The reactions to my initiative to start a dairy farmers network are still very few and lukewarm. I see several reasons:
- Intended participants are dutch emigrants who decided to leave behind everything that was familiar to them in order to expand their individual farm. The first years have been a lonely struggle for most: both by nature and nurture these people are individualists, used to taking care of their problems by themselves.
- For most, easier times have arrived by now. There is no pressing common problem or need to address. Many may not perceive any added value of a network.
- Intended participants are not comfortable with expressing themselves by writing.
- Although most have an email connection, it seems to be used mostly by the younger parts of the families, and only for informal contact. Emailing is not yet integrated in business and therefor perceived as hobby.
- The dutch farming community is small and reigned by ´reputations´. Appearantly no-one feels the need to change the status-quo established….
- Earlier efforts to have a more traditional studygroup have quickly stranded.