School News

Chengelo BTEC Agriculture students training to become AI Technicians

Today’s agriculture students need to be equipped with skills that will enable them to be at the cutting edge of agricultural technology. This will give them the ability to employ the latest technologies when they go out into the world of work or in their own agricultural enterprises.

One exciting area of development in modern farming is the use of artificial insemination (AI) in dairy and beef production, and Chengelo Training Farm recently held a course to teach students how to carry out this procedure. A number of Chengelo Agriculture students took part in this four-day course, and all of them attained excellent results in their final theory and practical examinations. The course covered the theoretical and practical aspects of cattle reproduction, including heat synchronisation and the anatomy of a cow. Students then practiced their AI technique on uteruses from cull cows before being allowed to apply their skills on a live animal.

We were honoured to have Dr Amy Kingdom teaching the course, who has many years’ experience training AI technicians all over Zambia.  The students made a very positive impression on Dr Kingdom who commented that “the mainstay of any AI training program is teaching the students how be gentle. By the end of the course each student had learnt so much and progressed from knowing very little to being able to competently and gently carry out the AI procedure on a live cow.

The students had a great time on the course. Memory Rusunda, one of our BTEC in Agriculture students, said “I found the AI course very interesting and eye-opening. My favourite part was learning how to synchronise a cow to come into heat. I would recommend the BTEC students next year come and do the course, because being able to carry out AI is a very important skill to learn.

Since completing the course, the BTEC Agriculture class have had a chance to carry out AI on the Jersey cows at Chengelo Training Farm’s dairy. Dr Kingdom said “I hope that each student goes on to use their newly developed skills, and I will be looking forward to receiving photos of newly born calves 9-12 months from now, when these students attain their first real results. This will show the true value of this exciting course.

For more information about studying Agriculture at Chengelo School please contact Mr. David North on northd@chengeloschool.org.

Chengelo School