‘Theory meets practice’

Johan Rijk

Molecular breeder

This is Johan. We seduced him to join us right after he graduated from his studies Plant Breeding at Wageningen University. That wasn’t too hard, because Johan did his internship here as well, so he already knew us.

Back to the people of Pop Vriend

Johan about Pop Vriend
‘What I like about Pop Vriend is the relatively small scale, the diversity of activities and the responsibility you get right away. If you start at the bigger breeding companies, you’d probably work on only one single crop or only one type of research.’

'As molecular breeders, we are educated to focus on the theoretical aspects of breeding, like developing and applying DNA markers to make breeding more efficient. Combining this knowledge with the immense experience at Pop Vriend Seeds in practical breeding, is bringing together the best of both worlds’.

We also seduced Johan to wear a laboratory jacket for our picture. 'All well and good, but I probably spend no more than 20% of my time in the lab. The other 80% is spent at my desk, the greenhouse, at trial fields or specialist seminars. Recently we went to the United States for a research trial we conducted for a client about the resistance against one specific local disease. It was amazing to see that the plants with the specific DNA markers we found here in Andijk, were indeed clean and free of the disease in the United States. This is the kind of breakthrough that excites me.'

‘As a farmer’s son, I still prefer to live in the countryside. Much of my leisure time I spend ‘in the field’ as well; I play soccer three times a week’.