by Lex McRae

Dairy Data Code 670 - Culled for Age!
This month marks the end of a long association with Warrnambool Veterinary for me. It has been thirty five plus years as a dairy client and then the last 12 enjoyable years as an employee.

Modern communications have made access to veterinary services more timely and allowed vets to progress from fire engine work to much more satisfying herd health, disease prevention, farmer education and consultancy work. Warrnambool Veterinary were leaders in recognising the role that technology could play in dairy farming and veterinary practice and that has played a large part in my role.

In 2002 after we had sold our farm and moved to Warrnambool, Mike Hamblin convinced the other partners that maybe I could be of use in data entry and providing software support for the dairy software that he and David Beggs had developed, as I had helped trial the early versions. I was involved in a lot of data entry as well as carrying out many and varied on farm tasks that an “old” farmer could manage.

Phil Keegan has been able to take on a lot of these tasks and my involvement with software has been less with routine data entry and more focused on software support and gathering data for our vets and consultants. When people outside the dairy industry ask what I do, they are astounded at the use of technology and the sophistication of dairy farming today. Not everyone is lucky enough to have a job that they enjoy.

I would like to thank Mike Hamblin, David Beggs and the other partners (past & present) for the faith they have had in me and giving me the chance to experience an interesting and satisfying life after farming.

Not everyone will be aware of the respect that Warrnambool Veterinary commands in industry and veterinary circles for their research and trial work, nurturing of veterinary students, ethical approach to veterinary practice and the way the practice operates. The culture they have developed in this clinic has meant that I have worked with very special people. Not just vets but nurses, receptionists, managers and all the other staff that have comprised the WVC team over the years. That culture also attracts special clients.

I have also developed relationships with lots of farmers and vets outside our region and myriads of service providers. I can’t remember a day that I was not happy to go to work. So thank you to everyone I have worked with. Thank you all the large animal and software clients.

Thank you to all the very patient small animal clients when their calls found their way to me.

Good luck to Kylie James who is fast proving that she has the skills provide software support, manage data and more. Although the decision to retire has been mine and everyone is at pains to emphasise my youthfulness,
the Dairy Data code 670 applies – Culled For Age!