How to make your cow happy – and managers, too!

After a week of field experiences, including discussions with veterinarians and farmers, after visiting Milk chilling plants and the agricultural university and after some exciting hours of preparation… it’s time to give back: our managers, most of them veterinarians and/or a background in Animal Health are asked to develop and to run a training for farmers in the rural surroundings of Coimbatore, India.

“It’s a great experience”, says one manager. “We have worked out a hopefully good training that should help farmers to take care about the cows in a better way. Food, hygiene and early detection of disease symptoms are key. Our training has also a title: How to make your cow happy!”

“It was not an easy exercise. Developing a training that we had to run while focusing on the most essential learning content, making the explanations simple and using paper only is different from conceptual work in an office”, a colleague explains.

Time to do it

During the exposure week the managers, split up into three working groups, have prepared the training. In the morning of the departure day we meet the farmers – the excitement on both sites is huge. The farmers are not that sure what these managers want them to share and if they are able to understand.

The managers are worried whether they would have chosen the right topics, if they could “break the ice” and be able to teach.

One group has developed an ice breaking “paper snip to milk bucket” game. Others start with an introduction round. Things work our: soon farmers and managers sit together, discuss, share experiences … here and there they enjoy also some very funny moments.

“We really enjoyed”, explain many colleagues afterwards, “and we are proud that we have made it. When we are back in our countries we will share what we have a learned. It’s a lot.”

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