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US university creates curriculum for Nestlé training center in China

By Rachel Arthur+

16-Jun-2014
Last updated on 16-Jun-2014 at 13:01 GMT

The university's Arlington Agricultural Research Station in Wisconsin
The university's Arlington Agricultural Research Station in Wisconsin

The University of Wisconsin-Madison, US, will develop the curriculum for a $400m Nestlé dairy training center in China. 

The university will design courses covering aspects of dairy management including milk quality, milking management, reproductive management, feeding and feed delivery, animal health, bio-security and farm management skills.

Pamela Ruegg, dairy science professor, UW-Madison, told DairyReporter.com courses cover typical training needs of dairy farmers.

Institute will evolve

The curriculum will be both unique and built on well-known principles that result in successful, sustainable dairy farming systems,” she said.  

It is being developed specifically to meet the needs of the Chinese industry, however, it will be based on many existing programs that target various levels of farmers, agricultural professionals, veterinarians and others. 

We do expect our curriculum and emphasis to evolve as the institute evolves and as we continue to gain input from our partners in China.

The Nestlé dairy farming institute will be located in the northeast province of Heilongjiang. It is part of the company’s efforts to establish a larger, more reliable source of high quality milk for its Chinese processing facilities.

The institute will include a training center and three demonstration farms, to teach farmers how to manage larger, more sophisticated sites. UW-Madison has a three year, $1.7m agreement to design the courses.

Milk quality and safety

The curriculum will range from practical training for farmworkers to courses for experts.

Creating the programme will involve the university’s dairy scientists, its school of Veterinary Medicine, and other disciplines such as biological systems engineering and agricultural economics.

Ruegg believes UW-Madison was chosen because of its reputation in the area of milk quality and safety, which have been major issues for milk processors in China. 

The university will use its experience in conjunction with Chinese experts.  

We will learn more about which teaching methods are most effective to meet the learning needs of Chinese learners," she said.

We want to stress our participation will not be exclusive of local and regional expertise, as the training model is highly collaborative and we will be working with Chinese University experts and industry partners who are also participating in this project. 

This effort in China is somewhat different in that it is quite comprehensive and includes many other partners, however the curriculum development process will be similar to others that we have worked on.”