Poultry production

Modern day Poultry farming focuses on animal performance. The most critical factor for success within this sector is feeding! You will gain an understanding of scientific advances in nutrition, and investigate how these are applied to the practical poultry farming environment. Learning about animal health is an interesting and important subject for anyone thinking about working in the poultry industry. On completion of this course, you will have an understanding of how to prevent certain illnesses and diseases with the use of careful planning and health management regimes, to minimize the impact they have on animals and owners alike.

After this course you are able to identify different poultry production systems, also focused on the different poultry production systems. Besides that you are challenged to develop a new innovative system!


International product marketing in Agriculture

This course aims to introduce trainees to marketing techniques in the various agricultural sectors. In the agricultural and horticultural sectors, the sales and promotion have run through rather traditional channels for a long time. In that sense, the agricultural sector can still learn a lot from other sectors where newer and more innovative approaches are used.
Trainees will get to know various marketing techniques and are taught how to use them in practice. During the module, learners are stimulated to use innovative marketing and promotional techniques in real business cases from the agricultural and horticultural industries.
Course topics include:
  • basics principles of marketing;
  • branding & storytelling;
  • category management;
  • new media;
  • E-commerce;
  • omnimarketing.

The course is practical: trainees are challenged to use these techniques when developing a marketing plan for an agricultural or horticultural company.

Trainees will look at marketing from an international perspective and will be asked to compare famous strategies and examples from their home-countries with other international examples of marketing strategies.

Entrepreneurship in Agriculture


Entrepreneurship in agriculture and farming is a course where you work on new ideas to make new businesses.

In this module, you will learn how to develop ideas, and work systematic in order to create a business plan for a farm.


Animal Health

In this course you will learn about the most common diseases of farm animals, the factors influencing animals´ health such as nutrition and environment. Different ways of treatment will be explained and practically demonstrated.

Theoretical lessons are supported by practical workshops on our organic school farm.

Experts (veterinarians and advisors) will give a solid overview over the topic. A practical two-day training on a farm will give you insight in the daily routine of a typical Austrian farmer. Many excursions will show different methods to ensure good standards of animal health and welfare.



After a brief explanation about the claw physiology, you will execute the maintenance and therapeutic treatment of hoofs of dairy cows.
You assess the state of the cow before and after treatment, and score the claw to different infections. You give advice to the farmer to
improve hoof health. You explain the relationships between nutrition, housing, selection and hoof care eg. you select an appropriate bull
for a cow, with focus on feet and legs. You calculate the mineral needs for healthy claw.

During your period at VABI, there will be company visits to feed companies and suppliers of claw care products.
VABI makes the course practical by spending practical training at dairy farms as a part of the course

Integrated Pest Management

The trainee will learn about the IPM principles and how these can be implemented in the planning as well as the later practical cultivation of crops. Focus will be on cash crops (e.g. cereals, potato, oilseed, beet) and fodder crops (e.g. maize, grass, cereals, beet). The trainee will work with theory as well as real cases, and will be introduced to tools and technologies promoting low pesticide-input pest management.

There is a possibility to enroll in the practical course at Bygholm Landbrugsskole. There, visits to relevant research institutes, companies and private farmers will also be part of the programme.

Hightech milking

In this course you learn everything of automation in the dairy equipment world: automatic
milking systems, feed pusher, automated calf feeder, barn cleaner, … Summarized: everything
that helps a farmer to have less labour on his dairy farm. In the first week of the course we invite all different suppliers of dairy equipment, and you will learn about all their automated products.
You will visit several Hightech milking farms with all kind of different automated equipment. In
the second week, you will install a feed pusher on a farm, you will handle, maintain and evaluate
the machine. In the third week, you will have the possibility to do an internship on a Hightech
Milking farm or do the job with a technician of supplies in dairy equipment. During this week, you learn also if an investment in such equipment is profitable, you will maintain them, and if
you go back home, you should know what automated products are interesting for your future
dairy farm!

New Horizons in pig production

High production efficiency and high standards regarding product quality and animal welfare are prerequisites regardless where a pig is reared in Europe. This course is for students aiming for being in charge for pig production in the future. You’ll learn about the essentials related to production efficiency, product quality and animal welfare. You will see various ways to produce pigs in order to challenge your perception of pig production systems. In the end, you must combine these elements into a model-draft of your future dream production system. You must be able to explain how this system will live up to efficient production of high quality pig meat and good animal welfare.

Topics covered in the course:

  • The needs and behavior of the pig
  • Factors of importance to efficiency, quality and welfare in pig production
  • Basics of biosecurity, production logistics and farm design

Upon this course you can

  • act on the basis of core knowledge about the need and behavior of the animal
  • observe and evaluate different production systems in a systematic way
  • do basic calculations and estimations related to farm design and produce a basic draft of a pig production system with emphasis on efficiency, quality and animal welfare.

You will know of:

  • universal factors of particular importance to pig growth an welfare
  • pro et con of various production systems.
  • Development of future pig production systems

Sustainable dairy farming

The livestock husbandry is changing rapidly in the Netherlands. Several challenges, like phosphate legislation, low milk prices and high consumer influence, need to be tackled. This asks for strong and sustainable dairy businesses that produce high quality milk against low production costs. This module focuses on feed management, managing the cycle of nutrients and managing grazing. In the three week course we also visit farms with mixed rations, farms with good grazing management, a feed factory, a feed laboratory and more.

Organic farming

In this course you will learn about basic rules of organic farming, ecological basics such as nutrient cycles and symbiosis of soil, plant, water, air,
animal and energy intake. Theoretical lessons are supported by practical workshops.
You will investigate the value of organic products and their marketing. You can also participate in this course at HBLA Usprung in Austria.