Our family: We have three children. Rixt, 19, is a freshmen majoring in Animal Sciences with a Pre-Vet focus at Ohio State. Sytske, 17, is a Rotary exchange student this school year in Argentina, and Jan, 15, is a sophomore in high school. This year our family is also hosting two exchange students from Germany and Taiwan. The farm and farm business is taken care of by me, my wife Itske, our herdsman, feeders and milkers. Our neighbors grow the feed so we can concentrate on giving optimal care to our animals all year round. Our family moved to Circleville from the Netherlands in 2002 to start a new dairy.
What is challenging about dairy farming? Every day there is a new challenge. A breakdown requiring instant repairs, electricity outage, a sick cow and milk or feed price changes are just a few of them.
What motivates you professionally? The challenge of providing optimum care to our cows and seeing direct results in terms of good milk yields.
Biggest misconception about larger dairy farms: That larger dairy farms are not taking care of their animals and pollute the environment.
Why are you a Farm Bureau member? It is important that a well-organized organization such as Farm Bureau provides a positive network for farmers and lobbies for their well-being.
What is interesting about Pickaway County? Pickaway County is a beautiful area to live. It has good farmland, state parks like Deer Creek and Hargus Lake and the Ohio Christian University. It offers good business opportunities with the Rickenbacker Air Force Base and Norfolk Southern’s Intermodal terminal with the fully integrated logistics park. Circleville is known for hosting the “Greatest Free Show on Earth” every October, the Circleville Pumpkin Show.
Favorite recipe: Whip 1 quart of heavy whipping cream and blend it with 4 quarts plain yogurt and some sugar. Decorate with (fresh) fruit.