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Growing is not an end in itself. Keeping up with the times is. Trying to describe HuizingHarvest’s business philosophy is no easy task. It could be the desire for adventure, or the love of technology, but there is a deeper conviction that underpins HuizingHarvest. “Knowledge and innovation development is fundamental to the future of agriculture. That means we have to learn from each other and that you have to do it together,” says Nico Huizing about HuizingHarvest. He founded the company in 2009.
Yes, you could say that. My father had an arable farm, but eventually went to work for a company that focused on improving the quality of agriculture. All over the world, but especially in the Russia region. At the end of the year, he always brought home a folder of photos. That triggered me; apparently there was more than the village where I grew up.
That was an internship during my studies at the senior agricultural college in Dronten. I absolutely wanted to arrange it by myself and I had been given an address in the south of Poland. But of course I had no idea where I was going. I actually only started to realise that when I’d already passed Berlin. In those days, that’s when you truly entered a different world over there. At the same time, a world opened up for me. I met people from Ukraine, staff of large machine manufacturers, Americans… The step to the big abroad was suddenly not so big anymore.
For me, the big abroad were the turn-key projects for Russian investors. At the time, they were setting up entire farms in Russia, almost from scratch. I started working near the Urals about 1500 km east of Moscow. There was a whole load of machines on the farm, but no one dared to touch them or knew how they worked. And no one spoke a language other than Russian. Wrench and hammer were the first words I learned in Russian.
I was doing all sorts of things at the time. A demo tour through Russia with a header, after-sales projects and seasonal work in Russia, Australia, America… Soon, we needed more people. Before I knew it, I had four people working abroad on behalf of HuizingHarvest. Then came the request from Russia from a manufacturer of combines. They had sold many new machines and were looking for help in commissioning them. The seasonal assignment for the people in Australia had just been completed and after making a phone call, they went straight on to Russia.
Thinking about the future and taking up the challenge is impossible without innovation.
The growth of the world population, the reduction of agricultural land and the increasing demand for personnel, that’s what forces us to develop agriculture further. In yield, but also in the need for personnel. This, for example, prompted us to think about an autonomous combine that we built in 2019. We’ve learned lessons from that and it also started a discussion. Looking ahead, working on innovation and fully accepting the challenge, that’s what we stand for at HuizingHarvest.
Well, you shouldn’t be afraid, for one. And you must like adventure and ‘chaos’. Of course we’re not a sandwich or biscuit factory, it really is different every day than planned, maybe every hour. You visit places you didn’t know existed, where you have to find a solution for every challenge yourself. And the wonderful thing is that a true community is also being created. A group of like-minded people who love this work and want to push boundaries again and again. That cooperation is the basis and it’s this movement that connects us worldwide.
Nico Huizing (1979) was born and raised in Nieuw-Weerdinge. After years of working independently abroad, he founded HuizingHarvest in 2009. The company specialises in agriculture and agricultural engineering and supports international companies in the sector with knowledge, service and advice. This ranges from commissioning machines to optimisation of management on large-scale farms. HuizingHarvest Jobs’ recruiters guarantee the supply of young talent and are an important quality guarantee for the team.