OSU College of Agricultural Sciences
Dean’s Trip to the Netherlands
April 13-19, 2024
An Exclusive Look at Agricultural Innovations
with Dr. Staci L. Simonich, Dean for the College of Agricultural Sciences, and Dr. Dave Stone, Associate Dean of International Programs
Join the Dean of the College of Agricultural Sciences and experts from OSU on an exclusive 6-day trip across the Netherlands. On this trip, you will see state-of-the art innovation in agriculture and food production. The tour will include visits to:
- Westland, the greenhouse capital of the World
- the Seed Valley north of Amsterdam
- the Friesland region famous for its dairy production
- Wageningen University, the #1 ranked agricultural university in the World
Throughout the program, you will partake in unique culinary experiences, savoring the flavors of traditional and innovative Dutch cuisine, and immerse yourself in the vibrant art and cultural scenes of this captivating country. And of course, there will be windmills and endless tulips, including a visit to the internationally famous Keukenhof Gardens.
The first three evenings will be located in the picturesque and historic village of Delft, famous for its blue and white dinnerware, ancient churches and birthplace of Johannes Vermeer. We will be staying at the iconic Arsenaal Hotel. The second-half of the program will be in medieval section of Amsterdam at the luxury and historic Tivoli Hotel.
Provider and Costs:
Joining our tour will be John Smit, a Wageningen University graduate with a long career in the Fresh Food value chain and Agribusiness Consultant to provide the history and context of our tours. While we are finalizing details, we anticipate the cost to be approximately $6,399 per person for double rate and $7,999 for single rate. This rate does not include airfare.
SATURDAY, APRIL 13: DEPARTURE
- Depart for Amsterdam on an overnight flight.
SUNDAY, APRIL 14: AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS /
ZAANDAM / DELFT
Make your way from Amsterdam to Zaandam, where you will explore the picturesque, fully functional Zaanse Schans Windmills. During the 17th- and 18th-century Dutch Golden Age, a staggering 600 active windmills turned along the Zaan district in North Holland, one of the world’s pioneering industrialized regions. Ten of these historical windmills continue to spin, toiling away at grinding oil, spices, and colorings, preserved for generations to come at their new home in Zaandam’s Zaanse Schans neighborhood.
After immersing yourself in this scenic beauty, enjoy a delightful lunch by the canal. In the late afternoon, transfer to Delft, the hometown of Dutch master Vermeer, where you will check into our hotel and have some leisure time. In the evening, gather for a reception at the hotel.
MONDAY, APRIL 15: DELFT / NAALDWIJK /
In the nearby town of Naaldwijk, embark on a guided morning visit to the World Horti Center, where business, education, research, and government leaders come together to exchange wisdom, leading to horticultural innovations. Discover where cutting-edge techniques and technologies are developed in its state-of-the-art greenhouse research building featuring 36 research sections. Go behind the scenes in the greenhouse demonstration area, where you can witness advanced technologies in action, including automation, shading systems, climate control, remote monitoring, and precise irrigation methods.
After lunch this afternoon, take an inside look at the Wageningen Greenhouse & Horticulture Research Station in Bleiswijk. Its research facilities are truly exceptional, including specialized greenhouses for sustainable crop protection, pioneering energy-saving experiments, and state-of-theart equipment for investigating greenhouse materials and early detection of crop stress signals. Furthermore, it houses two innovation and demo centers dedicated to energy and water treatment, positioning it at the forefront of agricultural technology advancements.
This evening, gather for a memorable dinner at an acclaimed, inventive restaurant serving Scandinavian cuisine in Delft.
TUESDAY, APRIL 16: DELFT / WAGENINGEN /
Our morning will be dedicated to visiting Wageningen University, where you will enjoy an exclusive tour and a lunch with Oregon State University students. After lunch, visit the Agrovoltaic site in Randwijk (pending confirmation). Learn more about this unique venture, which uses solar panels to cast welcome shade over crops while simultaneously churning out renewable energy. This system, called agrovoltaics, is a groundbreaking marriage of farming and photovoltaics aimed at greening our food system. The panels not only regulate the amount of light plants receive, but they also cut water evaporation by up to 29 percent, elevating soil moisture levels to plant-friendly standards. This evening, enjoy some time at leisure at the hotel or venture to a nearby eatery for dinner on your own.
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 17: DELFT / LISSE / AMSTERDAM
Our morning is devoted to industry visits, with details to come. This afternoon, immerse yourself in a special expert-led tour of Keukenhof. A beloved Dutch destination that springs to life during its annual tulip festival, the gardens open their gates for a mere eight weeks from late March to mid-May. Millions of tulips will take center stage (pending seasonal conditions), joined by the fragrant presence of daffodils and hyacinths. Wander through English landscape gardens, find solace in the Japanese country gardens, and browse the historical gardens. A leisurely stroll will unveil breathtaking landscapes at every turn. Venture into the greenhouses, where nature’s artistry is on full display. As you admire the tulips, orchids, and roses, experts will share the secrets of their cultivation and care.
This evening, check into a legendary landmark hotel in Amsterdam and conclude the day with an Indonesian dinner. The Dutch colonial legacy in Indonesia has left an indelible mark on both nations, particularly in the realm of cuisine. Dutch fascination with Indonesian flavors, dating back to the 16th century, has resulted in a remarkable culinary fusion so embedded in Dutch culture that Indonesian classics like nasi goreng, pisang goreng, lumpia goreng, and satay have become beloved national staples.
THURSDAY, APRIL 18: AMSTERDAM / JOURE /
DOKKUM / WAGENINGEN / LEEUWARDEN
Venture north to the town of Joure in the picturesque Friesland region and take an inside look at HZPC, a global powerhouse in the potato industry, known for seed potato trading, innovative breeding, and concept development. Their trailblazing breeding program, with a focus on hybrid potatoes, seeks to bolster food security in challenging regions. Join the team here for an insightful exploration of their work.
A delightful lunch awaits you in Dokkum, followed by visits to Meine’s Dairy Farm and the Wageningen Dairy Research Center to learn about local dairy production. In the early evening, transfer to Leeuwarden for a guided tour of the Fries Museum (pending confirmation), where you will be guided through its unique collections, including colorful paintings by the 20th-century Dutch artist Gerrit Benner and memorabilia about the life of the Mata Hari, the famous dancer and spy born as Margaretha Geertruida Zelle in Leeuwarden. This evening, gather for a dinner in Leeuwarden before returning to the hotel in Amsterdam.
FRIDAY, APRIL 19: AMSTERDAM / HOORN /
WARMENHUIZEN / WERVERSHOOF
After breakfast, venture to Seed Valley in the town of Hoorn, where you will get a deeper understanding of the Dutch leadership in “green software.” Within this unassuming hub lies a cluster of forward-thinking companies dedicated to crafting novel flower and vegetable varieties. Their collaborative efforts drive crop quality and yield enhancements, contributing to a flourishing and robust world.
Later on, delve into the fascinating world of seeds on a special visit to Bejo Zaden’s headquarters and facilities in Warmenhuizen. Founded in the 19th century as a small seed company, Bejo Zaden has grown into a global leader in vegetable seed production, boasting over 2,200 employees across 31 countries. Their mission is to support smallholder farmers in developing nations by supplying them with top-notch seeds and agricultural expertise. Meet representatives and learn about the corporation’s partnerships with local and international farmers.
After lunch, visit a vertical farm and witness the innovative Green Simplicity systems, which offer growers the means to conduct precise research on plants and test their own crop varieties in meticulously controlled environments. With variables like LED lighting, humidity, irrigation, carbon dioxide, and temperature under scrutiny, growers can draw conclusions that lead to production upscaling solutions, whether that involves tweaking specific greenhouse conditions or adopting automated multi-layer cultivation systems.
Next, in the West Frisian village of Wervershoof, enjoy a special visit to Gitzels Nursery, which has grown into an international supplier of young plants, serving professional seed companies, breeding stations, and vegetable growers. Collaborating with customers and suppliers, they explore enhancements in areas like climate control, fertilization, organic cultivation, and crop protection. The day concludes in Amsterdam with a special farewell dinner.
SATURDAY, APRIL 20: AMSTERDAM / RETURN
After breakfast at the hotel, transfer to the Amsterdam airport for your flight home.