International Large Dairy Farm Management internship Difco



International Large Dairy Farm Management internship Difco International BV (

Sector: International Large Dairy Farm Management

Wanted: a student with applied research skills and experience in international large dairy farm management, who likes to improve animal health, efficiency, management and welfare at large dairy farms by introduction of high tech solutions. Can you work independently and would you like to gain experience in large dairy farm management abroad? Then Difco International has an interesting internship / graduation assignment for you!

Driving dairy farm management performance
Location Lipetsk Russia (at a dairy farm of more then 5000 head, 2 young stock locations and 4 location with lactating cows) with Dutch management. Most probably there might also be other locations / companies, but they are not yet confirmed, one even bigger and one smaller. All the farms do have partly foreign (Dutch / German) management and of course also local staff.

What are you going to do?
Guided by a senior team member you will be assisting in the implementation of Cow Manager ( fertility, health and feed monitoring at a large dairy farm in Russia.

First of all it will be hands on start up, setting up the system and apply the sensors. The second phase will be monitoring the results and compare them to the reality. Our experience is that the data are really good, but that local staff always try to find ways to discuss the quality of the data.

The second assignment is to integrate the data into the day to day management. In this large dairy farms they work with strict protocols. The data about fertility, health and feeding should be integrated into these protocols. This is not only a matter of writing protocols but much more involve top management and the employees who have to do it and make it work.

Thirdly it is important to analyse the data and find thresholds for treatments / changes / alerts. Cow Manager is active already in many countries and have a lot of experience. One of the things we see is that dry cow management is crucial for good start up (and thus fertility, health, etc). We expect that within the assignment the student looks at the right thresholds for minimum eating and rumination times in the dry cow period to make sure that already in dry cow period actions can be taken to avoid fresh cow problems. Also it would be very interesting to find other relations (for example heat stress, overcrowding, etc) to predict and thus prevent diseases / problems with the Cow Manager data.

Last but not least is the calculate the added value of the use of Cow Manager, what is the return on investment. How have procedures improved and what did this result to milk production, cost of animal health care, culling rates, fertility results, feed cost, etc.

Background and impact of your internship:
Cow Manager is a unique system, but it should be used right. On large dairy farms there are a lot of day to day issues that makes that local staff does not have time enough to oversee all details and look at relations to work on prevention. Therefore this assignment is created to have somebody with hands on skills, but also applied research skills in large dairy farm management to make in fact a guide for all large farms how to better use the system and integrate it into their management. With the final aim to improve animal welfare, health and profit of the farmer.
Difco also cooperate with Cow Signals and we see that with Cow Manager the Cow Signals can be measured. But it is also important to see the Cow Signals in the barn to be able to improve management. So it is a combination of hard data from Cow Manager and the implementation of Cow Signals. Definitely Cow Signal training will be part of the assignment.

What do we expect form you?:
• You are following a degree at HBO or University level.
• You have knowledge of or interest in international large dairy farm management.
• You are interested in development of procedures on large dairy farms to improve management with the final goal to improve animal health, welfare and profit
• You have hands on practical experience with international large dairy farm management.
• It is an advantage if you can inseminate and preg check cows.
• You speak and write English and other languages (especially Russian) is an advantage.
• You know how to work with computer and online programs (excel knowledge key).
• Knowledge of Dairy Com 305 / Uniform Agri and Cow Manager is a great advantage
• You are a result driven student and accuracy is one of your greatest competencies.
• You willing and able to do the assignment mainly in Russia

Who are you?
Can you work independently but are you not afraid to ask for help when needed? Are you also a creator, creative and accurate, and are you open to feedback? Then we are looking for you!
Interested? Please contact