Friday 6 August 2021Meet the Duynie Team - Emily
At the heart of our business here at Duynie is top-quality animal nutrition. Analysing how our feeds perform and the impact they can have on your livestock is the responsibility of nutritionist Emily Keep. There’s not much Emily doesn’t know about rumen health – and she’s more than happy to share her wisdom.
Tell us, Emily, what does it mean to be a nutritionist at Duynie?
I’ve been working as Duynie’s nutritionist since early 2017. It’s my job to provide technical support to my colleagues across departments from sales and quality to procurement. I offer nutritional advice and help the sales team with on-farm support so we can make a positive impact for our customers. I also ensure the nutritional information about our products is correct so we can keep everyone provided with accurate data.
Is it a satisfying job?
I love working for Duynie – I’m surrounded by a strong and supportive team of people.
I enjoy the fact that my role is varied, challenging and offers me the opportunity to help make improvements. I’m proud to work in a company where I feel like we make a difference, whether that’s improving performance on-farm or finding a good use for a product that might otherwise be considered ‘waste’.
Being a nutritionist here lets me combine my favourite things – talking to people, learning new things and helping make positive changes. Alongside my full-time job, Duynie have given me the opportunity to study part-time a 2 year masters in MSc Animal Nutritio at Nottingham University.
There has to be challenges – where do they lie?
Every farm and situation is different. Prices and availability of feeds are constantly changing, and requirements vary from customer to customer. The challenge is to find a solution which ticks every box!
What led into animal nutrition? It’s pretty specialist…
Science was always my favourite subject at school. I liked to know how and why things happen. I’m lucky enough to have found a role that combines this interest with my childhood ambition of working with animals. It also doesn’t hurt that I grew up in the country and am very comfortable in a pair of wellies!
Calculating the nutritional needs of a farm must be complicated. Where do you start?
We send samples (of forage and other crops) off to a lab for testing, then assess the results to find out what the ration needs to make it balanced and effective. So, if the forage is low in protein, we add a protein product to the mix. We also send regular samples of co-products to the labs to ensure continuous quality.
How individual is your approach to each customer?
After a member of our sales team has had an initial meeting with a farmer, they introduce me, and I go for a visit. We’ll take walk around the animals, assessing everything from their condition, behaviour and their dung. Learning about the farm layout is important too. The storage that’s available influences which products can be used. For example, if there’s no silo, a liquid product might be avoided. And I have a conversation with the farmer to find out what the farm’s goals are – they might include improving daily live weight gains, increasing turnaround of animals or boosting milk yields.
I come away with all of that information and pull it together to decide on a plan. Formulation software helps me create a ration sheet designed to help the farm achieve its targets. Once the farm starts a new ration, I (along with my sales colleague) keep in regular touch with the farmer to continually monitor the performance of the animals. This way tweaks can be made to ensure the ration is doing the job correctly.
Which bit of your job makes you most proud?
Receiving feedback from customers that our advice and our feeds have had a positive impact is always a proud moment.
And when you’re not working, how do you enjoy yourself?
When I’m not sitting at my desk. I like to head outside and get active. If you can’t find me out walking the dog, I’ll be socialising with my friends or family. That said, I do enjoy getting stuck into a good book too.