Growing up on her parents dairy farm in the Netherlands, Elly Michiels-Fleuren left school keen to continue her strong farming roots. After meeting her husband, she left the family farm to allow for her brother to take over and started her own family venture.

Now running her own farm alongside her husband and three children, the family produce pork, corn, wheat, sugar beat, and flower bulbs which are exported all around the world. Keen to connect consumers with their food, Elly has an education area on her farm for the public to see how pigs are reared in Holland as part of a special programme designed by the Dutch Animal Protection agency, which sees around 5000 visitors a year. This ensures livestock are always kept to the highest welfare standards and creates transparency in the market.

As a keen Tweeter, Elly uses Twitter as a tool to educate the public, showing her everyday activity on the farm, and has even had a book written about her Tweets by a Dutch artist.

“I think it’s very important that we share our story but also try to understand why so many people have questions about how we work, why we do things the way we do and also to understand that it’s very important that we respect our animals the best way possible.”

For Elly, it is also important to give something back to the world, and her husband, who is a member of Dutch Agriterra, travels regularly to help farmers in countries like Vietnam, Tanzania and Peru.

“This is a beautiful way to help others without asking for something in return. Having a farm is not just about earning money, it is about helping people in need.”

Elly, we love how you have opened up your farm to educate others, connecting people to farming and essentially their food is super important in a world that is continually changing and challenging perceptions. Keep up the great work!