Sarah Voß is a specialist consultant for piglet feeding with AGRAVIS
"If not now, then when?", says young feedstuff advisor Sarah Voß regarding her job with AGRAVIS Raiffeisen AG. The 25-year-old has been active for a year in the sales region travelling to agricultural customers between East Friesia and Dortmund, and from the Dutch border to Braunschweig. She advises farmers on products for piglet breeding and is not only young, but is also one of the few women in the field.
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- Sarah Voß is a specialist consultant for piglet feeding with AGRAVIS Raiffeisen AG.
Sarah Voß grew up in the realm of agriculture on a dairy farm and therefore even as a child was immersed in the industry. Whilst studying agricultural science in Kiel and being on various placements, she developed interested in animal nutrition. "My focus was really on cattle, but AGRAVIS gave me the opportunity to start as a special advisor for early piglet nutrition", reported Voß. "This task has given me the challenge to intensively work my way into an extremely sensitive topic that is new for me, whilst also being a great opportunity: I was able to expand my knowledge in another field and am even better equipped to face the future".
The working day of the woman from Bremen always starts very early. She meets the farmer in the stables along with other AGRAVIS advisers. Customers ask specialist questions regarding feed and hygiene, and the AGRAVIS Mischfutter Oldenburg/Ostfriesland GmbH field sales member provides informed responses. Sarah Voß adds consultancy expertise regarding piglet breeding – a topic requiring a great deal of knowledge and sensitivity. For some time AGRAVIS has provided a complete concept for additional feeding in the suckling period, the Neopigg RescueCare System. The additional supply of milk through an automatically controlled platform system allows for optimal provision for the piglet in addition to sow's milk. "This is a complex topic that is not self-explanatory but requires a great deal of advice", says Sarah Voß based on her own experience.
Constant contact with customers
However, the young lady is not always travelling: Often, Sarah Voß works at her desk in her home office and prepares training sessions or daily agendas for meetings. She telephones and writes plenty of emails. "It is important in my job to exchange views with my colleagues whilst remaining constantly in contact with customers", stated Sarah Voß. "It is therefore a basic requirement for a young professional who wishes to work in consultancy to be able to approach people openly and be communicative in order to enter discussions with customers." In addition, a degree of staying power is important as not every discussion leads to a deal. "In general, soft skills such as the ability to communicate well and empathy are very important, as excellent technical knowledge on its own does not suffice when dealing with a wide range of characters", said the agricultural scientist.
Individuality is encouraged
However, from the first day onwards she received a great deal of support from the company and her colleagues. For Sarah Voß it is important that individuality is not suppressed, but encouraged, and also that she has a great deal of freedom in establishing her working day – including the option of comprehensive further training. "AGRAVIS is a multi-faceted company. The opportunities offered to every employee mean that they can develop in accordance with their individual requirements and strengths", believes Sarah Voß.