On-farm consultancy skills

Online & Pavilions Hotel, 42 Papanui Road, Christchurch, New Zealand
CPD Pathway
Production Animal

Successful consulting requires more than technical skills and knowledge sharing. This course is a unique opportunity for veterinarians and other rural professionals working in any animal production environment to strengthen their capability to engage with farmer clients. By completing this program, you’ll gain valuable perspectives and techniques to better understand, more effectively communicate with, and serve your clientele using a consultative approach. You will be equipped to aid the learning that clients need to implement enhanced farm management practices, and the products or tools that you recommend or provide. Above all, this course aims to allow you to support the necessary operational and behavioural changes within farming enterprises and as a result, build a more successful consulting practice.

This workshop was delayed due to travel restrictions between Australia and New Zealand and within New Zealand. It will now be held on Thursday 26 November 2020 in Christchurch.

Please note: Registrations for the online course are now closed.


This workshop follows the online course which is currently running. The workshop is a full day interactive workshop where participants will work together in groups and provides the opportunity for participants to consolidate their understanding of the online content, applying the concepts learned to real-world situations they face. It is also an excellent venue to connect with other rural professionals working in comparable situations, sharing ideas and experiences, and find potential solutions to everyday consulting challenges. The one-day program includes a variety of exercises, where you’ll work with other workshop participants, as well as individually on your own consulting focus. It includes ample time for discussion and networking.

As travel between Australia and New Zealand is still not possible, the tutors have adapted the workshop to function with Lab facilitating in Christchurch with Graeme joining by video link from Australia.

Learning outcomes

  • Discuss the nature of consulting to primary producers as a business partner and compare this with routine provision of traditional, core veterinary services.
  • Describe proven consulting methods and tools, and give examples of how and when to use them.
  • Explain how to build client engagement and manage client resistance to change
  • Using examples, illustrate what effective consultation looks like in practice. 
  • Chart a path for progression from 'pair of hands' traditional service provision to the status of 'trusted advisor' of the farm client.


  • Core consulting concepts
  • Communication and collaboration
  • Identifying client needs
  • Enabling client learning
  • Follow through
  • Establishing and growing a consulting practice


Graeme Dixon BVSc (Hons), MAppFin, MBA: Graeme’s 30 years of corporate and business consulting experience within the veterinary and animal health industries equips him with a valuable global perspective of these dynamic environments. After a period in private veterinary practice, Graeme built a successful leadership career that included senior executive roles in Australasia, Europe and Japan with a leading multinational organisation. Since 2010, Graeme has consulted to industry, implementing a variety of strategic growth initiatives for global animal health industry players, with a focus on the rapidly growing Asia-Pacific markets. As a director of two consulting firms, he has worked on a variety of business development initiatives including the design and delivery of corporate sales and customer service training resources, marketing planning and change management projects. In addition to his veterinary qualifications, Graeme holds a Master’s degree in Applied Finance, and an MBA from MGSM.

Lab Wilson BVSc MANZVS Cert. Designing and Facilitating Training: Lab is a facilitator, learning and performance consultant and former veterinarian. His company, Bats, specializes in helping organisations achieve aligned action to enhance team performance and customer engagement. He strongly believes the development of knowledge-sharing relationships is vital to both of these. He also believes that selling can be done differently and is an integral part of the advisory relationship. Lab is a Fellow of the Institute for Learning Professionals and the author of a book entitled “Customers as Learners”.


Melonie Sheppard


Online course - Available from 29 June - 15 December 2020

Registration for the online course must be received by 16 October 2020

Optional workshop - 26 November 2020

CPD points

This course provides up to 50 hours of CPD. Participants who complete the online course assessment and attend the workshop are eligible for 5 Massey University credits towards a GCertScTech. More infornation can be found on the CPD Pathway website.


Online course: NZVA member/Rural professional - $460 | Non-member - $920 (NZD, includes 15% GST)

Workshop: NZVA member/Rural professional - $720| Non-member - $1440 (NZD, includes 15% GST)


To register, you will need to log in to your NZVA account. If you are a non-member, please create a non-member NZVA account here.

Terms and conditions

By registering for this event you are agreeing to the NZVA Events Terms and Conditions. Read the terms and conditions here.


Danielle Stevens | 04 495 1140 | danielle.stevens@vets.org.nz