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Future feed industry pioneers graduate from SFT's Second Diploma Program

31 October 20234 min reading

In a shortened time (5 months instead of 10 months), but no less intensively, 6 experts, 5 men and 1 woman, graduated with the diploma in compound feed technology from the renowned Swiss Institute of Feed Technology (SFT). The 2nd edition of the diploma course "SMS goes SFT" was attended by participants from Kenya, Greece, Latvia, and Switzerland. Eric Simon from Switzerland achieved the best performance.

The diploma course "SMS goes SFT" is an exclusive offer for SMS graduates thanks to the cooperation between Swiss Milling School St. Gallen (SMS) and the Swiss Institute of Feed Technology (SFT). This gives participants the opportunity to obtain the diploma as Feed Production Engineer in addition to their SMS Diploma. Due to the pandemic, the 1st edition of this type of diploma course "SMS goes SFT" was cancelled and participants had the chance to attend the regular diploma course. Now, the 2nd edition had been carried out under normal circumstances from June to October 2023.

From left to right: Alex Ammann, Lecturer of the SFT – Eric Simon – Lothar Driller, Managing Director of the SFT

During this time, the participants extended their already existing expertise in flour milling with competences in compound feed production by means of self-study and face-to-face classes. Today, they’re among the experts in the field of feed technology and among the 605 graduates worldwide that have received the SFT diploma since 1979.

All 6 participants received their certificates on Friday, October 13, 2023. Even the oldest participant in SFT history, Charles Wanjau from Kenya, received the SFT Diploma at the age of 59. “He is the embodiment of lifelong learning and an inspiration to all of us.” said Managing Director, Lothar Driller as presented his diploma.

THE FUTURE LEADERS 

“Please share your knowledge. In doing so, you will encourage your colleagues to grow and develop as well. Inspire them and make sure they get the training they need if they have potential,” said Lothar Driller in his speech, appealing to the graduates to actively apply and pass on their new knowledge.

The importance of the compound feed industry is increasing worldwide due to rising meat consumption. To meet this demand, efficient technologies and know-how for sustainable feed production are needed. At the same time, the requirements are also constantly increasing: the demands of customers and end consumers, as well as legal regulations, are presenting feed producers with ever greater challenges. “The diploma program covers a broad field, from process engineering, animal nutrition and feed mill management to new sensor technologies as a basis for the digitalization of the industry. The expertise acquired enables participants to successfully operate feed mills in addition to grain mills.

ERIC SIMON AT THE TOP OF THE CLASS

Eric Simon works as a versatile miller at Groupe Minoteries SA in Switzerland, a rather calm type, but he impressed from the start with his excellent results. He achieved a very good performance with the grade 91% (5.55) and was honored at the graduation ceremony with the traditional tin plate.

DOUBLE WORKLOAD 

The aim of the diploma course as a Feed Production Engineer is to enable the participants to complete the training in parallel with their professional duties and builds on the knowledge of milling technology already acquired at the SMS. The SFT offers supplementary technical training with a focus on feed production that requires minimal absence from the workplace.

The attendance time for this course was 4 weeks; prior to the start of the intensive course, the participants had to work independently on the relevant topics and complete assessments in 9 subject areas. During the intensive course, they took a total of 7 written exams. The oral exams on core topics like Process Technology / Flowsheet Technology as well as Animal Nutrition / Feed Science, in front of an expert committee, were the highlight and conclusion of the diploma course "SMS goes SFT." This demanded commitment and sacrifice from the students. However, it qualifies them for the additional tasks in their company for which they took responsibility before attending the diploma course.

FOCUS ON HANDS-ON 

The SFT is a listed association and is recognized by the Association of Swiss Feed Manufactures (VSF) as a training and further education institution. The SFT provides professionals from the feed industry and related industries with practical expertise in the production of animal feed. Upon successful completion of the diploma course, graduates are able to understand relevant modern feed milling process technologies and to apply them efficiently in practice. To provide access to this specific know-how and cutting-edge technology, SFT is partnering with the multinational Swiss plant engineering company Bühler AG. To date, more than 600 men and women from 75 countries have successfully completed the Diploma Course in Feed Technology.

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