ATROCIOUS: Dairy farmers in global distress
WHEN Joe van der Hulst returned to Holland last year, it was almost as if he never left.
The former Leyburn dairy farmer was born one of 16 but hadn't returned home in over 70 years since leaving in the late 50s for New Zealand.
"I was stoked to be back in my home country," he said.
"I saw the old dairy farm and the old school. It's all still there."
Mr van der Hulst said he originally left due to horrendous farming circumstances.
"You didn't what conditions were there," he said.
"You would milk 54 cows just to make a living.
"There's lot of bachelor farmers in Holland and now they aren't getting loans from the bank because there's no one to pass on the debt."
The farmer lived in Leyburn for 12 years before finally making the move into town where he has been since 2004.
While he often attends the pig and calf sales, he wouldn't pick up the career again, given the current hardship the dairy industry is facing
"Over here, dairy has been ruined by Coles and Woolworths," he said.
"It's atrocious what they did.
"You pay more for water than you do for milk - how is that possible? "