Dairy Campus can be considered the final part of a development that began in the 1950s. Model farms were set up by the then state organisations, which were later converted into six regional research centres, Cranendonck, De Vlierd, Zegveld, Aver Heino, Waiboerhoeve and (Nij) Bosma Zathe. At the beginning of 2000, the pilot companies that were still operating at the time came under the care of Wageningen UR.
In 2008-2009 it was decided with all parties to centralise the said centres in one location with the aim of updating this location. One national knowledge centre with multiple functions on innovation, research, education and practice for dairy farming and dairy chains.
The idea Dairy Campus was born with this. In 2011, the choice of the place where this was to be done fell, Leeuwarden where the former pilot company Nij Bosma Zathe was based. Friesland is seen as the dairy province of the Netherlands. There are many agricultural-oriented companies and in Leeuwarden, the capital, there are educational institutions such as Van Hall Larenstein and Nordwin college that have agricultural-oriented training courses. The municipality of Leeuwarden and the province of Fryslân also shared the ambitions of a Dairy Campus. €20 million was made available. A third of this is in infrastructure and the rest are in education, lectorates and the innovation programme.
New Dairy Campus
At the beginning of 2016 Dairy Campus was still at two locations, Dairy Campus Leeuwarden and the Waiboerhoeve in Lelystad. After the new building everything is centered on one location, Dairy Campus Leeuwarden.
History of Bosma Zathe
The history begins in May 1944 in Ureterp where the Central Institute for Agricultural Research (CILO) in Wageningen leased the company Bosma Zathe to carry out research there. From May 1956 to May 1972 the company was owned by the Frisian Christian Farmers and Gardeners Association (CBTB). This was followed by a reorganisation and Bosma Zathe became a Regional Research Centre (ROC). ROC Bosma Zathe is a collaboration between the state organizations of Friesland and Groningen. In 1995 a merger was carried out and Bosma Zathe belonged to a national Foundation for The Conduct of Cattle, Sheep and Horses (PR). The investigations were coordinated from Lelystad.
In the year 2000, the pilot company Bosma Zathe moved from Ureterp to Goutum (Leeuwarden) and became the name 'Nij Bosma Zathe', the practice centre for the northern dairy farming area. The following year, Nij Bosma Zathe was part of the Livestock Practice Survey, an independent unit within Wageningen University and Research Centre. The company at Leeuwarden consisted of two company houses, a company building, a cubicle stable with room for 184 animals, a young cattle barn with calf shed and a tool shed.
In 2011, the choice of the place where this was to be done fell, Leeuwarden where the former pilot company Nij Bosma Zathe was based.