In agriculture and livestock, everything is about balance. The most important long-term goal is to create and maintain a balance between people, animals and the environment. Within this balance everything is cyclical. Life, seasons, crops, livestock – everything. We understand that in order to strengthen this balance, education and knowledge sharing must also be cyclical.
The cycle of our Feed the World programme involves moving students out of their day-to-day lives to our training centre for a four, seven or ten-month programme in which they go through our training cycle. After completing the training, they return home back with the knowledge, know-how, proper attitude and practical skillset to immediately impact their professional situation and the situation of those in the community around them. The students always go back to their home communities with possibilities to improve their situation without breaking the balance of the resources around them.
Back Home Improvement Plan
Learning is always a good thing, but the real objective is to take home knowledge, know-how and a skill set, and implement this in the local situation. Therefore, each student’s professional situation back home is incorporated into the training in the Netherlands. In Barneveld, the participants draw up a plan to realise improvements and achieve results. Each Aeres TCI programme aims to teach the students how to be successful in their chosen field. And, more importantly, how to apply what they have learned to their own situation, community and beyond.
Interesting, interactive and educational
“When the students come to Barneveld, they discuss the local situation and country-specific data with their fellow participants and the trainers,” says Helmich van Rees, one of the trainers at Aeres TCI. “They tell us about the analysed situation. What are the problems and possibilities at the local farm? We think in terms of solutions and points for improvement rather than problems. For most students, the first presentation is quite a challenge. Speaking in public, in English, explaining their situation back home, listening to possible solutions from fellow students. Not only the outcome, but the entire process of the Back Home Improvement Plan is very educational.”
Translate the situation
An important part of each BHIP is to translate the situation of the Dutch farms the students visit to the situation in their home country. Implementing improvements always means translating the Dutch situation to the situation back home. This is of great importance in each BHIP. It also means a change in the way of thinking and the attitude of the participant. After several months of studying in the Netherlands, the acquired knowledge and skills are taken back home and applied. All our training programmes are based on this approach.
The BHIP report must consist of several components. The first component is data collection: the way the participant analyses information and prioritises possible improvements. Secondly, the participants have to calculate the effects of the proposed improvements and specifies the required investments. Finally, the financial consequences for their farm must be described and calculated. Lastly, the participants draw up a plan for how and when to implement the improvements.