Herman Keurhorst in front of his solar roof with Maarten van Vierssen, who is a member of the Apeldoorn Executive Committee

The calf stable in the spotlight

The veal sector is on the move and every link is taking its responsibility. There’s an important role to be played in this respect by veal farmers. Herman Keurhorst, who has been a veal farmer for almost 25 years, is happy to seize this role with both hands.

23-04-2020

Calf husbandry requires energy. The veal farmer must have energy, of course, to provide the best possible care for the calves every day. But heating, light and ventilation are also required. This brings us to veal farmer Herman Keurhorst. Herman and his family have been farming calves and poultry in Beemte-Broekland, near Apeldoorn, for 25 years. A few years ago, a company called Solarcentury had the ambition to build a solar park in the surrounding green countryside. Herman did not initially like the idea and contacted both the company and the municipality of Apeldoorn.

The roofs of the veal farm are perfectly suitable for the placement of solar panels to create a genuine solar roof. Keurhorst explains: “I think it makes no sense to use good farmland to place solar panels. If we are going to consider using land for solar purposes, let’s first make sure that the roofs are full. And that’s what we did.”

In doing so, the Keurhorst family’s veal farm contributes to the sector’s objective of achieving permanent sustainability. 2,950 Panels were placed on the solar roof. Its capacity equals the electricity needs of about 200 homes. The Keurhorst family’s business is completely energy-neutral thanks to the solar roof’s connection to the energy network, and the farm even generates energy for other homes.

This makes the Keurhorst family’s solar roof the second biggest in the municipality of Apeldoorn. All the more reason to have Maarten van Vierssen, who is a member of the Apeldoorn Executive Committee and is in charge of sustainability, open the roof with an official celebration.

I think it makes no sense to use good farmland to place solar panels. If we are going to consider using land for solar purposes, let’s first make sure that the roofs are full. And that’s what we did. - Herman Keurhorst

Keurhorst could not stop the construction of the solar park. However, his efforts led to a closer investigation into the implementation of the project. Construction of the park will start soon. Thanks to cooperation with landscape development agency Eelerwoude, the solar park blends into the landscape, thus respecting and enhancing natural values in the environment.

Although this is a great move towards sustainability, the Keurhorst family is already working on the next project. They requested and have been granted subsidy to install soft comfort floors in the calf stables to increase calves’ welfare. The veal sector is on the move and veal farm Keurhorst is a prime example!

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