Ernst Nef, School Director of the SFT (2nd from the right); Soeren Overgaard, Head of the Bühler Feed & Biomass Business Unit and President of the SFT School Board (right); and SFT Members of the School Board Urs Wuest (2nd from the left) and Peter Hofer (left) congratulate the best in class of the 32nd Diploma Course, Grigory Khoroshchenko from Russia (center).
Eleven students from four different countries were recently awarded the coveted Diploma of the renowned Swiss Institute of Feed Technology (SFT) in Uzwil, Switzerland. The 32nd Specialist Course in Feed Manufacturing Technology was held in German. This year’s best in class came from Russia.
Of the 11 men and one woman who had started the 32nd diploma course of the SFT in the spring of 2013, all successfully completed their feed manufacturing engineering training with the exception of one. The road to success was not easy. It led the students “along a steep and winding path”, said Ernst Nef, the SFT’s School Director, at the diploma-awarding ceremony.
Nef announced that Daniela Schneiter (Kunz Kunath AG, Burgdorf, Switzerland) was the eighth lady in the SFT’s history to successfully complete the course: “This proves that feed production technology has ceased to be a matter purely for men.”
Following an intense ten-month period of training, Ernst Nef presented the graduates of this year’s course their Diplomas in the Hotel Uzwil, qualifying them as Feed Production Engineers or confirming their attendance of the course. In his entertaining address, Ernst Nef emphasized the high significance of training and continuing education. He expressed his admiration for the students’ decision to go back to school: “By making this far-reaching decision, you took up a challenge that you have now successfully met. Today, you have reached the top. With the knowledge you have acquired and your great commitment, you now have the right instruments available to satisfy the rigorous requirements of safe and economical animal feed production.”
He said that the goal was on the one hand to meet consumers’ needs for hygienic feeds that are safe for humans and animals alike. On the other hand, he said that companies were increasingly facing the challenge of producing and marketing feeds more efficiently and especially more responsibly while meeting legal regulations and directives.
Ernst Nef personally handed each graduate their diploma, adding some amusing personal anecdote to his congratulations. It has become a tradition for the SFT to distinguish the student with the highest grade during each diploma-awarding ceremony. This year the award in the form of a commemorative plaque went to the Russian Grigory Khoroshchenko, who attended the course in German – a foreign language for him. Grigory Khoroshchenko works as an Area Manager Feed & Biomass in the Bühler branch office in Moscow. Peter Hofer, Vice President of the School Board of the SFT, congratulated the best in class for his outstanding average grade of 5.54 (out of 6) and handed him the traditional pewter plaque.
The Diploma Course on Feed Manufacturing Technology was held for the second time on the basis of a new concept. The course starts in the spring with a 15-week preparatory correspondence course. This is followed by a four-week intensive course in Uzwil. In the autumn, the second block is then held with a preparatory correspondence course of the same length and the final intensive block in Uzwil. In the two preparatory courses, the students must deal with 21 different subjects. During the two intensive courses, they must pass a total of 14 written exams. The highlight and completion of each individual block are the two verbal examinations in the core subjects in front of a panel of experts. The new concept reduces the students’ absence from their jobs.
The 33rd Specialist Course in Feed Manufacturing Technology will start in January 2015 and be held in English.
Focus on practice
The SFT is a not-for-profit association that is recognized by the Swiss Feed Manufacturers Association (VSF) as an institution of training and continuing education. The goal of the SFT is to impart practice-oriented specialist knowledge on feed production to professionals from the feed manufacturing industry and related industries. Successful completion of the Diploma Course enables graduates to understand all the modern production processes in a feed manufacturing plant and to apply them meaningfully in practice. Bühler, the international Technology Group, is the partner of the SFT. More than 500 students from 65 countries have so far successfully completed the Specialist Course in Feed Manufacturing Technology. (pd)
The 12 students of the 32nd Specialist Course in Feed Manufacturing Technology with their instructors and the Managing Committee of the Swiss Institute of Feed Technology (SFT).