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HAS University of Applied Sciences and Museum Van Bommel Van Dam host Inspiration Dinner on the future of pig farming

On Thursday 13 February HAS University of Applied Sciences and Museum van Bommel Van Dam hosted a special event: the Inspiration Diner. During the dinner a mix of students, lecturers and partners from the sector made a start on shaping the various visions for the future of pig farming.

The diner was organised to mark the completion of the project ‘the Pig Tractor’ by the artist Sjef Meijman, in which both HAS and the museum were involved. The Pig Tractor is a mobile, free-range pigsty that houses a small number of pigs. The pigs are used for ‘precision rooting’.

Art for the community

The aim of Van Bommel Van Dam museum is to bring art closer to residents of the city of Venlo. By collaborating with artists, the museum creates impactful art projects that focus on social challenges. The residents are integral to the project and students of the Global Food Dialogue minor also contributed to the Pig Tractor project. The students spoke with consumers, farmers and other stakeholders. The Pig Tractor was an excellent tool for exploring the sector. The students provided input and insights for the artist. This gave them a fresh and informative perspective on an artist’s view of the world and his approach to creating art.

Natural butcher

Three HAS students of the Food Innovation study programme prepared the meal for the Inspiration Dinner. They worked together with the ‘most prominent butcher in the province of Limburg’, Natural Butcher Schreinemachers from Venlo. The students used three different parts of the pig, and created three dishes each with its own distinct flavours: a meat broth, a meat bonbon and a meat donut.

Creative sessions

The host for the event was food, biobased & agri consultant, Han Swinkels, who knows the sector like no other. He encouraged guests to reflect on the future of pig farming, using creative sessions and games devised by Saskia van de Wiel from the museum, Ilona Spierings, lecturer at HAS University of Applied Sciences and supported by HAS professor, Antien Zuidberg. “Without innovation, no sector has a future," Han said at the beginning of the evening. “That's why it's good that we're working together to consider what the ideal pig farm should look like.” Within the educational programmes offered by HAS University of Applied Sciences, students are also working on the future of pig farming in all kinds of projects. Some of the students presented their projects during the evening.


At the end of the event, Ilona Spierings concluded: “It’s very valuable for HAS University of Applied Sciences to organise these kinds of sessions. Researching issues together with business. Looking for answers together. In particular, the fact that students and lecturers were able to enter into discussions with the various players in the sector. On the other hand, the students have also inspired the business community by presenting the project results. A great way to show the business community what insights and creative solutions our students are coming up with.”

Concept development

She continued: “For many of the participants, the evening mainly raised awareness about what’s going on in the various organisations and how the consumer views the pig sector? Its’s great to work with such a varied group of participants on solutions for the industry. The creative approach was also seen as very positive. Building an 'ideal world' together: for the pigs, the farmer and the consumer. It’s been fun producing these impressive constructions. Antien Zuidberg and the students who, as part of her professorship, are developing a concept focused on the appreciation of pork, will now continue to work on the output of the various discussions, the ideas and the methods we applied this evening.”