Dr Richard Kirkland

11 Aug 2021

Animal Technologist (Certified)

Dairy

Ruminant Nutrition

What is your background?

Global Technical Manager Volac Wilmar Feed Ingredients

I got a First class B.Agr. degree from the Queen’s University of Belfast and an M.Sc. in Animal Nutrition from the University of Aberdeen. I did my PhD at Queen’s University of Belfast on ‘Energy partitioning and utilisation by lactating dairy cows’. I took up a technical nutrition post with dairy nutrition company Volac and have specialised in the development and manufacture of rumen-protected fat supplements and use thereof. I am currently Global Technical Manager for Volac Wilmar Feed Ingredients. I have continued to work in the ruminant animal nutrition sector and have been actively involved in R&D, marketing, product management and nutritional support relating to fatty acid nutrition, primarily with reference to dairy cows. I have travelled extensively to present and discuss the role and importance of fatty acid nutrition within the context of nutritionally-balanced diets, using published research as the basis. I am also a former Chairman of the Agrarian Society of Northern Ireland from my time at QUB.

What impact has being an accredited Animal Scientist or Technologist had on your career progression?

Accreditation provides a further degree of authenticity to the individual as we interact with others in our field. It’s encouraging to know that professionalism is encouraged and reviewed, promoting a higher degree of competency in the area we work in and helping establish trust in our liaisons with others and vice versa.

What led you to join the BSAS Accreditation Register?

I was drawn to the register to not only help provide credence to those I interact with professionally that I have been accredited by the Society, but also as a way to encourage my own development and learning knowing that I have to meet specific standards to remain on the accreditation list! Many of those I interact with have been accredited similarly and it was important to achieve this recognition myself to help promote and encourage high standards within the industry we work in.

Can you provide examples of the CPD and learning that you have carried out over the past year to maintain your place on the BSAS Accreditation Register?

I toured Australia, New Zealand and the UAE meeting farmers, nutritionists and other customers to present and discuss nutrition and promote fatty acid use in diets. I also spent time at our manufacturing facilities in Malaysia looking at new product development and ways of improving our manufacturing efficiency. I have presented at a number of global press events and nutritional webinars on aspects of fatty acid nutrition.

As well as benefiting you as an individual, how do you think it benefits employers having staff members on the BSAS Accreditation Register?

Several of my colleagues are also accredited on the register and it’s a way of stimulating and encouraging personal and individual development in our respective fields of work. This helps improve the standard of work we are involved in and the credence of the advice we provide in discussion with our customers - so it provides a further degree of professionalism to our employers within the industry