An expo on successful calf rearing is ensuring Waikato farmers are entering the season confidently with the right tools and knowledge to raise healthy calves.
Hosted by Dairy Women’s Network and SealesWinslow, supported by AgriVantage, the expo is set to focus on the best practices of calf rearing and the physical and mental preparation needed for the upcoming calving season.
Bringing key industry players to farmers to answer all things calf rearing, Fonterra, PaySauce, LIC, MilkBar, IDEXX, OSPRI-NAIT, Strong Woman and FarmStrong are confirmed as exhibitors.
Calf rearing is a critical time for dairy farmers, with success determined by the quality and management of newborn calves from the time of birth through to 12 weeks of age.
A workshop will cover the best practice behind providing food and shelter for newborns, with SealesWinslow’s Nutrition and Quality Manager, Natalie Hughes, presenting on calf housing and pen design for optimal health and stimulation.
“During the workshop we’ll explore the latest research and look at how we translate this into practical tips and advice to set you up for a successful calf season,” said Hughes.
Between Hughes and AgriVantage Technical Advisor and Nutritionist Natalie Chrystal, attendees will learn about the importance of colostrum management and how it helps to reduce the risk of neonatal disease; the impact of early life nutrition on lifetime productivity and profitability; calf energy and protein requirements; how to transition from milk to meal and meal to grass; and the calculation of food to achieve liveweight gains for heifers.
“The interactive workshop will involve lots of discussion and sharing of best practice to help calf rearers and farmer owners to get their calves off to the right start.”
SealesWinslow will be sharing easy meal preparation ideas with a representative from Fonterra demonstrating their protein shake products, and OSPRI-NAIT will discuss the importance of tagging and traceability.
Additional exhibitors will offer advice on staff rosters and wellbeing during the day, dedicated to young farmers and calf rearers.
“Calf rearing season can be overwhelming and farmers need to be at the top of their game, so it’s important that we are providing them with the resources to take care of themselves,” said Dairy Women’s Network Chief Executive Jules Benton.
“The expo model allows us to align with the Dairy Tomorrow commitment five – we will build great workplaces for New Zealand’s most talented workforce – as well as commitment four – we will be world leading in on-farm animal care. We’re addressing the needs of farmers, families and calves to ensure a successful season for all.”
Photo: Natalie Hughes presenting at a Dairy Women’s Network Successful Calf Rearing workshop in Gore, 2019.
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