As part of this week’s Career Focus segment, Catherine Creighton, speaks to Aislínn Campbell, Ruminant Nutritionist with InTouch, Alltech Ireland.
Aislínn Campbell’s grandfather’s suckler farm sparked her love of farming.
She has been an animal enthusiast from a tender age and always knew she wanted to pursue a career in agriculture.
“I have a great interest in animal nutrition, and this is why I have pursued a career in this field. Animal nutrition has a massive role on-farm and will have a huge impact on animal performance.” Aislínn Campbell told That’s Farming.
“To be able to help influence performance on-farm and help a farmer increase his/her production output is a great honour.”
The 27-year-old graduated with her degree in 2016. She attended Queen’s University Belfast in conjunction with CAFRE Greenmount and completed the Agricultural Technology with Professional Studies course.
She undertook her placement year on a dairy farm in Ashburton, New Zealand, and then returned home to complete the final year of her degree.
Then, she began working with Countryside Services in Dungannon, Co. Tyrone, on the Farm Business Improvement Scheme.
She was then offered a role as an InTouch Feeding Specialist and has held this position ever since.
Alltech has more than thirty years of research in animal nutrition and health, which has allowed the firm to develop and manufacture innovative, natural feed supplements that improve animal performance.
The European Bioscience Centre was opened in Dunboyne, Co. Meath, Ireland in 1999.
The InTouch support hub in Dunboyne combines the latest in-feed management software, mixer wagon controller technology, and skilled feeding specialists to work proactively with many types of farmers, ensuring the best in feeding accuracy and animal performance.
Each day, InTouch manages the feeding of over 300,000 animals on 2,000 farms globally, representing one of the world’s largest feed efficiency databases.
“I look after the Northern Ireland area of the country. I provide tailored nutrition and advice to both dairy and beef customers in the area.”
InTouch Feeding Specialist
Aislínn works with customers in Northern Ireland and Donegal, offering nutritional and management advice tailored to each dairy or beef farm.
Generally, her role is based on-farm and putting a feeding management plan tailored to that specific farm and its goals.
“I am constantly working with the farm, tweaking, or reformulating diets based on these goals, and using an up-to-date forage analysis. I also spend some of my time setting up the KEENAN controller on the new machines in my area.”
She works with farmer customers daily and alongside other farm advisors, including vets or feed companies. She has also availed of travel opportunities and gained an insight into production systems in Scandinavia.
“I also work very closely with my regional counterparts: Gareth McAllister, KEENAN regional business manager, Northern Ireland; Richard Dudgeon, Alltech regional manager, Northern Ireland, and the InTouch nutrition team.”
“I love meeting customers and seeing the various farming systems across Northern Ireland and then being able to apply what I have learned to help a farmer achieve his or her goals and overcome any issues on their farm. Every day is a school day, and no two days are the same.”
Working from home
A usual pre-Covid-19 routine consisting of spending 3-4 days a week on the road and the rest working remotely. During the first lockdown, she worked from home on a full-time basis.
“This was a change we had to adapt too very quickly. Farm visits were stopped, and we provided services over the phone.”
“It worked well. we are lucky that our InTouch controller collects a lot of the information we need to formulate diets, so this was a bonus.”
“All of our team meetings have moved to an online platform. I am lucky that this role allows working from home, so while my usual routine changed slightly during Covid, it could have been a lot worse to adapt to.”
Aislínn aspires to continue to broaden her knowledge in animal nutrition, as it is a sector that is always instigating new research.
Also, she wishes to keep building relationships with her customers and the Northern Irish agri sector.
“Agriculture is a fantastic career path to take; there are so many various types of roles, from sales to research and all in between.”
“Open your eyes to all the different pathways as there may be some that you could end up loving that you would never have considered.”
“Agriculture can be a tough industry, but also a very rewarding one. For the ladies who want to pursue a career in agriculture but have been told not to because it’s a man’s world, do not let that put you off.”
“I work every day with a fantastic bunch of women, all paving their own path in agriculture. Don’t let anyone stop you from pursuing a career that you can truly love,” she concluded.
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