The Executive Board of Wageningen UR (University & Research centre) has made a definitive decision regarding the future of the experimental livestock farms belonging to Wageningen UR Livestock Research.
Following a process of vision development and discussions and agreements with the stakeholders, the following decision has been made (summarised):
Two of the experimental farms will be upgraded to research and teaching farms, one for dairy cattle (Leeuwarden) and one for pigs (Sterksel). The other experimental farms will be sold. With regard to poultry research, the intention is to carry out such research at the facilities of Schothorst Feed Research (Lelystad) in future.
- Wageningen UR Livestock Research’s new dairy farm will be established in Leeuwarden as part of the Dairy Campus. Waiboerhoeve in Lelystad will remain open until the facilities on the Dairy Campus are ready for research, teaching and innovation study purposes, as will Nij Bosma Zathe.
- Livestock Research’s pig farm will be concentrated at Sterksel under the name Varkens Innovatie Centrum Sterksel (Pig Innovation Centre Sterksel);
- In principle, poultry research will be relocated in the short term from Het Spelderholt to Schothorst, both in Lelystad.
- Experimental farm De Marke (Hengelo, province of Gelderland) will continue its operations as a project-based farm assigned to the Environment department of Livestock Research.
- The experimental farms Aver Heino, Raalte, Cranendonck and Zegveld will cease to operate as applied research centres. Initially, these farms will be continued as regular farms. Ultimately, they will be sold or converted into a project-based farm if multi-year funding is found for this.
Wageningen UR Livestock Research’s experimental farms play an important role in translating fundamental knowledge into practical and usable solutions for the sector and for careful and considerate livestock farming in particular. They are also developing new knowledge focused on applications. Through concentration and new construction in Leeuwarden and at Sterksel, the farms can be modified to meet the needs for carrying out more innovative research together with industry, and they will form modern experimental farms with an international reputation.
Through this new imbedding of the experimental farms, the organisation is striving for the efficient use of the experimental farms within Wageningen UR Livestock Research, and their use for the cooperating partners within Dairy Campus and the Varkens Innovatie Centrum Sterksel. The strength is the consolidation of research, teaching and cooperation with and on behalf of agri-business. During the coming period, both Dairy Campus and the Varkens Innovatie Centrum Sterksel will be developed further in cooperation with the stakeholders.