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 ages 22, 20 and 16. For whom, whenever he gets a chance to do so, he is still buttering lunch. In doing so, in addition to his family, the field hockey club can also count on Joost, where as a coach he led his daughter's team to the championship just a few weeks ago.

Worked on a farm!

Although Joost himself is not of farming descent, agricultural interest did begin in him from an early age. In the Veluwe area, where he is from, he worked on a farm in his spare time from age 10 to 25. A mixed farm with cows, fattening pigs, fattening bulls and some 100 acres of land, on which potatoes, sugar beets, barley and corn were grown mainly. 

Therefore, when Joost went to college, the choice for the Agricultural High School was also quickly made. In 1987, he began studying agricultural engineering here in Wageningen. Once there, Joost was introduced to the subject of Meteorology and soon enough this sparked his interest in agricultural meteorology. He eventually graduated from no less than two courses at the same time: Agricultural Engineering and Soil-Water-Atmosphere. As icing on the cake, a few years later Joost earned his doctorate from Wageningen University under the Department of Meteorology. 

By his own admission, Joost loves researching, preferring this to presenting or lecturing. During his time in Wageningen, he did a lot of cutting-edge research. This academic quality even took him to New Zealand, where he spent several years researching the condition of peatlands dewatered for agriculture. "A fantastic time, with top colleagues in a beautiful country" said Joost.

When circumstances brought Joost back to the Netherlands, he worked in the ICT sector for a while, but eventually the need to return to the agricultural sector became too great. Joost started his own company together with Erno Bouma, which later joined forces with Appsforagri.

An indispensable force

Joost´s choice to focus on app development did not come out of the blue. He was previously responsible for the creation of the popular app Weeronline. It is, of course, no surprise that a man of his great expertise has been an indispensable force for Appsforagri. According to Joost, his main contribution here is the ability to measure at the micro level, data from the crop. "I had been walking around for a long time with the idea of making a sensor that measures in crop and serves as input for all kinds of models. With the advent of IoT (LoraWan, Sigfox and NB-IoT), this became possible. I made the prototype from pieces of PVC and manually soldered circuit boards, now fortunately this comes out of an injection molding machine and the PCBs are automatically plated."

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

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