November 12, 2015

12/11/2015: Swiss Institute of Feed Technology awards Diplomas to 17 Feed Technologists

17 students from 13 countries were recently awarded the coveted diploma of the prestigious Swiss Institute of Feed Technology (SFT) in Uzwil, Switzerland. The 33rd specialist course in feed manufacturing technology was held in English. This year’s best in class came from Brazil. SFT Director Ernst Nef is now handing over responsibilities for the SFT to Daniel Müller and retiring early.

From a total of 20 male and one female participants who had started the 33rd Diploma course of the SFT in spring 2015, 17 successfully completed their training as Feed Production Engineers. The road to success was not easy. It led the students “up a steep and arduous path”, as the institute’s director Ernst Nef said at the Diploma awarding ceremony.

Mr Nef was very happy to see the ninth woman in the SFT’s history successfully completing the course – the Norwegian Aina-Elin Karlsen (Ewos AS): “This proves that animal feed production is no longer purely a men’s domain.”
 Ernst Nef, School Director of the SFT (rear, left); Marcel Scherrer, President of the SFT Board and Head of the Bühler Business Unit Feed (right); SFT Board members Urs Wuest (rear, right) and Peter Hofer (left); and the new SFT Director Daniel Müller (rear, centre) congratulate the best in class of the 33rd specialist course, Leonardo Miyata from Brazil (centre).
Reaching the summit
Following intensive ten-month training, the graduates of this year’s course received the Diploma awarding them as Feed Production Engineer or a confirmation of course attendance from the SFT’s director Ernst Nef in the Hotel Uzwil. 
In his speech, which as usual was full of humor, Mr Nef stressed the significance of lifelong continuing education and praised the graduates for their decision to go back to school once more: “With this decision, you took up a big challenge, which you have now successfully mastered. Today you have reached the summit. With the acquired knowledge and your great dedication, you are now equipped  with the tools you need to meet the high requirements for a safe and economical production of formulated feeds.” 
He said that on the one hand the goal is to satisfy consumer’s needs for hygienic feeds that are safe for humans and animals alike. On the other hand, he continued, feed manufacturers were increasingly being forced by regulations and legislation to produce and market animal feeds more efficiently and, especially, more responsibly.

A Brazilian as best in class
Ernst Nef personally handed over the Diploma or the confirmation of attendance to each student, adding some amusing personal anecdotes from the class to his congratulations. In line with a long-standing Diploma ceremony tradition, the SFT always distinguishes the student who has achieved the best final score. This year’s distinction went to the Brazilian Leonardo Miyata, employee at Bühler AG in Joinville, Brazil. Peter Hofer, Vice President of the SFT Board, congratulated the best in class for his outstanding average grade of 5.53 out of 6, by handing over  the traditional commemorative plate. Leonardo Miyata outperformed the Canadian John Smillie by one percent and Aina-Elin Karlsen by four percent, who ranked second and third, respectively.
Ernst Nef honoured
SFT Director Ernst Nef will retire at the end of 2015. He is handing over the SFT responsibilities to Daniel Müller. Marcel Scherrer, the new President of the SFT Board, and his deputy Peter Hofer took advantage of the 33rd diploma ceremony to acknowledge Ernst Nef’s accomplishments and to thank him for his immense dedication and efforts. As a farewell gift, they handed the visibly stirred fresh retiree a large engraved original cow bell from Appenzell. Mr Nef successfully completed the SFT Diploma course in 1992. Only two years later, he took charge as Director of the Swiss Institute of Feed Technology, holding a total of 20 Diploma courses to date together with his lecturer colleagues.
The 21 students of the 33rd Specialist Course in Feed Manufacturing Technology with their instructors and the Board of the Swiss Institute of Feed Technology (SFT).
New concept
The 2015 'Feed Production Engineer' Diploma course was based for the third time on the new concept. The course starts in spring with a 15-week preparatory correspondence course. This is followed by a four-week intensive course in Uzwil. In autumn, the second block is then held with a preparatory correspondence course of the same length and the final intensive training in Uzwil. 
In the two preparatory courses, students had to work through 21 subject areas. During the two intensive courses, they must pass a total of 14 written examinations. The highlight and finale of each block are the two oral examinations in the core subjects in front of a panel of experts. The new concept reduces the students’ absence from their jobs. 

The 34th Specialist Course in Feed Manufacturing Technology will start in January 2016 and will be held in German.

Focus on practice
The SFT is a non-profit association that is recognized by the Association of Swiss Feed Manufacturers (VSF) as an institution of training and continuing education. The SFT imparts practice-oriented specialist knowledge of feed production processes to professionals from the feed manufacturing industry and related industries. A successful completion of the specialist course provides the basis for graduates to understand state-of-the-art process technologies and to apply this expertise to practice. The international Technology Group Bühler AG is the partner of the SFT. To date, over 520 men and women from 69 countries have successfully completed the Specialist Course in Feed Manufacturing Technology.

Visit the SFT site HERE

The Global Miller
This blog is maintained by The Global Miller staff and is supported by the magazine GFMT
which is published by Perendale Publishers Limited.

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