Just like the models he develops for us, Joost can best be described with one word: "reliable." Not only as a researcher and colleague but also as a family man and husband. He is the proud father of three daughters aged 22, 20, and 16, for whom he still makes lunch when he gets the chance. In addition to his family, Joost can also be counted on by the hockey club, where he recently led his daughter's team to victory as their coach.

Worked on a farm!

Although Joost is not from a farming background himself, his agricultural interest began at a young age. In the Veluwe area where he is from, he worked on a farm in his spare time from the age of 10 to 25. It was a mixed farm with cows, fattening pigs, beef cattle, and about 100 hectares of land, mainly used for growing potatoes, sugar beets, barley, and maize.

When Joost started studying, the choice for the Agricultural University was quickly made. In 1987, he started his studies in Agricultural Engineering in Wageningen. Once there, Joost was introduced to the field of Meteorology, sparking his interest in agricultural meteorology. He eventually graduated from two programs simultaneously: Agricultural Engineering and Soil-Water-Atmosphere. As the cherry on top, Joost later obtained his doctoral degree from Wageningen University under the Meteorology department.

According to Joost, he loves researching more than presenting or giving lectures. During his time in Wageningen, he conducted groundbreaking research. This academic excellence even took him to New Zealand, where he researched the state of drained peat soils for agriculture. "A fantastic time, with top colleagues in a beautiful country," says Joost.

When circumstances brought Joost back to the Netherlands, he worked in the ICT sector for a while, but the desire to return to the agricultural sector became too strong. Joost started his own company with Erno Bouma, which later merged its strengths with Appsforagri.

An indispensable force

Joost's choice to focus on app development was not random. He was previously responsible for creating the popular app Weeronline. It's no surprise that a man with such expertise has been an indispensable force for Appsforagri. According to Joost, his most significant contribution is the ability to measure crop data at a micro-level. "I had been thinking for a long time about creating a sensor that measures crops and serves as input for various models. With the rise of IoT (LoraWan, Sigfox, and NB-IoT), this became possible. I made the prototype from pieces of PVC and manually soldered PCBs; now it comes out of an injection molding machine, and the PCBs are automatically assembled."

All in all, our modest Joost is anything but modest in value to our company. This year marks his seventh year at Appsforagri, and hopefully, many more years will follow.

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