January 16, 2023 at 4:00 p.m
BUNNIK Every village had a cattle market, and this phenomenon is almost extinct nowadays. Thousands of people pass De Raaphof every day at the bottom of the A12 exit, but not everyone knows that thousands of sheep and hundreds of cows exchange hands on this site twice a week.
by Agnes Corby
Pip and his wife Cor Kasing came to Bonnick from Utrecht in 1976. Their four sons, Lambert, Jeroen, Fred and Marko now lead the whole company. Fred and Marco are mainly interested in the livestock market and livestock transportation. Lambert, eldest of children: , my father traditionally had a barn with a hundred cows in Bokenport in the city. It was in the middle of a residential area that was undergoing renovation and was purchased. He bought this farm.
sowing, harvesting, milking and mowing; We know roughly what a farmer does on his farm. But behind the stable doors, there’s a lot going on for the farmer on Kromme Rijnstreek. For the past year, Houtens Nieuws has visited one or two agricultural entrepreneurs from our region every month as part of their “De Boer Op” series, to ask what they’re doing this month. We will be publishing this series again in the first two weeks of January, free to read for all.
upon collapse De Raaphof is now a well-maintained farm, but that was different back then. Core remembers well what the farm looked like at that time. A dilapidated building was about to collapse. There was mud all around it, and we were completely drowned in it.” Lambert was 11 when the family moved to Punic: “We couldn’t get upstairs, and we were falling on the floor.”
Bep Kassing was the first in the Netherlands with a cattle market with stands. – Kassing archive
However, Pip and Core chose this place. Cor: Well, we chose the location near the highway. This, of course, is perfect for a market where people come from far and wide.” Pip was more likely a contractor than a tradesman in those days. Lambert: He fixed everything up. Piece by piece. That took years.”
Libra and pregnant women Bep was a true entrepreneur and has grown the company exponentially. Several barns have been added, with many functions. Among other things, he introduced the first computer-controlled weighing scale in the Netherlands and won the Innovation Award with it. It was also one of the first to feature a truck lot with double cows in the front carriage and the largest fortnightly breeding stock auction with stands where hundreds of ranchers were in attendance.
Pip and Core’s four children share this entrepreneurial spirit. We all play a role in the business around De Raaphof in different ways and they have set up companies themselves. This creativity was further used at times when the cattle ranch had to close due to foot and mouth disease, bladder disease, and swine fever. New industries often emerged during those periods.
One of Kasing’s first livestock trucks. – Kassing archive
Kassing is of course famous in Bunnik for the bus company of the same name. Its origins also lie in the livestock market. Lambert: The cattle transport company has been around since 1926. In my grandfather’s time we already had trucks that drove from one cattle market to another. The trucks were equipped in such a way that ranchers and merchants could drive them. Actually we already had a bus company at that time.”
the brothers Another company that grew out of De Raaphof was Discotheque Brothers. The nightclub closed last year after 25 years. , de Bizzy’s predecessor had to close and the Becks were good acquaintances. In consultation with Alderman Voss it was decided to temporarily locate the disco on our site in a recently completed auditorium. At first for two years, but eventually for 25 years.” The Brothers name was created by Marco, Rob Peek, and Fred and Marco Kassing.
Several thousand people went crazy about the fraternity every week in the late ’90s and ‘0s. – Patrick van den Brink Archive
The Discotheque Brothers were also the reason behind Kassing’s eventual tours. “A bus company owner visited our site with partygoers on the bus, and thought Bonnick was a good site to park his buses. This company was later taken over and run by Jeroen.” This also resulted in a travel organization called Huski, based in Houten, Belgium.
Pyramids Lambert himself has seen half of the world. “I wanted to discover the world and I did all kinds of things.” From a tax advisor to a senior manager at Price Waterhouse to an arranger of operas in Verona and Egypt under the pyramids, but also sometimes the bus driver for dancing. After all those misadventures, Lambert returns to De Raaphof, where he arranges all kinds of financial, tax and legal matters. “Actually, I’m not completely gone.”
One of the buses of Kassing Tours – Bunniks Nieuws
Unfortunately, the era of the Brotherhood has come to an end, especially due to the well-known Corona virus. The site is now being prepared for Daiwa House BV. This is why a large pile driving rig has been in place for several weeks to create a strong foundation. Daiwa House BV is a large company specializing in temporary housing solutions.
Administration The Kasing family has been facilitating the cattle market for decades, but they are not traders themselves. Lambert: Twice a week farmers and merchants come here to buy and sell their livestock. We care about the location and registration of animals. All animals are checked by us. We track which animal goes to which owner. This is complete management.”
Every Monday morning hundreds of cows enter the yard, and on Thursday it is the turn of the sheep. On such mornings there are sometimes as many as 2,500 sheep walking in pens in and out of the barn, in the hay. What stands out is the calm. Sheep don’t blow, men walk quietly among the flocks. Lambert: Comfort in the barn is very important. Then trade will go better, both for people and for animals.
The sheep market starts early on Thursdays, at 5:00 am the first sheep arrive. Agnes Corby
Sheep come to Bunnik from all over the country, the first groups arrive around 5:00 in the morning, and they also leave for different places. Sheep also come from their area, like Piet Voskuilen from Odijk, to Raaphof. While the merchants were looking at the sheep and evaluating their chances, all the yellow ear numbers were scanned into the ears of the animals, so that the animals here were recorded.
applause Just like pictures of the past, farmers and merchants clap their hands to make a deal. Once a trade is completed, the animals are spray painted, so that it is clear which animal goes with whom once the trade is complete. This is around 9:30 am. Then all the sheep are loaded onto the correct wagons and a moment later, the terrain is calm again.
Lambert suspects that the market is shrinking and will eventually disappear. “But the transfer of animals will not stop and we will continue to play a role in that,” he added.