‘What do you smell? Tell me what you smell. ‘ Nieuwe Revu has arrived at farmer Jan Wiedemeijer’s dairy farm in Amsterdam-Noord, not far from Broek in Waterland. We are very enthusiastically welcomed by a young, small farmer with black curls and a familiar accent that can best be described as flat Amsterdam with a Moroccan accent. ‘Do you smell cow dung? Then you have come to the right place, it is the best scent you can wish for in your work environment! ‘ Ayoub Louirhani (24) from Amsterdam-East says he is the only Moroccan farmer in the Netherlands and that makes him stand out. Especially because his big dream is one day to run his own milk producer. These facts make Ayoub so unique and interesting that KRO-NCRV saw a reality show in it. Spread over six episodes, the NPO viewer at the beginning of this year gained a surprising insight into the life of one of the most prominent next-generation milk producers in the Netherlands. The series sought to answer questions such as: what drives and motivates Ayoub to go against the flow in his dream? How does he combine getting up early with his privacy? Is it still profitable to run a farm in Holland? What does a farmer’s life look like, and what does a farmer actually do all day? Many viewers agreed that the excitement sprayed off the screen during the episodes and beyond an average of 500,000 viewers per episode. section on Instagram, farmer Ayoub also gained more than 50,000 followers. In addition, a book is published about Ayoub’s life, dreams and possibilities. And as the absolute best of luck, the icing on the cake and the cow on the tail, Nieuwe Revu also comes by for a report.
And it starts with the pungent smell of cow feces; according to Ayoub the most wonderful fragrance on earth. The Moroccan dream hunter stands shining in shit boots and dressed in green peasant costumes, laughing at the door of a multi-million dollar farm, which unfortunately does not belong to him. Still, he feels like gentleman and gentleman like farmer help for farmer Jan, for he has been a regular here for years. Farmer’s help is, by the way, the old-fashioned word for the work that Ayoub does, but according to him – and we notice that in him – it has something derogatory in it. Especially for someone with ambitions. The diligent farmer prefers to call himself a temp: “It is a concept I myself have invented. The bottom line is that a farmer can call me if he wants to go on vacation. I literally stand for the farmer himself. I would rather not work for anyone, but I would like to work with someone. I like to stand next to the farmer and not under him; I am very enterprising in that regard. If I had wanted to work for someone, I could also have worked at Albert Heijn or at Schiphol. I feel more like a leader than a follower. If I have my own farm, I have to manage it all myself. Therefore, I already want to be on an equal footing with the farmer I work with. That way I really get to know everything. At every farm I visit, I get different ideas and learn new ways of working. That way I can choose the best from everywhere and I will soon put it as a collection of good things in my own yard. This is how I hope to run the ultimate modern farm. I’m looking forward to it”. Our meeting with Ayoub begins in earnest in the living room kitchen of the impressive dairy farm where we are guests. As he pours coffee, takes the coffee cream jug from the fridge and prepares sugar, he begins to answer one of our first questions: ‘I know it’s very difficult to become a farmer if you have to start from scratch. If you are a farm boy with no agricultural background, you almost have to win the top prize in a lottery to start or take over an agricultural business. Unless you come from a very wealthy family or are attached to a rich peasant wife. Do you know how my fascination with agriculture started? I had a teacher whose husband was a farmer. I asked her what a cow costs. She said I should look it up. I discovered that a cow costs between 1500-2500 euros. Then I went to a farm to count all the cows. I got those dollar signs in my eyes and chose to train as a cattle farmer.
‘I discovered that a cow costs between 1500-2500 euros. Then I went to a farm to count all the cows. I got those dollar signs in my eyes and chose to train as a cattle breeder ‘
Name, accent and appearance
Since he was fourteen, Ayoub can be found at various milk producers to gain experience. His career planning went well, although the Moroccan idealist was a remarkable outsider in education and in the agricultural sector. Ayoub immediately noticed that ‘something’ was different when he first wanted to secure an internship. ‘I was looking for an internship company and called twelve companies. All “no”. My name, my accent and my appearance were against me at the time. Some have already hung up on hearing my first name Ayoub. ‘ It was not until the thirteenth call that Ayoub heard another sound. Farmer Jan Wiedemeijer was the first and only one to say: ‘Come and take your internship here.’ The experienced dairy farmer’s trust in the ambitious young dog proved to be justified, and farmer Jan taught his student the subject with all his patience. After his education, the son of two Moroccan parents began working as a contract worker in the world of milk production. Ayoub still likes to work in the company of his teacher Jan, where we are still guests for this report today.
It quickly becomes clear to us over coffee that we are not dealing here with a young man with a whim, but with one who has been trying to fulfill his dream of building a life in agriculture for over ten years. A TV series, a success on Instagram, many interviews, a book about his dream: many farmers tend to stay in the background, but not this passionate farmer. What does Ayoub think about him being so interested? “I like it though,” he says without hesitation. ‘It’s a little promotion for myself and also a step up the stairs towards my dream: my own farm. When will it be? If things go as they are now, I think it should work within the next ten years. The money that comes in, I put as much aside as possible to save. Of course, that’s not going to happen very quickly, so I’m trying to invest a little bit. cryptocurrencies? No man stop, I’m staying away from that. I once accidentally bought such an NFT, a non-fungible token. One painting was that let’s see what it’s worth in ten years. Then maybe I can buy a tractor from it. What else should I invest in? There are many guys who want to start their own business and do not need much: Start a clothing brand or start a bike shop. You then make a contract with those people and you help them with a financial injection to start things up. You then agree on a percentage for repayment; you still get your money back and earn something on them. It’s work I’m not supposed to do. When I hear something nice that I can earn something from, I think: this is where I need to be ».
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