About Frans Steegh
I’m born as the oldest son in a typical Dutch farmer’s family. My father started in 1962 with the professional growing of mushrooms. At that time is was normal that the children had to some work on the farm and we as children, had only a little time was left for friends and playing. In 1976 I worked as an electrician. In the evening and on Saturday’s I learned for electro engineer and electronics. In my work, as an electrician and engineer, I worked in on cattle farms, in glasshouses and on mushroom farms.
In 1984 I returned to the mushroom farm of my father which was built in 1969, with 12 rooms of 200m². At that time it was the biggest in the Netherlands. I started the Mushroom growers course at the champignonvakschool CCO in Horst. My thesis was about Stropharia Regosoanulata. At the CCO I followed nearly all the courses which were offered.
On my father’s farm I took the testing of Stropharia Regosoanulata under his wings. In the farm there was 1 room for the Stropharia Regosoanulata. For the pasteurisation and spawnrun I built 4 tunnels. Everything was fine until the nuclear plant in Tsjernobyl crashed. The prices also collapsed by more than 90%. The prices didn’t recover, at the end of 1986 I stopped growing them.
In 1987 I started working as a general manager at Litjens in Velden. This farm had at that time12 rooms of 400m² mechanically harvesting for the canary, week production ±24 Ton Mushrooms. In next 6 years the mushroom farm extended to 23 rooms of 400m² with a total production of ±50Tons.
In 1997 I started together with Heveco in Germany a Mushroom farm “Kevelear Pilz Kulturen GmbH” with a week production of ±50Tons of white and brown Mushrooms for the fresh market.
In 1999 I started as a salesman at AEM, who produced climate installations and computer controls for the Mushroom Industry and other Agro Industries
In 2001 I went to Panbo systems bv, a building company which is active worldwide in the Mushroom Industry and other Agro Industries. At Panbo I developed the climate department, I also developed and programmed a climate computer which is successful all over the world.
In 2008, I met Sjaak Willems of Wilke bv again, (Sjaak worked in the early 70th sometimes on my father’s farm). He was willing to buy a Mushroom farm from Panbo systems bv. After Panbo systems bv had the contract, I designed the climate system and reprogrammed the climate computer. Sjaak became my buddy, he was a very critically constructive person and a mate with who I could philosophize on the growth of Mushrooms, Climate and Techniques and more (perhaps I’ll tell you about this in the future). It was due to our curiosity about mushroom growing, and all the unanswered questions, that drove us to solutions which I transformed into a new Climate process programme.
Due to my work, I met a lot of growers in the world. What I saw, were good willing and motivated mushroom growers which all worked very hard. A lot of them had to struggle with: changing seasons with raw materials, diseases, climate issues, personnel and more. I also saw intelligent mushroom growers struggling; they were caught in the tunnel vision trap. Therefore unable to expand (or cut off from expanding) their prospects and skills through learning from other growers. Without seeing the growers next door as competitors, or too far away for visiting and exchanging information, and different views in issues which were happening on their farms.
Over the years, Sjaak and I philosophized a lot about this. The point was; how can we share our knowledge with Mushroom growers (which we see as colleagues) in the world. This was the beginning of Mushconnect.com. We started, in our brainstorm sessions, to develop an Internet platform. But Mushconnect.com goes much further than the virtual borders of Internet.
I believe that if we share our knowledge with the Members of Mushconnect.com, and we can see each other as colleagues, we can really make a big difference and bring people who are involved with Mushrooms to a higher level with far better prospects.
5995 RP Kessel
Sjaak: +31 (0)6 3830 9295
Frans: +31 (0)6 2291 9417