Nhung Lai joined Alltech as part of the Alltech Dairy Career Development Program in September 2015. Since then, Lai has traveled to various countries to learn more about the technical and practical side of dairying. During this time, she has had the opportunity to see some of the differences in dairy farms across the globe, allowing her to develop a well-rounded knowledge of the industry.
“Being a part of the Alltech Dairy Career Development Program has really kick-started my career,” said Lai. “After two months of intensive training and traveling, I have learned a huge amount about dairying and the impact culture has on dairy farms around the world. This training helped me to prepare for my move from the Vietnamese city of Ho Chi Minh to a farm in the countryside.”
Currently, Lai is based on a 1,600-cow farm located in the Vietnamese highland of Lam Dong. This area has very pleasant weather, with an average temperature of 22 degrees Celsius (about 72 degrees Fahrenheit), making Lam Dong a suitable location for raising cows. However, as humidity generally reaches 70 percent, local dairy farmers face several challenges, with which Lai hopes to help.
Lai shares her living quarters with four of the farm staff, each of whom is responsible for a different area of the business. This close contact environment has allowed Lai to form fast friendships, with one of her colleagues knitting her a beautiful scarf to make her feel more at home on the farm. Additionally, several of the farm staff have studied dairy-related courses at university and are eager to impart their knowledge to Lai, offering to train her on rectal examinations for cows.
“I know there are a lot of challenges as well as opportunities waiting for me ahead,” said Lai. “My goal is to learn as much as I can about this farm during my time living here. Hopefully I can carry out several farm audits for the farmer and work with the team to implement a plan, which can tackle the farmer’s challenges and help him meet his goals.”