The role of the veterinarian in organic dairy farming
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The role of the veterinarian in organic dairy farming

New Zealand's organic dairy farming sector is rapidly growing. By the end of this course the participant will clearly understand how a clinical dairy veterinarian is integral in the sustainable increase of the productivity and profitability of the New Zealand organic dairy farm.

 Export to Your Calendar 8/10/2018 to 18/11/2018
When: 8 October - 18 November
Where: Online VetScholar Course
Online
New Zealand
Presenter: Alan Thatcher, Jess Shelgren, Rachel Numan
Contact: Hannah Schrader
+64 4 495 1140


Online registration is available until: 30/11/2018
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About this course

New Zealand’s organic dairy farming sector is rapidly growing. Organic milk products are becoming very popular with the consumer worldwide. New Zealand’s grass-based dairy industry makes it uniquely positioned to be in the organic dairy market. There are around 25,000 dairy cows in New Zealand under organic management but that number is on the rise with the increasing financial rewards associated with high quality organic dairy products.

What is the role of the veterinarian on an organic dairy farm where there is no permissible use of conventional veterinary medicines to treat or prevent diseases? This six week online course has three key topics which will provide the answer. By the end of the course the participant will clearly understand how a clinical dairy veterinarian is integral in the sustainable increase of the productivity and profitability of New Zealand organic dairy farms. In a world where AMR is fast becoming a huge issue, antibiotics will be used less and less therefore effective strategies and techniques in disease monitoring and control, such as well organised animal health plans, will be required.

This course will highlight the facts about the New Zealand organic dairy industry, certification and standards, what and when products and medications can be used, how to monitor and control disease, and how to develop a dairy animal health plan. As exporters of agricultural products, New Zealand takes its reputation for food safety and quality seriously with its comprehensive regulatory regime and internationally recognised organic certification. The veterinarian’s role on the New Zealand organic dairy farm is critical. The veterinarian is key to upholding high standards of dairy cattle health and welfare on organic farms and to maintaining New Zealand’s high quality reputation for organic dairy products.


Topics

8 October - 18 November

Topic 1: Understanding the why and how of organic dairy farming
This topic is an introduction to why dairy farmers want to farm organically - the philosophy, environmental, and financial drivers behind organic supply. We then look at how a farm gains and maintains organic certification, and how organic products are marketed.

Topic 2: Animal health, welfare and disease management on the organic dairy farm
Topic two looks at the veterinarian's role in maintaining animal health and welfare on organic farms, through the development of annual animal health plans and individual animal treatment options. Case studies and discussions in this topic will give you the tools to proactively address seasonal animal health challenges on an organic dairy farm without the use of conventional medicines.

Topic 3: Animal health products and organic dairy farming
The final topic in this course will look at which products can and cannot be used in or on organic food producing dairy animals, and how to find this information.  It will also cover the auditing process - what is required of the farmer, how the veterinarian supports the farmer during audits, and why these are so important.


Learning outcomes

Topic 1: Understanding the why and how of organic dairy farming

  • Introduction in to the organic dairy Industry
  • Understand why clients and consumers are driven to produce and purchase organic products
  • Understand what is required to obtain organic dairy certification
  • Understand the economics of running an organic dairy business

 

Topic 2: Animal health, welfare and disease management on the organic dairy farm

  • Demonstrate the ability to work with organic dairy farmers to develop disease monitoring and prevention programmes and animal health plans without the use of veterinary medicines
  • Heard and individual animal health plans (to include at least one case study that addresses the management of an animal welfare situation)

 

Topic 3: Animal health products and organic dairy farming

  • Understand where to find which animal health products are/are not permitted for use on organic dairy animals. Compliance with ACVM exempt products
  • What is required to meet constant audit process
  • Understand the importance of the NZ Inc. reputation in the animal area in an international arena

Format

VetScholar courses comprise of one or two 6-week modules. Each module The module covers three topics using learning materials that suit the topic. This may include notes, presentations, case studies, articles, videos, and polls. You'll engage with the tutors and other participants via the discussion forum and you'll finish off each topic with a quiz - just to make sure you're on the right track. Each module aims to provide 1-2 hours of course work per week so expect to spend up to 12 hours per module.

VetScholar courses do not run at set times of the day so you'll be able to complete it around your work and family commitments. You'll also have access to the material via the course for 1 year and can download the material for future use.


Benefits

By the end of the course the participant will clearly understand how a clinical dairy veterinarian is integral in the sustainable increase of the productivity and profitability of New Zealand organic dairy farms.  


Tutors

Alan Thatcher BVSc
Alan has spent most of his working life in dairy cattle practice and took up a post at Massey University in 2003 teaching dairy medicine. He was one of a team of scientists engaged in the 10 year systems trial comparing organic versus conventional dairying carried out at the university's Dairy Cattle Research Unit. The same team was involved with the Grow Organic Dairy project which took place on commercial farms around the North Island.

Jess Shelgren DCVM, BA
Jess graduated with a BA in biology and psychology before obtaining a DVM from Cornell University. Practiced in large animal mostly dairy practices in the Northeast of the USA (owned a large animal veterinary practice for seven years) until 2000 when began working as a Senior Extension Associate for Cornell’s Quality Milk Production Services programme.Immigrated to NZ in 2004 and worked in the Manawatu for two years in mixed practice before moving north to the Waikato. Two years in Te Aroha (Anexa) and seven years at the Vet Club in Te Awamutu before accepting a role at Fonterra as Manager on Farm, Veterinary and Technical in Sept 2015. Experience includes work with HAACP around milk quality and mastitis management, whole herd health management and disease prevention programmes, the SMART SAMM upgrade, development and roll out of the Healthy Udder resources and active member of NMAC and NMC. Also part of the Mastitis Support accreditation committee. Currently involved in managing animal welfare, milk quality, farmer and stakeholder support in the technical and veterinary areas across Fonterra. Accredited mastitis support vet (assist in tutoring the Advanced Mastitis Course), accredited BCS, Intelact Consultant and In Calf Advisor/trainer.

Rachel Numan BVSc
Rachel is a 2013 Massey graduate, and has been working as a dairy clinical veterinarian in Te Awamutu for four years.  She is a NMAC qualified veterinarian, and is particularly interested in mastitis, herd health and farmer extension. In 2017 she completed her Postgradutate Diploma in Agricommerce. She and her husband also sharemilk 700 cows near Te Awamutu.


CPD points

Activities in this course can be recorded under either continuing veterinary education or collegial learning activity.


Pricing information

NZVA member: $250

NZVA non-member: $500

*Prices are inclusive of 15% NZ GST.


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