Mendy van Toor: “I’m passionate about organising good substantive training courses which will truly benefit my colleagues in practice”

Department: Sales

"The Academies fulfil an important role in maintaining and sharing knowledge with colleagues"

Afbeelding: Mendy van Toor_portret

Mendy van Toor started at ForFarmers after completing her Animal Sciences studies at the WUR in Wageningen (NL) – Master Adaptation, Health and Behaviour. That was back in January 2020, just before corona decided to descend on the world. At the time her role was Swine Academy Coordinator. The Poultry Academy has been added to this since 1st October. Plus she supports a variety of other projects too. But what does a coordinator do exactly? And what is the importance of the Academies? We asked Mendy those very questions.


What does your role as a ForFarmers Academies coordinator involve?

"My work is incredibly varied. This varies from organising and planning training courses, providing the necessary training materials, to collaborating with the trainers to improve the training courses and to set up new training courses. It’s important to effectively link into the Sales teams’ needs."

"We have three coordinators for training courses within ForFarmers – Jaap Loohuis for the general training and sales training, Jarich Westra for the technical ruminants training and myself for the swine and poultry."

What are the ForFarmers Academies and why are they important?

"The Academies form part of the internal training programme for ForFarmers employees. We have general programmes in place for the various different departments, but also specific ones per species (Ruminants, Swine, Poultry) for our field/sales staff. The Academies fulfil an important role where maintaining and sharing knowledge with colleagues is concerned. These Academies allow us to guarantee a good level of knowledge and skills, making sure any colleagues who visit the farm can provide our customers with the best possible advice every day. It’s fantastic to form part of this process."

What is your average working day like?

"I have mainly been working from home since the corona outbreak…. I start my day off with a half hour walk to make sure I feel fresh and ready to start my day. I then check my emails and get started on, for example, preparing a programme for new colleagues. I meet with the other coordinators once a month to discuss new ideas and training courses across the different sectors. We’ll also use these meetings to discuss the general components of, for example, the commercial traineeship which runs within ForFarmers. We’ll organise things like this group’s international introduction week. I’m also in regular contact with product managers/sales managers, as they are ultimately responsible for the content of their animal sector’s Academy, in their specific country. Together we agree on the training needs, but also what new training courses should provide in terms of content. So yes, plenty of meetings, but we definitely always try to be creative too, with the aim of ensuring good substantive training courses are put in place which will truly benefit my colleagues in their daily practices."

What do you particularly enjoy about your role?

"It’s incredibly varied, especially because you get to work with colleagues in all the different countries ForFarmers is active in. Every market is just that little bit different and the training needs are therefore always different too. It’s great to experience that you can still learn a great deal from each other and save time by tackling matters together. I have acquired a broad picture of how everyone at ForFarmers works towards creating greater benefits for our customers, as I’m also involved with supporting various different projects in addition to my work for the Academies. It really is fantastic that I’ve been able to experience so much in my very first job, I’m certainly learning a great deal myself too."

Afbeelding: Mendy van Toor_Academy Coordinator_in-line

And, why did you choose ForFarmers?

"I was already familiar with ForFarmers as a result of my studies and it always seemed like a great company to work for. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do after completing my studies and therefore started looking for a job which would minimally be related to pig farming. I ended up at ForFarmers via a player in my boyfriend’s football team. My initial interview was for a job in the field service. This job became available a little later on and seemed to suit me better. My role is like being a spider in the web and it has certainly given me the opportunity to see a great deal of the company. I’m good at organising and that has definitely come in useful in this job. I’m still very much enjoying myself a good 1.5 years later. I particularly enjoy the open culture."

Why are you involved with For the Future of Farming?

"Livestock farming will always play an important role in our food supply and it forms part of what our landscape looks like. Our role is to ensure animals are fed in the best possible way and we ensure the best possible returns are realised at the farm together with the farmer. But our role also includes working with all other parties in the chain, in order to achieve a good balance between space for animals, nature and people. This is the only way we’ll be able to realise future-proof livestock farming and contribute to a good food supply."

And finally, what do you do when you're not working?

"I go horse-riding every Monday evening and I have a mini Shetland pony I often walk with. I have recently started roller blading again (although not very actively yet). I also enjoy going out for a drink with friends during the weekends.    "