News

Thailand – Dairy Development Training Programme

Date: November 10, 2023

In late October Chris Leach led an MPI dairy development training programme for farmers and extension officers in Pak Chong, Thailand. Pak Chong is the central region of Thailand, approximately a 2 ½ hour drive north of Bangkok, and is at the centre of the developing Thai Dairy Industry. 

Having helped host a visiting group of Thai farmers here in New Zealand in 2018 Chris visited Thailand in 2019, then the project was temporarily derailed by COVID. During the intervening years, the team maintained contact delivering monthly webinars on topics ranging from milk quality to reproduction, nutrition and extension mechanisms.   

 “This visit provided us with the opportunity to reconnect face to face and to deliver some ‘Kiwi style’ classroom, and practical skills training to approximately 35 learners plus an additional 30+ extension officers and scientists who joined morning classroom sessions via video link,” comments Chris. 

This was a great opportunity to demonstrate some alternative training approaches involving group work, post-it sessions, and Kahoot quizzes in the classroom. Followed up with on-farm practical sessions in the afternoons. The topics ranged from basic reproduction, heat detection, feed evaluation and ration formulation, calf rearing, and growing young stock. 

The training programme brought together a dynamic and diverse team including Chris Leach, Jane Kay (DairyNZ Nutritionist), Grant Rudman (Fonterra Sustainability Team Manager), Pete Morgan (Farmer and trainer), and Garry Udy (MPI). They received a great reception from the attendees, who warmed to the novel approaches

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