Reply To: What to expect from a coaching ?

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Heleen Prinsen

Coaching is a way to achieve results but not the only way. In antimicrobial use we saw in the first years that by giving farmers knowledge, good examples, technical interventions we achieved a lot, there was not always direct coaching involved to achieve these results. But it definetly can help but is also not for every farm a solution. So coaching can help to strengthen the managementteam, the people that have the most influence on the farm. Also dependent on if you have an independent coach or someone from the managementteam is the coach, preferable it is someone form ‘outside’. What the coach can do is start working on the managementteam, and when there is trust and responsibility in the managememt team it should be easier to make the technical interventions that are possible needed. The key is that every person in the management team takes his/hers responsibility and that there is trust to address issues and the agreements that are made. If coaching works than you can achieve different issues in farming, as in improving farm animal health, improve biosecurity and disease prevention, reduction antimicrobial use. But as sad before it is a tool, and the motivation of the farmer and management team is of great importance. In projects on antimicroibial use we see promising results, but also farms were we do not see any reduction. And often the issue is that there are multiple problems on a farm or government legislation that give insecurity, that focussing on just 1 issue is really difficult. And it is expensive to have a coach on the farm so in the ultimate situation you would want coaches regurlarely on farms but because of finance that is just not possible.