Sunday, July 3, 2022

Events grow and diversify

MilkSmart events have become larger and more differentiated to cater for all members of the dairy farming team, DairyNZ project manager Chris Leach says.

In early December more than 150 Northlanders attended a packed day at the Jordan Valley dairy complex associated with Fonterra Kauri, just north of Whangarei.

Leach said a similar number had attended the first MilkSmart event in Palmerston North, followed by about 200 at the Hawera event. Both were held in late November.

MilkSmart 3 has been concentrated to 10 events this time, but each is longer and contains more sessions of interest to junior staff, managers, seconds-in-command, sharemilkers, owner-operators and rural professionals.

The events were free to levy-paying farmers and their staff members and each person who attended could attend as many or as few sessions as work or special interests allowed.

The core content on cow behaviour and milker comfort is back by popular demand from the previous series in 2010 and 2011.

At Jordan Valley the major themes included cow senses, stockmanship, workplace training, managing milking, parlour efficiency and design, milking skills, milking comfort and technology choices. There was also a farm management forum, where experts answered questions submitted at registration.

Senior scientist Jenny Jago headed the DairyNZ line-up, talking on technology options to improve farm productivity and workplace design. The A team also comprised milk harvesting specialist Mel Eden, from Waikato, cow flow and lameness veterinarian Neil Chesterton, from Taranaki, and farm quality systems, milking and mastitis management specialist Josh Wheeler, from Bay of Plenty.

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