March 4, 2020, by Ruth Musson
Agriculture Degree Student Milo Dring talks about his industrial placement
Milo is a BSc Agriculture student in the School of Biosciences currently spending his third year working in industry. Alltech an animal nutrition company headquartered in Kentucky, USA that develop products for livestock and crops as well as brewing and distilling. Milo is spending this year based at their facility in Stamford, Lincolnshire. We caught up with Milo to find out more about his placement.
What does your placement entail?
I travel all over the country, working mostly within the poultry and crop teams. We provide assessments on farms to look at both carbon footprint and animal/crop health.
The team visits farmers to discuss any concerns about the health and well being of their flocks. Our focus is on gut health as this is often where problems arise. The poultry team is also responsible for the Orka EggAnalyzer®, a company owned piece of equipment (see picture). Some flocks will have at least 90% of their birds laying at least an egg a day, which requires a lot of energy. Optimum health is therefore important not only for the well being of the birds but also for production. The Orka EggAnalyzer® applies force to the eggs to measures the shell strength. If an egg cracks under 4kgF pressure it could indicate that the bird isn’t receiving the maximum nutritional benefit from her diet. In the first instance, concerns about the health of the hens are addressed by looking at improvements to the nutritional quality of feeds.
I have been involved with trials for organic leeks and onions, and will be undertaking a strawberry trial at Sutton Bonington campus. This will help to determine whether Alltech products can reduce reliance on fungicides for strawberry production. I was also fortunate to have input in the design of the carbon emission assessment tool for crops, which is yet to be released by Alltech.
How did you arrange your placement?
I was already aware of Alltech so I contacted them directly about a year in advance of my placement. I then discussed with Dr Judith Wayte, in the School Placement team, who was very supportive and helped me to arrange the placement.
What have you gained from your placement?
For me it has been incredibly helpful and rewarding. Working with poultry was something that I had never really considered before, but I am really enjoying it. I now know that I want to specialise in crop and animal nutrition for my career. I feel that my future career prospects have improved greatly from the contacts and experience I have gained through my placement.
I would absolutely recommend that students take the opportunity of a placement or internship.