“It has given me more tools to develop new ideas”

Elke Depreester, Senior Technical Service Specialist, is on a constant journey to learn new things and develop innovative solutions that will help dairy farmers become more sustainable and increase their performance.

As a veterinarian who is especially interested in dairy advisory and management of dairy farms, Elke thought that DeLaval would be a perfect fit for her. She pictured herself in a company that engages in many aspects of dairy farming, which for her makes the work much more rewarding. “DeLaval felt like the perfect combination of scientific research related to product development and practical work in collaboration with our customers. At all times, we want to increase the farm’s performance, the health status of the herd, and all other sustainability aspects of running a modern dairy farm,” Elke says.

In her role as a Senior Technical Service Specialist, Elke’s day-to-day work focuses on our Milk Quality and Animal Health (MQAH) assortment. It is a vital aspect for dairy farmers in order to ensure their milk and animals are at the highest level in terms of quality and welfare. “I am responsible for leading and monitoring clinical trials with all new products in our MQAH assortment. This includes teat conditioning, compatibility, how effective a spray works, residue, and cleaning trials. Besides the different types of trials, I also explore different innovative solutions to broaden our MQAH assortment. That work is being done together with universities and external research institutions across the globe. All of these aspects of my work are really fun, as they allow me to interact with colleagues all over the world, as well as external experts. We all learn from each other and find new ways of developing products,” she says.

Adopting new skills

Elke and the technical service team are also the go-to people in terms of supporting and educating other DeLaval employees on the MQAH product assortment and management routines related to mastitis and milk quality. “Besides training our colleagues in the MQAH assortment, we also focus on cow health and good management practices to optimise the farm’s milking performance, cow health, and hygiene on modern dairy farms. All of which are key to running a sustainable business,” Elke explains.

It has been six years since Elke joined DeLaval back in 2017, and she has gained a lot of experience from many departments across the company, giving her more insight into the overall business. “In my role, I have had the opportunity to travel to different places over the years. I have learned more about the specifics of each market and increased my network immensely. Each of the people I meet in the different markets have all shared their own experience and I have gained a lot from those meetings that I have brought into my own work role. It has widened my view of dairy farming and given me more tools to develop new ideas and solutions to support farmers and DeLaval even better in the future,” she says.

A bright future

For anyone who considers working for DeLaval, Elke has clear reasons why you should. “As a company, we deliver the total package to our customers – milking machines, manure systems, feed systems, brushes, teat disinfectants, detergents, and more. We also develop our own digital systems as well as collaborate with others to create better monitoring systems. These can really help farmers keep the animal’s health and performance at its very best. As a DeLaval employee, you will meet people who have skills that are totally different to your own and have heaps of knowledge, which allows you to learn and grow and have the opportunity to try a variety of roles in the company,” says Elke.

Going forward, Elke is excited to embark on many fun projects. “As the company is focusing on superior customer intimacy, more interesting projects will undoubtedly come our way. I am keen to support the company further, also in the field of on-farm milk analysis and how this can be more automated,” Elke concludes.

Thank you, Elke, for sharing your story and the great work you do for our MQAH assortment!