Farmer who ignored farmer’s protest tells Humberto story: ‘Brave’

Yesterday it almost looked as if all the farmers in the Netherlands had come to the farmers’ protest in Stroe by tractor. Still, people stayed at home. The last Elfstedentocht winner Henk Angenent for example. He told his story to The Telegraph (“I am not a protest farmer”). An organic farmer John Arink also avoided the farmers’ protest. He joined the talk show Humberto† “Brave man!”

According to organizers such as Farmers Defense Forse of the farmers’ protest, 60,000 farmers on 20,000 tractors had come to Stroe. The Municipality of Barneveld could not confirm that huge number and it also seemed a bit less if you compare it with the Pinkpop site of last weekend, but in any case it was a lot of farmers. It resulted in traffic chaos in the central Netherlands. After yesterday’s impressive demonstration, today the House of Representatives will debate the government’s plans for nitrogen. It will be an exciting day in The Hague.

John left the farmers’ protest for what it was

Organic livestock farmer John Arink ignored Stroe’s farmers’ protest. He thinks that the plans for nitrogen reduction do not go far enough and is for a smaller livestock in our country. His opinion will not make Arink popular among all protesting farmers, but he will not run away from that opinion. On the contrary, he even walked it to Humberto Tan’s studio.

“The biggest farmers’ protest ever,” said the talk show host of Humberto the. “The call not to go on the highway with tractors was massively ignored, resulting in large traffic jams.” John Arink wasn’t stuck in traffic, at least not towards Stroe. Nor had he fabricated a banner with a text such as ‘The Hague idiots help the Netherlands to the balls’. He has fifty cows at Ekoboerderij Lievelde. Arink is not having a hard time at all, he had his best year ever last year. That doesn’t say anything about the situation of colleagues, of course, but he deserves a good living.

More nitrogen from our country

“It’s a bit nuanced,” says the farmer’s protest-avoider. “We have a biodynamic farm and we also receive a milk price as such. Our biggest gain is in direct marketing to consumers. We also draw on the 4 or 5 percent of Dutch people who buy sustainable food. That is our raison d’être.”

Arink is firm: we still need more nitrogen than the cabinet wants to leave our country. “Nitrogen is only one outgrowth of the excessiveness of the intensive agricultural model that we know in the Netherlands. We have about the most intensive model in all of Europe. That intensive model is actually the biggest threat to farmers. And not so much the policy of the cabinet. The government’s policy is lagging behind a bit to fix problems. It is precisely this intensive model that has decimated the number of farmers over the past seventy years. Those who have mainly benefited from this are the companies around the farmers, called big agro. Banks, animal feed companies, suppliers of all kinds of equipment. And companies that are eager to deliver so-called technical innovations that give farmers an even higher cost price. On the contrary, we have to go through a transition back in intensity, so that we become less dependent on fossil fuels, among other things.”

Farmers of the farmer’s protest will have been horrified upon hearing John Arink’s opinion. But he also gets acclaim.

Do you want to see Humberto’s broadcast again? That’s possible here.

Viewers feast on the hilarious assignment The Perfect Picture (and Tim den Besten)

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Farmer who ignored farmer’s protest tells Humberto story: ‘Brave’