Sat, Aug 12, 2017 - Page 13 News List

‘Farmer seeks farmer’

Online matchmaker aims to save Dutch farms with no heirs

AFP, NIEUWVEEN, Netherlands

“Today, most of those looking to take over a farm are self-employed between the ages of 20 and 40, who don’t come from the farming world at all but have this desire to roll their sleeves up,” said Thus.

Since the scheme was launched in 2011, several dozen farms have moved outside of the original family owners to be taken over by a new generation of farmers.

And Thus hopes the numbers will grow, with 135 people searching for land registered on the site, and some 35 existing farmers looking for new blood to farm their lands.

For Hartveld, however, he says with a mixture of pride and sorrow that when the time comes he won’t need the services of Farmer Seeks Farmer. There are already several people from neighboring villages interested in taking over his farm — and preserving a small piece of Dutch history.

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