In loving Memory of Bram Prins
16/02/2018 om 14:07
A couple of weeks ago, between Bram’s two surgeries, we called him to ask how he was doing. His reply: “Could you call me back in an hour, because I am cycling through the rain now”. He was getting fit for the second surgery, so he explained after an hour. Bram was always conscious about his health, eating healthy, he didn’t smoke, he only rarely drank alcohol and was cycling or swimming very regularly. Just about a week later we got the message that Bram passed away at the age of 67 on January 31st, 2018 due to complications after the second surgery. Bram’s passing came as a great shock to all of us.
It is not that easy to describe Bram. He was a unique person. People who have worked closely with him did have a common picture of him, but still found it difficult to describe him. Bram is Bram. But we still want to give it a try. First of all Bram was a family man. Bram and Dina were proud parents of three children and even prouder grandparents of 15 grandchildren. Almost every presentation of Bram included a picture of his family. These family pictures had become his traditional birthday present in the last years. Bram was also a religious man with a strong faith in God and for whom the bible was a leading guideline is his life. In his work Bram was very structured and punctual. A meeting that was planned at 10 o’clock will start at 10 or probably at five to 10. Bram could be annoyed about people being late, especially for fixed moments like coffee time at his home office (09.45 sharp).
Bram was born in Friesland, with three brothers and three sisters. His parents had a small dairy farm and moved to Groningen in order to create opportunities for their children. In the first part of his career Bram mostly worked on the farm and did not travel that much. As a board member of a feed cooperative he made one trip abroad every year. Bram saw that traveling abroad would give the opportunity to meet new people and to see new things. He really enjoyed that, so he started building his international network. He started off with founding European Dairy Farmers, I think it was after 16 years that he was looking for a new challenge and that was when he started with Global Dairy Farmers. GDF would not exist without Bram, that’s for sure.
Bram was a strong believer in building networks, creating friendships and sharing knowledge. So he invested a lot in ‘his’ network and in GDF. He invested a lot of time, but also took all financial risks involved. It was not always easy, but Bram just does not give up, if times were tough he worked just a bit harder to make it work. He did the same on his farm, that was developed towards a real family business run with 2 of his brothers, his son Arno and his son in law Jan. Bram did get his share of setbacks during his career. The setback with the digester investment being one of the biggest. But it is also Bram that he shared this setback with all its details in a presentation during the GDF trip in Argentina.
During the GDF congress 2017 Bram stepped back as president of Global Dairy Farmers. In an emotional speech Bram showed how he felt that he would let go of ‘his baby’, but also showed that he was proud of what has been achieved within the network and that he was confident about its future.
Bram, thank you very much and may you rest in peace