Iris Bouwers: The Youngest Member in the Next50 2023
No upside-down flags and no tractor to the Malieveld for farmer Iris Bouwers. She would rather use that tractor on the mixed farm (arable farming and fattening pigs) that she co-owns with her parents. And as a mobile online meeting place, when it is busy, she told Het Financieele Dagblad.
Bouwers (1993) likes to combine her work as a farmer with social engagement and governance and supervision. At 20, she was a councilor for the CDA in the municipality of Dronten, at 22 she promoted the interests of young farmers in the Netherlands and Europe, and from 26 she worked as a lobbyist in Brussels for umbrella organization LTO. Until last year: then she returned from Brussels to the farm in Drenthe.
'I belong here'
'I looked everywhere, but I belong here,' she explains this decision on her LinkedIn page. The freedom and vast surroundings beckoned. Her mission: farming with a focus on sustainability, she said in the FD. And finding a solution to problems such as nitrogen, biodiversity and climate change. Not through hard actions, but through her Board positions: Supervisory Board member of cattle feed manufacturer Agrifirm (since last spring), Board member of the Management Foundation of accountant Flynth and Supervisory Board member of Rabobank Het Drentse Land (since she was 24). Moreover, she recently became a councilor for the CDA again, this time in municipality De Wolden. ’If you want to change something, you have to be at the table.’
This article is published in Management Scope 03 2023.