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Work, efficiency and wellbeing for 80 years
During the first years of Finland’s independence, agriculture
saw many changes. As a result of the Land Reform Acts of 1918
(torpparilaki) and 1922 (Lex Kallio), over 64,000 freehold
properties were created as compulsory purchases of leasehold
properties gave former tenant-farmers an opportunity to acquire
land. Farm work was quite labour-intensive, and cost of labour
made up over 60 per cent of overall costs. Established in
1924, the Farm Work Efficiency Institute aimed at making work
more efficient through research, education and training.
The TTS Institute has always reacted rapidly to major social
changes. A labour shortage during the war and women’s
responsibility for both family and farm work made it necessary
not only to make farm and forest work more efficient, but
also to rationalise housework. In the 1960s, Finland experienced
massive migration from the countryside to towns and cities,
particularly to those in Southern Finland. People left their
small farms and needed training for new trades. This training
was provided by the TTS Institute.
A non-profit organisation, the TTS Institute continues to
meet the demands of the changing society as effectively and
flexibly as ever. The volume of activities has grown steadily
over the years. Today the Institute employs nearly 200 people
in research and training, and the total number of students
in various vocational training courses is about one thousand.
In a globalised economy, requirements for production capacity
keep increasing and are under continuous evaluation. Economic
reasons, however, are not the only aspects to consider; we
must also observe energy efficiency and eco-efficiency because
ever more raw material is recycled.
Future society will need the various activities of the TTS
Institute even more. Research, information, education, training
and comparisons of the productivity of work must be continued
in the various production areas. The issue of the productivity
of services has already become a major challenge to Finnish
society. Today and in the future, the goal of the TTS Institute
is to enhance and intensify the work processes of various
trades, whether farmers, forest owners, consumers or car dealers.
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Economical feeding – planning and alternatives
Healthy animals, low feed costs, feeding systems adapted
to the farm’s circumstances and using inexpensive grain
as concentrated feed all contribute to an improved economy
of a livestock farm. It is also the aim of a South Ostrobothnia
project called Kati, focusing on improving margins by mixing
feed on the farms. The project is coordinated by the TTS Institute
and features close co-operation with local dairies, Maitojaloste
in particular, and dairy advisory services of local Rural
Advisory Centres. Other co-operation partners include equipment
manufacturers Pellonpaja Oy, Aimo Kortteen Konepaja Oy, Nipere
Oy and Rehumelica Oy. The focus is on distributing information
on alternative uses of grain and related technology.
A typical farm in the project is planning or investing in
a barn for 40 to 80 cows, weighing up different feeding systems
and feed alternatives. Some farms are well-established but
want to use grain to feed the cows and mix concentrated feed
on the farm.
Feeding should be complemented by suitable feed alternatives,
which would make the production economically viable. The most
common feeding principle is to ensure sufficient good-quality
grass forage. The project will study the following on the
participating farms: different ways and techniques of distributing
feed, concentrated feed alternatives, prerequisites for using
grain and discovering a feed mix suitable for using grain.
The aim is to distribute the annual quota of 500,000 to 2
million kilograms of feed to all animals in a rational way.
The target milk production for each cow varies between 8,500
and 10,500 kilograms per year.
Project farms will design the use of concentrated feed according
to the quantity and quality of grass forage. Grain will comprise
the base of concentrated feed because it is the least expensive
concentrated feed when bought. Some of the grain comes from
the farm's own fields, while some is bought, either dried
or newly harvested moist, from other local farms. The price
in farm-to-farm trade is set on the basis of the grain’s
weight and grain’s market price in the area.
In South Ostrobothnia, in addition to grass silage and grain,
the total mixed ration includes distillers’ grain, rape
seed meal, dried by-products of the ethanol industry and appropriate
vitamins and minerals, possibly also sugar beet pulp. Concentrated
feed made on farms is made of barley, oat, rape seed meal,
dried by-products of the ethanol industry, sugar beet pulp
and vitamin and mineral mixtures.
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Research results and advising services improve quality to
The increasing unit size is a salient trend in livestock
farming in Finland. Last year, 3.92 cubic metres of agricultural
buildings were completed in Finland. The number of building
investments has decreased in the past few years, whereas the
average amount of investment has increased. For example, the
average level of investments in cowsheds has, in a couple
of years, increased from 100,000 euros to 140,000 euros. The
increase is due to both the increased size of building projects
and the rising cost per individual animal area built. The
costs are increased by the rising general level of building
costs, and the increased amount of automation acquired. Investments
in agricultural building have been approximately EUR 300 million
As the size of building projects has increased, the role
of the farmer has changed from an independent private builder
to a manager of the construction project. A farmer planning
to build seldom has previous experience of construction management,
and when the project may be the first ever for the farmer,
his or her expertise is seldom enough to successfully carry
out the project. Farmers as construction clients always bear
the main responsibility for the project. Therefore, it is
vital they have up-to-date information on matters related
to building and that they know how to make the best use of
professional building services.
The TTS Institute carried out a project entitled VIRAKO on
agricultural construction management, with the aim of improving
the quality of agricultural buildings by increasing farmers’
awareness of what construction management duties involve.
To achieve a good agricultural building requires close co-operation
between the farmer and any professional participating in the
building project. One of the VIRAKO project’s purposes
was to produce information on how to improve this co-operation
and clarify the division of responsibilities between farmers
as construction managers, designers, supervisors and builders.
The VIRAKO project was funded by the Ministry of Agriculture
The most visible part of the VIRAKO project is the website
providing a comprehensive information package on agricultural
building and, in particular, on managing a building project.
The website also has useful information for anyone interested
in building in rural areas or builders, designers and supervisors
whose work involves agricultural building. The website is
at: www.tts.fi/rakentaminen (only in Finnish).
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TTS Institute’s Vocational Education department (est.
1955) has built the Carbodyacademy. This co-operative training
centre has partnerships with and strong support from the whole
automotive industry: car importers, tool and equipment manufacturers,
sales and insurance companies.
The mission of the Carbodyacademy is to support the automotive
industry nationwide by providing information on the latest
technologies and developments in car bodies. This is done
by receiving up-to-date knowledge directly from the manufacturers
of cars and related tools and equipment. Through their own
repair jobs and tests, this knowledge is then converted into
training. Training is provided in new materials, new tools,
and new technologies (e.g. welding), as well as in new makes.
Some training is trademark-based, and some is open, applicable
These trainings can be recognised in the national vocational
qualification system, providing elements of one or more of:
vocational upper secondary qualifications, further vocational
qualifications, and specialist vocational qualifications.
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A bus driver in virtual city
In the TTS-Institute's Adult Education Centre started a new
era of teaching, when the bus simulator was started in February.
The bus simulator is based on Volvo 8700 that has been modified
for simulator use so that the simulator can be driven with
an automatic or manual gearbox. Basically the simulator is
a two-axle, 13-meter bus, which can be changed in the software.
The bus simulator is a device that as closely as possible
emulates a bus in traffic. The moving base makes it possible
for the bus to move in different directions, real sounds,
real control devices and the cabin of a real bus make the
device so realistic that the driver feels like driving a real
The bus simulator can take up to 11 passengers, which allows
also practicing customer service situation along with driving.
Simulator Training bus simulator allows you to practice e.g.:
gear usage, driving in narrow streets and places, changing
lanes while reversing or reversing on a curved road. It can
also be used in different traffic and weather, like driving
on a snowy or icy road, driving in rain or mist, driving in
in urban areas, country roads, highways or reacting to unexpected
situations, e.g. a pedestrian or an animal on the road. The
simulator is also a training tool, which allows you to practice
for example customer service situations, ticket sales, economical
driving or driving with different bus types.
The practices can be replayed from different angles. The
driver receives also a written report of his/her performance.
The practice can be done safely and economically without consuming
a litre of fuel. Training with the simulator is efficient
and individual as the student can immediately begin practicing
the weather and traffic conditions he or she needs.
STC Simulator Training Ltd concentrates on developing simulators
and products and services created with them. The shareholders
of STC Simulator Training Ltd are Korsisaari Group/Nurmijärven
Linja Oy, Team Larus Oy, TTS-Institute's Adult Education Centre,
Team Simrac Finland and Motiva Oy.
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