Apprentice Florian Schmiedel & Lydia Barsch
For me, a door closed 2022 – and another opened. Up until January, I was working together with three apprentices at the Herzgut dairy in Rudolstadt, Thuringia, which has a long history. The farms were still supplying raw milk in December but then, on New Year’s Day, the company filed for insolvency.

Florian Schmiedel, 23, apprentice dairy laboratory technician, Erfurt

They said the problems included the cost of milk and price increases for energy and packaging. We were called together with all the other 70 employees in front of the plant and were given notice. It was a very

emotional moment for many of the people, because the over 100-year-old country dairy is a real mainstay in the region, some families have been working there for three or four generations.

We didn’t know what to do at first. But our laboratory manager at the time did everything she could to enable us to continue our training in another dairy. She put us contact with DMK and then everything went very quickly. In February, we were taken on at DMK’s Erfurt site. I am so happy about this opportunity, because I had only started my training at Herzgut in August of last year and I was really enjoying it. At DMK, everything was different: the size of the plant alone, the broad range of tasks, the large number of products and the testing methods were and still are very exciting. I now have insights into two dairies and hope to stay on with DMK after my training.

Lydia Barsch, 17, apprentice dairy laboratory assistant, DMK Erfurt

Everyone breathed a huge sigh of relief when we heard that we trainees would be taken on at DMK. I was so grateful! At the beginning, the transition was a little bumpy though, as I was living in a village near Saalfeld and had to drive an hour to Erfurt, but what the heck: I just grew up a bit faster and moved directly to the state capital. That was a big step for me, being so far away from friends, family and my boyfriend. But the change was much easier thanks to my friendly colleagues at DMK. At first, I was pretty impressed by the size of the company and the sheer quantity of samples and testing materials, and the number of employees. Summing it all up, I can say: It is good that I’m here. I can learn a lot, try out a lot and benefit from all that knowledge!