ForFarmers Species Academies, a succesful knowledge generator

In 2016 we launched the ForFarmers Species Academies (Swine, Poultry, Ruminant). Main goal of the Academies is sharing knowledge because we want to be frontrunners both from a technical as well as a commercial perspective. Our knowledge, combined with our product portfolio and tools, allows us to assist our customers with realising better returns, higher efficiency and a healthier livestock. Our objective - also within the context of For the Future of Farming - is to have the best sales teams, both technically and commercially. A few years on, how are the Academies now doing?

Swine Academy

Following our launch of the Swine Academy in the UK, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands in 2016, more than 100 colleagues within Swine Sales successfully completed all the Academy modules (with the exception of new colleagues who started in 2018). Janneke Keeris, Swine Academy coordinator: “The Swine Academy has different modules, each one focussing on one of the pig’s life phases. Each module is a combination of sharing technical knowledge and training various skills in practical workshops using practical cases. The aim of these modules was to ensure all specialists and account managers have the same basic knowledge and are all ‘up-to-date’ again. Sharing knowledge across the different countries was certainly an important objective too.”

Afbeelding: 190409_Janneke Keeris_in-line

The next step is that we now offer specialists and account managers the possibility of choosing tailor-made trainings, including a variety of themes for different levels. Some important topics: health, nutrition and commercial calculations.

Ruminant Academy

The Ruminant Academy was also launched in 2016. Since than, the Academy has been further developed and implemented in the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany and partly in the UK. In 2019 we also want to  implement the academy fully within ForFarmers UK. “The Academy is an important way to help our sales team in understanding our market approach and ‘translate’ this to the customer”, says Jarich Westra, Coordinator Ruminant Academy. “In the training sessions we show and explain how our knowledge is used in daily practice on farm level. In other words, these interactive days focus on how to apply our knowledge. Knowledge transfer within ForFarmers is important, but being able to share it with our customers is even more important. The Academy serves both purposes.”

Afbeelding: 190409_Jarich Westra_in-line

The Academy is based on our most important dairy concepts, being: VITA (young stock), Feed2Milk (lactation), TransLac (transition) and Terra (roughage). These 4 modules will be implemented in the UK in phases this and next year.

Poultry Academy

The Poultry Academy was launched in 2017 and since that time all sales colleagues in Poultry - approximately 60 employees in the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and the UK - have been trained in four overarching technical modules: Nutrition, Health, Management and Data & Economics. Various different subjects have been addressed within these modules, using challenging workshops, brief in-depth sessions with assignments or types of games.

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Laura Hoving, Poultry Academy coordinator, about the next step: “We are currently working on the 2.0 versions of the above modules; all colleagues have completed the Nutrition 2.0 module. We have organised a so-called ‘recap’ day for colleagues who started after the first (or later) modules, making sure this group has the same knowledge in order to continue with the new material. We specifically look at knowledge and experience which is relevant for sharing within sales when developing modules, but we also include recent innovations.”