Swiss feed milling experience shared on local soil

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feed milling AFMA The Animal Feed Manufacturers’ Association (AFMA) recently hosted its biennial two-week short course on feed milling.
This year’s top course participants were, from the left, Waldo Macdonald of Nutri Feeds, Ashley Ndaba of National Foods Stockfeeds, Jonathan Miles of Nutroteq, Willem Steyn of SwiNE Nutrition Management, and Willem Augustyn of Nutri Feeds. With them are the course presenter, Ernst Nef (in the middle), and Liesl Breytenbach, interim executive director of AFMA.

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  • Feed milling refers to the combination of processes utilised to produce feed suitable for animal consumption.
  • The course came into being after a gap was identified in the knowledge chain of local feed milling operations.
  • The course is presented by Ernst Nef of Nef Feed Milling Consulting. He has more than 25 years’ experience in the feed milling industry.
  • Knowledge exchange is necessary for feed millers to understand the entire process. Without an understanding of each individual link in the chain, operators could end up not being aware of the challenges and/or problems that may arise during each step.
  • Liesl Breytenbach, interim executive director of AFMA, said this year’s course drew a record 57 participants from 25 feed milling companies across Southern Africa and Mauritius. The increased level of participation over the last 13 years highlights the importance and value of training and skills development opportunities such as this.

Feed milling refers to the combination of processes utilised to produce feed suitable for animal consumption. As it is an important part of the South African agro-processing landscape, the Animal Feed Manufacturers’ Association (AFMA) has been hosting a biennial two-week short course on feed milling since 2010. The course came into being after a gap was identified in the knowledge chain of local feed milling operations.

The course is presented by Ernst Nef of Nef Feed Milling Consulting. He has more than 25 years’ experience in the feed milling industry. Nef started his career as a millwright at the Bühler Group in his native Switzerland and has 18 years’ experience in the installation of feed and flour mills.

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A need for knowledge

The popularity of the course is proof of its value and emphasises the importance of education and training in the sector.

Nef says knowledge exchange is necessary for feed millers to understand the entire process. Without an understanding of each individual link in the chain, operators could end up not being aware of the challenges and/or problems that may arise during each step. He added that the course will add value for feed mill operators, allowing for more than just starting and stopping a process with the push of a button.

Vital topics in the feed milling industry such as the legal requirements pertaining to animal feed, transport logistics and ways of addressing the effects of load shedding, were also discussed.

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Record participation

Liesl Breytenbach, interim executive director of AFMA, said this year’s course drew a record 57 participants from 25 feed milling companies across Southern Africa and Mauritius. The increased level of participation over the last 13 years highlights the importance and value of training and skills development opportunities such as this.

She said AFMA is looking forward to continuing their partnership with Nef Feed Milling Consulting and thanked the course partner, Automill, for their financial assistance in hosting the course. AFMA is also aiming to further expand the course to include a practical component at a local research and training feed mill in future.

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A social dinner was part of the course programme. The event, which was co-hosted by the Bühler Group, offered participants the opportunity to network. Breytenbach and Alec Audie, area sales manager at Bühler, welcomed participants to the event.

A total of 57 participants completed this year’s course. The top five participants were Waldo Macdonald of Nutri Feeds, Ashley Ndaba of National Foods Stockfeeds, Jonathan Miles of Nutroteq, Willem Steyn of SwiNE Nutrition Management, and Willem Augustyn, also of Nutri Feeds. – Phillip Crafford, Plaas Media

For enquiries, visit AFMA’s website at www.afma.co.za.