On 7-9 June 2023, Lviv Agricultural Extension Service together with the Swiss-Ukrainian Program “Higher Value Added Trade from the Organic and Dairy Sector in Ukraine”  (QFTP) organized and conducted the practical training of trainers “Best practices of dairy farm management and sanitary and hygienic requirements in the dairy value chains”. 

This format became somewhat new both for the training participants and organizers. The peculiarity of this training was that dairy providers from different oblasts of Ukrainegathered at one table. Therefore, the experts that directly communicate with dairy producers gained new knowledge about best practices in safe milk production and had an opportunity to exchange experience and network with service providers from other regions.    

Almost 30 Ukrainian dairy service providers participated in the training, i.e. agricultural extension agents, agricultural extension experts, representative of extension services, independent consulting companies, laboratories that provide milk testing services, representatives of milk producer and dairy processor associations, experts, and consultants.

The training began with the introduction of Lviv Agricultural Extension Service, its history, principles of work, and modern approach to using the information about cows and milk for internal quality and health control.  

The first day of the training was focused on explaining the mechanisms of introduction of traceability of safe milk production and compliance with the effective legislation in terms of milk testing in the frame of the Raw Milk Control Program based on the Dairy Model. The QFTP team showed the participants practical aspects of working with the platform in different roles and focused their attention on importance of dairy FBOs complying with the effective legislation.

The second day of the training was more theoretical and started with the lecture “Mastitis and using antibacterial measures. Development of antibiotic resistance. Methods of control” by Andriy Bilan, a microbiology and virology expert. During the lecture the participants improved their knowledge about feasibility of using and selecting antibacterial products, in particular, while treating mastitis, and prevention of development of resistant strains of microorganisms through reasonable treatment of animals, and discussed the modern methods for detection of agents on milk farms and at the laboratories. 

The training continued with the lecture of Taras Bidiuk, expert in milking and milking equipment, dedicated to control points in ensuring milking hygiene and influence of this process on raw milk safety.

The trainers and experts shared the successful practices and modern approaches to dairy farm management at the training centre and milk laboratory of Lviv Agricultural Extension Service, milk farms of ElitMilk FE and AgroTem FE, and craft dairy Jersey. During farm visits the lecturers also conducted a practical training for dairy service providers and focused their attention on critical points for ensuring milk safety, animal comfort and welfare.  

On the last day of the training, the participants discussed the best practices for ensuring udder health and mastitis control programs together with Valeriy Lototskyi, expert in cattle reproduction and health.

To sum up the theoretical part, the practical aspects of complying with the basic requirements of the food legislation with attention to some aspects important for milk producers were discussed together with Yuriy Ohlashennyy, QFTP Senior Expert.

The gained knowledge allow the training participants to improve their knowledge in receiving safe and quality milk, as well as ensuring comfort and welfare of cows.

The positive mood for discussion and experience exchange was strengthened with the tasting of local cheeses from MUKKO, Chesnyi Syr, Lelyk, Jersey, and Oberig from Sumy oblast, and sincerity and openness of colleagues by profession and calling. 

Some training materials are available on the Program website (https://qftp.org/molochnyj-komponent/#toggle-id-7) in the section “Best practices: production and processing”. For more materials watch our online course “Best practices of dairy farm management and sanitary and hygienic requirements in the dairy value chains” on the platform www.osvitaonline.com.ua

This event was organized with support of Switzerland in the frame of the Swiss-Ukrainian Project “Higher Value Added Trade from the Organic and Dairy Sector in Ukraine” implemented by the Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL, Switzerland) in partnership with SAFOSO AG (Switzerland) www.qftp.org.