will be taken on the future of Zegveld.
 The experimental dairy farm in Aver Heino will definitely be sold off. Wageningen UR and the provinces of Gelderland and Overijssel are working with landscape managers to set up a regional programme called Rural Valley. It includes a number of different projects in various parts of the region covering the points at which agriculture, nature and the environment overlap. An experimental farm at a single location does not fit in with these plans.
 In addition, Wageningen is going to dispose of the dairy practical centres in Raalte and Cranendonck. The practical centre for poultry farming, Spelderholt in Lelystad, is also to be disposed of. But it is still not clear what the future situation will be here. 'We are not going to stick with the current situation', says Vriesekoop, 'but we are still discussing whether we should transfer the research to farmers or to other institutions.'