Anne van der Peet is in love with dairy cows. She wants to study them, work with them and hopefully in the future even own some of them. She is in her third-year writing a BSc thesis about the lying behaviour of dairy cows.
“I grew up on a dairy farm in the Randstad with 90 milking cow. A fantastic place where I learned to appreciate my father’s passion of running a business, having responsibilities towards your animals and the freedom of working at home. In that sense you would think, “well then, take over your father farm when the time is ripe”, but here it comes; I have three older brothers who all would like to follow in my father’s footsteps. So who that next successor will be is still unclear. Therefore, I want to invest in another career path as well. Of course still related to animals, preferably cows. The careers, atmosphere and people involved in the dairy cow industry feels so good and natural, I knew I wanted to search for a study that prepares me for this field. That is how I ended up at the bachelor’s Animal Sciences. A broad programme with a big emphasize on livestock research and many career opportunities, exactly what I like.”
“The course Feed Formulation Science of the chair group Animal Nutrition is a course I really liked. It visualizes the theory of what I am learning and presents how you can use this knowledge in practice. I also liked the YAS-coded courses, the courses specific for animal sciences. Here, I expanded my knowledge on subjects/sectors that I did not dealt with before, like the chicken industry. The course is ideal to find out in what kind of industry you are interested. At this programme you learn a lot about the animal’s physiology and the animal in relation to the environment, but what I really liked is that you learn how to work together in (multicultural) groups, how to think analytically, how to develop and reflect on yourself. The study but also living on your own is amazing for your personal development.”
“My interest lies completely at livestock. Even though the study offers a great deal of theory on these animals, for me it could be even more. I can’t get enough of them! Even though I do enjoy this programme, I am quite practical minded and would like to use that in my profession as well. So I would have wished for more practical experience in the field of animal sciences. When looking back perhaps a study at an applied university would have been a better fit for me. Luckily, I found the practical side through the excursions of study association “De Veetelers” and in my work. I work at a laying chicken farm, where I check the stables and collect eggs from the conveyor belt, and in addition I milk on a dairy farm. This, together with the theory of the study, provides me a complete image on the animal husbandry systems of the Netherlands.”
“At the moment, I am doing my BSc thesis at the chair group of Adaptation Physiology about the lying behaviour of dairy cows in relation to lameness. I am writing a literature study and am performing a data analysis, a small piece in a big post-doc project. Together with researchers we are trying to find answers to questions like; which time of the day does the cow stand up and lay down, are they participating in or avoiding competition, are they standing up to feed after fresh feed delivery. Cows are already wearing a heat activity sensor, however, this sensor registers the entire activity index. I am going through all this data and comparing daily activity patterns to the health status of the cows in order to find the correlation between lameness and the laying behaviour that preceeds lameness. My research can contribute to a system to detect early lameness, using a sensor that is already on the market. A very interesting topic!”
“After my BSc, I will continue with the master’s Animal Sciences in the specialisation Nutrition and Metabolism. I hope to find work involving animal nutrition with a function in advising. I think this fits best, as I am social person. I want to advice farmers on their management and ask questions like; How is it going on your farm? Do you experience problems? How can we solve them? This is what I now have in mind for the future, but then again, I am open to other possibilities as Animal Sciences prepares you for many different career paths. Perhaps I will chose to follow a traineeship, so I can grow into a function, or end up in the financial business. As long as it involves work in consultancy, I am happy. I am looking forward to do an internship at an animal feed manufacturer in that I can get a taste of the atmosphere there and perhaps enroll in my first job when graduated.”
“At study association “De Veetelers” am I an active member, at the moment even the chairman of the board. Next to that I am part of student association Nji-Sri and do I like to spend my time at work. Here is where I find my practical satisfaction. I just love to be involved in this agricultural world, during my study as well as in work as well as in my leisure time.”