Ida Simonsen (25)


Ida Simonsen (25)


“It has been a long journey for me to discover how I relate to the climate crisis and the ecological crisis. At a certain point, the penny dropped and I realised I had to do it in practice. I wanted to dig the earth with my bare hands.”

“Showing the world we don’t need agribusiness”

Ida Simonsen (25) is in the first year of BBL (part-time) training at the time of this interview. She is opting for horticulture.
“I came across Warmonderhof through the positive stories of former students on the internet. I wasn’t looking for a formal education but wanted to learn the trade, gain knowledge. One-third of the training at Warmonderhof takes place in the classroom and two-thirds in the field. I’d already done some informal internships at various farms, but I was looking for one single place where I would get various perspectives on the organic and biodynamic sector. I wanted to really understand what the farmers were protesting about. I wanted to really get to the bottom of the nitrogen story. I got that holistic perspective here at Warmonderhof, how everything fits together on the global scale. This, in combination with my activism in the agro-ecological movement, determined my choice for Warmonderhof.

The right to food

“I was trained in human rights in the field of food systems: the right to food. But I didn’t want to spend whole days in court or in the office. I’ve chosen horticulture here at Warmonderhof for now, but arable farming is also a possibility in the future. I have a volunteer position as a UN youth representative for biodiversity and food. This means I go to international meetings and talk to the ministries of Agriculture and Foreign Affairs, as well as the ministries of Infrastructure and Water.
“As an activist, my main focus now is to take on Rabobank. I demonstrate non-violently against their investments in fertilisers, pesticides, mega-stables and deforestation, so that as many people as possible become aware of their policies that are destroying nature and violating human rights. This week, for example, I joined Extinction Rebellion, Milieudefensie and Greenpeace in infiltrating their annual certificate holders’ meeting to demand change.

“Food is more than just nutrients”

“In the future, I want to ‘naturalise’, as I call it, even more. By that I mean I want to live more in connection with nature. I have never had access to land or capital myself. I don’t come from a farming family. I’m looking for something in the form of a community, preferably Community Supported Agriculture on collectively owned land.
“At my internship site Pluk! in Halfweg, Amsterdam, I’ve become aware that food is so much more than just calories and nutrients. The harvest and the journey towards it are a social good, medicine, fun, community and happiness. I want to work for food security on a global scale. Food should keep us healthy – physically, culturally, socially and spiritually. I want to help communities where that isn’t the case. I want to stick to my political narrative and not retreat into my own back garden. I want to show the world alternatives, show the world that we don’t need agribusiness.”