WelFarm has proven to be a great tool to bring all the information into one place you can work with your vet to understand the bigger picture of what is going on with your herd. Let's see why.
How do you know what’s going well and where the opportunities are with your herd health and welfare? Or where you sit compared to other farmers? We know the value of benchmarking financials within a business so it makes sense to look at your herd too.
If we gather herd health and welfare information and add benchmarking we have an opportunity to work proactively and prevent issues from escalating. Prevention is better than cure and your vet and the team find it rewarding to help you monitor what’s happening with your herd.
WelFarm is a web-based programme that has been built around the principle of measuring and managing. It was built by vets who identified some key areas of herd health and welfare and by monitoring them throughout the season you are given chances to make changes as required. To catch the situation before it has bigger impacts on production, reproduction and efficiency.
When you join the WelFarm programme, your farm is built in the portal and you have your own login to see your information as it gets added by the clinic. Some of the metrics come from other sources and others are performed on-farm at key times of the season, for example, body condition scoring. It is all taken care of by the vet team.
By bringing all the information into one place you can work with your vet to understand the bigger picture of what is going on with your herd, have the assurance of what is going well and where there are opportunities to improve. They can help you make plans to get the best from your herd.
And if you are a Fonterra supplier it will also help you meet your Co-operative Difference requirements.
Farmers see the value
Longtime Horowhenua sharemilker Richard McIntyre says the biggest part he sees is how WelFarm cultivates the relationship between the vet and farmer. In his roles with Federated Farmers, he sees the farmers who have issues and how they don’t have a good relationship with their vet.
“The vets provide a key role to my farming system and I appreciate that they time their conversations around the information throughout the season.
“It’s stuff I should be doing but being involved with WelFarm and having that connection with my vet actually makes me do it. And as a sector, we need to prioritise continuous improvement because it helps against regulation.”
And when Trish Rankin first joined WelFarm with her sharemilking business in Taranaki she was impressed with the feedback loop.
“When we get a body condition score performed on the herd we either get a tick – ‘you’re doing a great job’ or some feedback on what we need to improve. So either way, it's a win for our herd and business.”
Trish also talks about how all the components of Fonterra’s Co-operative Difference can be daunting for farmers, so she welcomed having a simple solution to support them and assure them they are meeting their requirements.
If you are keen to find out more about the programme and how your farm can become involved talk to your KeyVet today, or give us a call in the clinic!
- Samantha Tennent