Student - December 17, 2009

Students win Best Dutch Farmer Contest

Three teams with students and postgraduates at Wageningen University and Van Hall Larenstein have won prizes in the 'Best Farmer in Holland' simulation game.

'The business aspects are the most important', says the Wageningen PhD student Willem Rijpkema, who came second in the Students category. Participants in the game had to run a mixed farm through four digital rounds. Rijpkema chose to invest most in pig farming. 'My PhD is about pigs.' But he didn't neglect the dairy or arable sides to the business either. 'A low price or a bad harvest was built into every round of the game', he explains.
Risk-spreading was a strategy shared by two ex-fellow students of Rijpkema's, also graduates in Agrotechnology. Aldert van der Veen and Arjan Vroegop won first prize in the Agribusiness category: a hot air balloon trip. Rijpkema will be allowed to join them.
Besides the digital game, participants presented their business in a short film on which viewers could vote online. The team with the most viewer votes was that of Eline Spalink, a third year student of Agricultural Entrepreneurship at Van Hall Larenstein in Leeuwarden. This won the team third prize in the Farmers category.
Eline teamed up with a good friend with an arable farm. Her parents have a dairy farm. So the pair went for a combination of dairy and arable. 'You should do what you feel at home doing', says Spalink.

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