Organisation - December 3, 2009

Most experimental livestock farms to close

Between 10 and 20 jobs will be lost as Wageningen UR rationalizes its experimental livestock farms to concentrate in Leeuwarden and Sterksel.

Wageningen UR is going to sell off six of its nine experimental livestock farms. Dutch applied research on dairy farming is going to be concentrated in Leeuwarden, and the pig farming in Sterksel. De Marke experimental farm in Hengelo will stay because it is running some long-term research programmes. The intention is to close down the rest of the farms. This was announced by director of Livestock Research Martin Scholten on 1 December.
The Spelderhof, an experimental poultry farm will close down. And so will the Waiboerhoeve (dairy), the Cranendonck (dairy) and the Raalte (an organic pig farm). The experimental farms in Zegveld (a moorland dairy farm) and AverHeino (an organic dairy farm) may be turned into regional knowledge centres.
 Scholten: 'We want to move towards national research farms with an international orientation, combining knowledge, education and innovation.' Dairy research will be concentrated in Leeuwarden and not in Lelystad, because in Leeuuwarden Scholten can link up with Van Hall Larenstein and because the Province of Friesland has committed itself to a ten-year business innovation programme.
Applied research on livestock will make a loss of about one million euros this year. It is expected that between ten and twenty jobs will be lost through the closures, depending on whether the Zegveld and AverHeino locations can continue in a new form. The farms will be sold and the profits will be ploughed into applied research.

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