Dairy Nutrition Officer
July 17, 2023
Land O'Lakes Venture37: is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit committed to helping communities around the world build economies by strengthening local agriculture, helping agribusinesses create jobs and linking farmers to markets. Since 1981, it has implemented over 315 integrated dairy, livestock and crops development programs in nearly 80 countries — creating lasting impact by linking farmers, businesses, and the public and private sector in local and global contexts. Land O’Lakes Venture37’s long-standing affiliation with Land O’Lakes, Inc. sets it apart. Land O’Lakes, Inc. is one of America’s largest farmer-owned cooperatives. It supports Land O’Lakes Venture37 project implementation with nearly 100 years of expertise in dairy, animal nutrition, crop inputs and agricultural insights and technologies. This gives Land O’Lakes Venture37 development projects a unique global view of agriculture, food, and the power of well-functioning market systems. Land O’Lakes, Inc. supports these efforts as part of its enterprise purpose of Feeding Human Progress at home and around the world.
Land O’Lakes Venture37 is the lead project implementer for the Nourishing Prosperity Alliance (NPA) project, funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The purpose of the NPA project is to establish commercially viable and sustainable forage markets that equitably strengthen the regional competitiveness of the dairy industries in Kenya and Ethiopia. Forage markets will be developed through the implementation of integrated activities that drive demand for and use of optimized forage varieties among small-scale dairy producers, as well as improve the supply of climate-smart forage rations that are marketed to small-scale producers. Activities also aim to strengthen the enabling environment for forage market development over the life of the project, from July 2023 to June 2028.
The Dairy Nutrition Officer is responsible for implementation of NPA activities in the project’s dairy cattle feeding and animal nutrition components across the different project target regions in Kenya. The project will be implemented in key dairy counties in the Rift Valley and Central regions, which show the highest potential for forage market growth with additional sites and adaptive research plots in Western and Eastern regions.
The Dairy Nutrition Officer will oversee the quality parameters of different cultivated forage crops at NPA demonstration sites along with other locally available major feed resources to establish least-cost rations for dairy producers. Work with farmers and staff at NPA sites to design and lead feeding trials using least-cost ration formulations and collect and analyze data from the trials to share with other local producers. Using results from forage testing, use digital and mobile applications to build rations and generate recommendations. The Dairy Nutrition Officer will also work with extension workers and the private sector to train small-scale and early-stage commercial dairy producers to use digital tools and implement improved feeding practices. S/he also closely collaborate with diverse national partners and shall support the development of positive working relationships with partner companies, farmer organizations, women’s groups and cooperatives, government bodies, and other development projects in the livestock sector.
• Prepare training materials on technical topics related to improved animal feeding and animal nutrition practices, primarily targeting extension service providers and private sector businesses (through a training-of-trainers model) and small-scale livestock producers.
• Increase small-scale dairy producers’ knowledge of climate-smart forages-based animal feeding and nutrition (including efficient utilization of available feed resources and ration formulation) through training, in-person advice, field days, and digital extension services.
• Provide Dairy nutrition training to extension service providers and forage producers on efficient utilization of available feed resources, best cost ration formulation for different groups of dairy cattle.
• Contribute to the management of adaptive research sites that establish a variety of nutrient-dense forage cultivars in collaboration with universities and research institutes, providing technical advice on components related to quality and nutrition.
• Support demonstration sites on working farms of early adopters of improved feeding practices of dairy animals by providing technical recommendations related to forage quality and animal nutrition.
• Work in close collaboration with NPA partners from the private and public sector who will participate in NPA activities, including extension service providers and agribusinesses, to take ownership of the various technical training components by building capacity on technical topics (e.g., forage quality testing, ration formulation, animal feeding practices) through a training-of-trainers model.
• Collect and analyze data from NPA research and demonstration sites related to animal nutrition, health, and husbandry.
• Disseminate information on the benefits of improved feeding, ration formulation and feed quality testing, emphasizing the advantages of establishing climate-smart approaches to enhance resiliency, along with key insights from the data on forage quality and costing analyses collected at NPA research and demonstration sites.
• Collaborate with the Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning assistant to collect and input data into monitoring systems and participate in learning and adaptive management meetings.
• Perform other duties assigned by the NPA-Kenya National Coordinator for the achievement of project objectives.
Reporting & Supervision:
• The Dairy Nutrition Officer reports to National Coordinator, NPA, Kenya
• A Bachelor’s degree in animal nutrition, ruminant nutrition, dairy nutrition, animal production, or other relevant fields.
• At least four (4) years of relevant experience in the sector.
• Demonstrated technical knowledge and practical experience in ruminant animal nutrition practice, including knowledge of feeding values / nutritional value of major feed resources, ration formulation, feed budgeting, and efficient feeding strategies suitable for crop-livestock mixed production system in the different agro-ecologies.
• Experience in on-farm demonstration of effective feeding strategies, working with smallholder livestock producers in the different agro-ecologies and high potential dairy producing areas.
• Experience in training extension agents, companies, and farmers by organizing and facilitating trainings and field days.
• Experience in working with different partners and farmers, demonstrating effective communication and professionalism with people of different backgrounds and viewpoints.
• Ability to collect and analyze data and information related to forage quality and animal nutrition and health and draw valid conclusions.
• Private sector experience preferred.
• Good verbal and written communication skills in English.
• Demonstrated proficiency in Microsoft Office and Excel.
• This position is open to Kenyan nationals only and is compensated according to Venture37’s local compensation plan in Kenya. This position is not eligible for international compensation, allowances, or international benefits.
Preferred Skills and Qualifications:
• Private sector experience preferred.