Mastermind – getting inside the head of the farmer
Pieter Hanssen International Sales Manager talks about tending his knowledge on Pigs.
When I started my job as Sales Manager Benelux, my first goal was to increase my knowledge about the industry I was operating in. Not only to support my customers the best I could, but also because I find it very interesting to learn everything about managing animals in an optimal way. For this reason last month, I contacted a couple of top-end farming contacts to teach me the art of Livestock Farming. My first focus goes to Pig farming, where my ‘Masterclass’ was provided by Merijn Verwegen from the Van Asten Group.
Every Expert starts at ground zero. Therefore, that was the starting point. During the first meeting, Merijn taught me the first things regarding company strategies, structures and systems. Followed by feed, life and production cycles, genetics and growing efficiencies.
To start with, we have focused most of our thoughts on the week systems and growing cycles that farmers generally use and how to apply these into a farming strategy. Also the structure and planning of feed is very key. In all different stages of growing pigs there are specific feed needs and compositions which I am studying right now. None of these will ever work efficiently without proper genetics. All of this is great learning for me as the goal of the exercise is to get more in the head of the farmer. So that when I am sitting at the table giving advice about air scrubbing and energy recovery, I do it from their point of view. Which of course is 99% of the job.
A lot of information to collect during the first day, but extremely interesting to learn. Of course mastering only these subjects requires months (probably years) of studying and reading. So fantastic that a company manager from such a corporation takes time to sit down and teach me these things.
Of course, it does not stop there, learning is an ongoing process. So once every 8 weeks we will sit together to add more to my knowledge about these subjects. It takes more or less 4 weeks’ time to study and learn the previous content before moving forward. During the Next 12 months, this will be the procedure for several subjects relating to pigs, genetics and feed. For me it is also important to learn the business strategy behind such farming company’s. So that I can support and advise my customers in the best possible way.
The Van Asten Group has multiple locations in the Netherlands and Germany. They are a market leader when it comes to optimal livestock farming, in particular animal welfare, neutral footprint and sustainability. Inno+ and Van Asten have been working closely together for several years as we share the same vision as to the direction livestock farming is going. Especially in terms of protecting the environment and reducing carbon footprint. I realised during the session with Merijn, this shared vision means his and hopefully now my approach to how pigs should be managed is shared.
Vision to Action
Merijn is the Company Manager of The Van Asten location in Panningen where they manage sows and piglets. At this location sustainable energy and animal welfare is focus. They installed sun panels and created an optimal climate for the animals by preheating and cooling the stables with our system. This means the animals have a top climate 24 x 7, 365 days a year. This shows me what kind of a manager works at Van Asten. Men with Vision to Action!
Optimal climate system
Triple-EEE heat recovery:
At the Van Asten Farm in Panningen, we installed the preheating concept and the mechanical cooling concept. With the preheating concept, we use the energy that the animals generate, to preheating the incoming fresh air. This system has a range of -10 °C to +10 °C. This means we create a constant autumn climate during the heavy winter periods of the year.
With the mechanical cooling concept, we create perfect temperatures and humidity levels during the hot periods of the year. This means we can get can get an indoor temperature of 22°C and a humidity of 60-65% during the summer. Regardless of outside climate.
For more info on Air Scrubbers, Triple-EEE and cooling please contact me:
International Sales Manager
Phone: +31 (0)6 10 49 96 79