Farmer Education

Warrnambool Veterinary offers a range of educational and training opportunities for our dairy clients. From one on one staff training delivered on farm, our FarmChat seasonally specific workshops to our pioneering Herd Health Management Course, run annually since 1994, we will work with you and your team to ensure that you are kept abreast of the latest dairy industry research and methods.

Farmers attending Sexed semen workshop

Herd Health Management Course

One of Australia’s longest running Dairy Management training courses, Warrnambool Veterinary Clinic’s Herd Health Management Course, is taking bookings for this year’s intake of participants for the course to be held in March. Held annually since 1994, the course focuses on practical, hands on information for getting the best results from your herd. The course is continually updated as knowledge and technology changes.

Facilitator of the course Dr Charlie Blackwood, says …

It is the ideal grounding for both new and experienced farmers to build their skills in dairy management. The course really is designed to give an overview of dairy farm management, from nutrition to reproduction to mastitis control. It addresses issues we as experienced dairy vets commonly see as a problem on dairy farm and the questions we vets are commonly asked by our clients.

Topics covered include reproductive management, mastitis control, calf rearing, basics of nutrition, basic diseases and vaccination programs, and the use of computers in dairy enterprises. The Herd Health Course also runs in conjunction with the shorter Calf Rearing School, a one day introduction to the practical aspects of calf rearing.

Both courses are open to all western Victorian farmers. The course is  held in March on a Tuesday and Thursday over two consecutive weeks during the middle of the day to enable farmers to milk in the morning and evening.

Numbers are strictly limited, so early bookings are essential.

Calf – Calf Rearer School

Topics covered include colostrum management, nutrition, worms, vaccination protocols, housing, weight monitoring and management, coccidiosis, diarrhea, Johne’s Disease, heifer rearing and much more.

This course is essential if you are committed to rearing high quality replacement heifers.

Where: Warrnambool Veterinary Clinic Conference Room
Cost: $155 pp Free for Vet Club clients

Total Health – Herd Health Management Course

The Herd Health Management Course covers all of the animal health matters you need to know to run a modern dairy farm.

Presented by experienced Dairy Vets, the course covers in some detail virtually all issues relating to the health and productivity of your herd. It certainly answers all of the questions we are commonly asked by farmers. The course is for new and experienced farmers.

An outline of the topics covered is as follows:
Reproductive Management to Achieve Better Fertility
> Mastitis Control
> Problems Associated with Calving
> Metabolic Diseases
> Calf Rearing – Management & Diseases
> Growing Replacements – from Calving to Mating.
> Basics of Nutrition
> Animal Diseases and Problems
> The Use of Computers in Farm Management

Where: Warrnambool Veterinary Clinic Conference Room
Cost: $385 pp Free for Vet Club clients


FarmChat – A farmer education initiative

A new farmer education initiative from Warrnambool Veterinary Clinic
We are very pleased to announce the launch of a new Farmer Education Initiative that we have been working on for the last couple of months. FarmChat is the result of much research, speaking with our clients about their preferences for how they would like new information, training and industry research delivered.

FarmChat will be the platform from which Warrnambool Veterinary can better engage with you, whether you are a regular client or not, about what you need to know to make more informed, efficient and profitable decisions about your farming business.

You might be wondering what this FarmChat concept involves. Essentially, it is based on the longstanding model of the farmer discussion group. Over the years, you may have been involved in one or more discussion groups – in fact you may still be involved in one such as those based at Koroit-Toolong, Woolsthorpe, Port Campbell or elsewhere.

We are not attempting to compete with or replace these hugely valuable industry resources. Instead, we are aiming to take the best, most successful aspects of these discussion groups and apply them to our existing means of providing relevant, research backed information to the dairy industry.

What is likely to change?
The most significant change you will see from our existing methods of farmer education is a regular, seasonally specific lecture/workshop. These workshops will be delivered on farm, over lunch in more relaxed, inclusive style than our traditional ‘Pie Night’ lectures. Training will have a distinct practical focus, so you can take away specific actions that you can implement on your own farm immediately.

For most topics, we will attempt to hold two events on consecutive days, one on the eastern side of Warrnambool and one to the north/west. It is our hope that will make it easier for clients to be able to attend at least one of the days, bringing the training closer to where they are based and reducing the chance of clashes with other work commitments.

Who will coordinate the discussion?
Phil Keegan, who has recently joined the clinic in a Farm Technician/Client Services role, will be responsible to overseeing the running of FarmChat. Phil is well experienced at coordinating farmer education groups, having successfully led the Toolong Discussion Groups for a number of years. With over 30 years experience as a dairy farmer, Phil knows first-hand the day to day challenges faced by farmers, and is eager to assist the clinic become more receptive and responsive to your needs.

What farms will be involved?
We will seek to hold these workshops on farms that have something relevant to share regarding the topic at hand. They may be doing something particularly well, have made recent significant improvements in their operations, or be in the early stages of making changes to improve the way they do things. They might be using a new, innovate idea, or simply doing something simple particularly well.

Will my farm be asked to host an event?
Maybe. We encourage you to get in touch with us if you have any thoughts regarding what topics you would like presented and if you feel your farm would be suitable for hosting one of our events. If you are asked to host one of our events, there is no pressure to agree and we understand that it is not for everyone. However, we anticipate that most farms will get more out of hosting an event than they are asked to put in, so we encourage you to give it careful consideration!

What else will Change?
If you reading this then chances are you are already very familiar with the clinic’s VetChat newsletter, published every 2 months. This newsletter will continue and be used to share articles relating to the FarmChat topics, as well as information about upcoming events. The newsletter is also available via email which you can sign up to receive by entering your details below.

We are also investigating YouTube training videos, social events and other initiatives to keep you involved and informed on new things happening in the industry.

Contact the Farm Desk on 5559 0266 to enrol or for more information on our Courses or FarmChat