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Sander's Bio

Farmer, Husband, Father & Farm Animal Advocate. Trying to change animal welfare standards and changing a commercial farm into a regenerative one.

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My Story

I was born 1989 in the Netherlands, and immigrated to Canada with my parents in 1993 so that my dad and uncle could sell their one farm in Holland and each buy their own farm in Canada. I have always loved animals. I considered becoming a veterinarian and went to the university of guelph to do my undergrad in biology. I checked all the boxes. I got the grades, I got my application ready and even wrote my MCATs, but then I changed my mind. 

In 2010, I came home to the family dairy farm instead. I realized I could work more with animals as a farmer than I could as a veterinarian. In 2014 we built a new dairy barn centred around cow comfort. But as the cow’s health improved, my own health began to slip. Years of neglecting sleep and recovery finally caught up to me. I saw several specialists, but no one was able to figure out why my body stopped producing testosterone. I started to question everything: the medical system, my health choices, and even the way we farmed. I was searching for ways to improve animal welfare when I came across regenerative agriculture.

It took me 6 years to regain my health. Now, I have my health, a beautiful wife, and 4 boys. I am working towards pioneering a calf-at-foot dairy where the dairy calf raises her own calf until weaning. Beside the commercial dairy farm, we also raise pastured turkeys which follow behind our grass fed beef much like how birds used to follow the ancient herds of bison that used to roam North America. I hope to grow the regenerative side of our farm to where we can transition our commercial dairy farm to regenerative practices as well. 

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Speaking Engagements

News Articles

Guelph Today by Ariel Deutschmann - News Article

Television

Invisible Condition with Jeff Pearson on Achieve TV (e360tv) - Youtube

Podcasts

  • The Advisor with Stacey Chillemi (the future of agriculture) - on Spotify and Youtube

  • Stay Off My Operating Table with Dr. Phillip Ovadia - on Spotify and Youtube

  • The Advisor with Stacey Chillemi (health benefits of ethically sourced and regenerative ag) - on Spotify and Youtube

  • The Advisor with Stacey Chillemi (Welfare and cow-with-calf dairy) - on Spotify and Youtube

  • CEO Anonymous with Purdeep Sangha - Spotify

  • The Habit Hub for Autoimmune Health with Amy Behimer - on Spotify

  • The Advisor with Stacey Chillemi (raw dairy) - on Spotify and Youtube

  • Masculine Health Solutions with Conrado Rodrioguez - on Spotify

  • The Advisor with Stacey Chillemi (regenerative ag)- on Spotify and Youtube

  • Let's Have This Conversation with Kevin McShan - on Spotify and Youtube

  • Fast To Heal Stories with Shana Hussin - on Spotify and Youtube

Education

  • 2024-present - CEO of Van Stee Dairy

  • 2021-present - CEO of Moral Eats

  • 2014-2024 - Vice President of Van Stee Dairy

  • 2010-2014 - Herdsman at Van Stee Dairy

  • 2009 - Summer student for Brian Nelson's Masters research

  • 2008 - Milker at Pole Dairy

  • 2008 - Barn staff at EastGen bull barn

  • 2007 - Volunteered at an animal sanctuary in Thailand

  • 2007-2010 - Bachelor of General Biology at University of Guelph (89 GPA)

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