Erwin Boogaard, Crop Specialist Arable

"From sowing to good harvest, that route requires more and more knowledge and skills." 

What does your day look like as a Crop Specialist Arable? 

Depending on the season, my workday starts between 7:30 and 8 a.m.. The phone starts ringing (growers and colleagues). In the morning I often check email first, check advisory programs and then I’ll go to customers. Sometimes I go to the customer by appointment to discuss plans or just make a tour through the crop to see what still needs to be done.  The afternoon program is often very diverse. For example, we regularly look at a trial, or I exchange ideas with the supplier about certain products. And regularly I look with colleagues, from my specialist position, at a problem in a crop to see what we can do about it. Last year we had a lot of problems with onions, so together we look at what's going on. Also nice to go and look together with colleagues, together you know more. 

  • What makes your work so much fun? 

    The thing I like most about my job is the variety through the seasons. In the spring and summer we focus entirely on the crop of the moment. And now (in the fall) we are already focusing again on what we can do even better in the coming year. We do this in all sorts of areas, to ensure that the customer can perform better, which I find the most enjoyable challenge. It's also nice to see that you can give newer colleagues handles and see them grow quickly.  

What I like about this job is the freedom. Here you have your stuff, make sure your client portfolio stays up to par, how you do that is your own business. If you live up to that trust, you get a lot in return. Towards growers we are seen as a sparring partner, that you really look together with the entrepreneur how he can achieve his goals. That is the relationship of trust you build with your customers. You're not just the filler of an order form. 

How are you making a difference along the way to a responsible food chain? 

We contribute to a responsible food chain in several ways. For example, the land is the client's most valuable asset. How do you get the most out of that land together. You want to achieve good production this year, you have to comply with law, but you also want to burden your soil as little as possible, because that soil has to be able to continue producing in 20 years. We can only make money if the customer can.