Working at the Centre has enabled me expand my knowledge as a young professional in the field of agriculture. The centre has offered me excellent exposure to model dairy farms that have embraced good farming practices to pass my knowledge on dairy herd management but I have also learnt a lot from these model farms. This exposure has made me understand the needs of the various field enterprises and a chance to contribute in finding the solutions.
The Centre has also given me a chance to work with the small holder farmers through cooperatives and CBEs like Olenguruone Dairy Cooperative and Cheptiret cooperative. Training done at CoELIB on Cooperative herd management has made Cheptiret cooperative adopt the system, whereby software is installed in the cooperative and used to manage the cows of its members. Decisions regarding all the cows are made at the cooperative.
With the available resources at the Centre, assistance with the staff and space to share the ideas, this has enabled me to develop a Dairy Assessment Tool (DAT) that is used in dairy farm needs assessment and diagnosis. This enables faster gap identification and recommendations. The tool was used at Baraka Agricultural College and the gaps were easily identified. BAC dairy training staff and I developed a Concept note for the dairy business development in the institution for business planning.
Acknowledging the importance of Practical skills for students undertaking agriculture, CoELIB has given me a chance to link students to the field enterprises by identifying model farms, Practical Training Centres and Farmer Associations (Eldoret Dairy Farmers Association), assessing their farm practices and how the students can gain their practical skills for competency then follow up on the students’ performance in the enterprises.
All this has been possible with the full support, teamwork and in time feedback from CoELIB in doing my assignments.