Meet the team: R&D Young Ruminants specialist Mariëlle Westerveld

We meet our colleague Mariëlle Westerveld. In her position as R&D Young Ruminants ­specialist, she is responsible for the R&D (research and development) of our Kalvolac, Halmalac and Chivalac products over the whole world. In this interview she tells us more about her work and what is so great about working at Nutrifeed.

How did you end up at Nutrifeed?

After my graduation, I started looking for jobs in animal feed. I interviewed for a Nutritionist job within Denkavit, but this was not the perfect fit for me. When my current job became available, I got a call and a month later I started working for Nutrifeed!

What is your role (responsibility) within Nutrifeed?

Within Nutrifeed, I am responsible for the R&D (research and development) of our Kalvolac, Halmalac and Chivalac products over the whole world. I develop new products but also make sure our current products are of great quality. In addition, I test our products and potential new ingredients on our own trial farm.

What is your previous work experience?

I studied Animal Sciences with a dual specialization in Animal Nutrition and Animal Genetics at Wageningen University, in the Netherlands. I graduated in July of 2021, and this is my first ‘grown up’ job. Within my study I already acquired a lot of knowledge on animal nutrition, and I am very excited that I can put it into practice at Nutrifeed and learn a lot more about feeding young ruminants.

What do you like best about your job?

I like that every day is different. I have a lot of different tasks and projects which makes every day interesting. It’s never boring! I also like the interaction with colleagues at the office now that it’s possible again. I learn a lot from all my colleagues, and love to help others where I can.

What do you like best about calves?

What is great about calves is that they are first monogastrics, since their rumen is not yet functioning. After their first solid feed they slowly turn into real ruminants. This makes it fun, since you’re working with two animals in one. I also like that you can influence so much of the life of a cow in the first weeks of the calf’s life, it really is about giving them the best possible start!

What is the biggest challenge in your work?

At the moment I’m still learning a lot since I’m recently graduated. The biggest challenge right now is to ask the right questions to the right people to make sure I learn as much as possible so that I can deliver the best products.

What do you like most about working at/for Nutrifeed?

I like the people and the mindset. Everybody is supportive and wants to help. Working together leads to innovative products with high quality. Nutrifeed is an ambitious company with people who want to get the best out of calves. It is a good mix of people with a lot of experience, but also people who are more recently graduated. This makes it an environment with many opportunities to learn and grow.