North – Emily Cruse
It’s been a bit of a strange couple of months weather wise, with the unseasonably warm (and humid!) weather presenting heat stress challenges right through September but this weather also brought a promising maize harvest for many. Despite the inevitable clash with harvest, it was great to still see lots of you at the Dairy Show where Pete was very pleased to unveil the new online training platform he has spent the last year creating – www.synergyfarmtraining.com. We are really excited to see this new online learning platform go live. It is a real step forward in allowing farm staff to undertake Red Tractor and milk buyer compliant training courses remotely; on their phones or laptop, whenever, wherever they like. If there is a course you want creating – speak to Pete!
East – Josh Swain
A few weeks ago, I headed up north with Rachel Hayton and Tom Shardlow to attend the XL Vets national farm meeting. It’s been a while since I’ve been to an XL event and it was nice to catch up with the XL community with vets attending from Cornwall to Orkney. One of the speakers was Miriam Parker from Livestock wise who shared some useful, practical tips for the safe handling of livestock. As an industry, farming is still failing miserably when it comes to accidents in the workplace. Unfortunately, I wasn’t surprised that a room of farm vets from across the country had several stories of near misses, poor facilities, and trips to A&E. I’m certain it would be the same (if not worse!) with a room of farmers. If you’re nodding in agreement, then I recommend heading over to Youtube and searching for some of Miriam’s short videos. It might save your life.
West – Esme Moffett
A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of attending the Women in Dairy Annual Conference. I’d not been to one before and it was brilliant to be in a room of like-minded women all working in and championing British agriculture. The overall themes of the conference were diversity and sustainability. The speakers included farmers, vets and soil scientists and we learnt a lot about regenerative farming, soil health and how to increase diversity in agriculture. If you’ve not been to a Women in Dairy meeting before, I would encourage you to look at their website and find your local group. It’s a great space to share ideas and find support.
We will soon be hosting the first of our winter Ham Hill and Pilsdon Pen Dairy Discussion group meetings – the topic will be mastitis, a common problem with ongoing challenges, so not one to miss.
Finally, I’d like to draw your attention to a new podcast which I’ve recently come across. It’s called Farming Focus and is created by Cornish Mutual specifically for South West Farmers. This first series is focused on farm resilience and covers topics from mental health and soil health to rural crime and TB. It’s really interesting and well worth a listen. farming-focus-podcast
Central – Vikki Wyse
With temperatures in the 20s in October I’m not sure anyone knows what season we’re in? But hopefully it has allowed people to get a last cut of silage in and get those winter preparation jobs done. The tail end of autumn block calving can see a rise in issues for cow and calf, so getting those cows turned around for service to keep the block tight is critical. It’s a good time to start thinking about calf health, especially pneumonia – ensuring housing will remain warm, dry, and draft-free. We’ve had flystrike in the last few weeks and the warm wet weather means worms and fluke aren’t dying off yet, so it’s worth discussing dung sampling and parasite control as we enter the housing period.
I joined the team in July, and I’ve enjoyed settling in, getting to know my way around and meeting various clients. I look forward to meeting more of you in the coming months.