Next to the new dairy barn is the old dairy barn, which is now in use for the young cattle. Right behind it, is a storage building for feed and behind that is the barn for the calves, built in 2011. It is remarkable that the farmer keeps all of his calves at the company for 4 weeks. This stems from an agreement with a fattener that yields €200 for each calf. Of course, feed costs of around €2 per calf per day still need to be deducted. He has 35% of his cows, no heifers, inseminated with Belgian Blue. Calves from these cows yield an additional €100.
Communication with employees
The secret of his success is obviously not the material aspect alone. Forum is a people person. The start of the day is typical. All employees have breakfast in the farmer’s house every day. By doing this, they can easily share information and it contributes to the team spirit among his relatively young staff. Is Forum a natural manager then? No, he can well image the fear many of his colleagues experience having to work with employees they do not know. For this reason, he followed a year and a half long course in 2006 on how to manage a large dairy farm. “I had to learn to better communicate with my employees to keep them motivated. Those kinds of things.” Moreover, Forum finds it costs time to accept that not everything works out the way you want it to.
His employees enjoy freedom and space to try things out. Something they appreciate, seeing that many of them want to start their own companies in the future. At the same time, Forum thinks it is a challenge to show his staff how to get the best results and how to involve them in realising goals. Moreover, he thinks that he can keep on performing well by hiring young employees. However, things in the employee department are not always perfect. A few years ago, he was forced to dismiss a new employee. After the usual training period, he still did not do what was asked of him. An uncomfortable moment for Forum, but necessary to ensure a stable operation.