Farmers better educated

The level of education of farm successors has improved in recent years. The proportion of higher educated farmers increased between 1996 and 2008. Over the past four years, some 15 percent of farm successors only had lower vocational education.

Level of education of farm successors


Fewer farmers lower educated

In 1996, one quarter of farm successors only had primary education (lo) or lower vocational education (lbo), as against 15 percent in 2004 and 2008. In 1996, approximately one in eight successors had completed an education at higher vocational (hbo) or university (wo) level. Eight years later, the ratio had risen to one in four.

Typically, arable farmers appear to be educated beyond the average national level: one in three were educated at higher vocational or university level in 2008.

One in five farmers have no agricultural education

Most takeovers (more than 80 percent) in the sector agriculture concerned young people who had attended agricultural education at various levels; 86 percent of those educated at mbo level had completed an agricultural education and 77 percent of farm successors at lbo or hbo level had attended an agricultural education. About half of university graduated had successfully completed an agricultural education. This also applies to successors who had not finished an education at lower vocational level. Nearly 20 percent of farm successors had not attended any form of agricultural education.