Every year our intrepid techs tour Southland and Otago, carrying out technical on-farm services such as teat sealing. In July this year, two of our techs went a bit further. Here's what they got up to in Tasmania.
Rebecca Herzig and I were packed up for a last minute rescue mission to Tasmania to teat seal at The Vet Group Tasmania (TVG). They needed some extra support to manage the influx of farmers showing an interest in the process. This meant we found out late on a Friday night that we were going to be crossing the ditch in two days. Eager to go, we dusted off the passports, packed our bags - with wet weather gear aplenty – and we were off.
Heading over to Tasmania, we didn't really know what we were in for, only that we were there to teat seal and weren't meant to be having too many big days. Dr James Stretton (some may recognise the name), the local vet from TVG, collected us from the airport with the trailer in tow, which told us we might be in for a big two weeks.
We had a few teething issues on the first day around how the trailer was running over there, compared to how we run it in NZ. The trailer was a good three times heavier than some of ours, which made for a lot of heavy lifting over the course of our stay.
At the start, a few farmers were hesitant and had some questions about the trailer and the benefits of using it. This may have been skepticism of the recently-arrived kiwi talent mixed with a bit of trepidation around the hardware! Normally, they use a tipper trailer and do the heifers one by one, which can take them two full days to do around 200 heifers. We were quick to tell them how efficiently our trailer runs and how easy it is to get large numbers done in a short amount of time.
The farmers were very helpful, and the fact they had never used the trailer before really worked in our favour. They were all eager to get stuck in and help with pushing up, as well as sealing the heifers with us. This helped most jobs to run really smoothly and made for a good laugh on the trailer.
The heifers we were sealing were very much the same as the ones that we do here in NZ. The main difference in the job was that we were left with red dirt on our trailer instead of the normal Southland mud…
What was meant to be only a few days of sealing over the two weeks we were there soon turned into multiple, back-to-back, 12 hour days. Apparently word got out that the trailer worked and was much faster than the tipper trailer. Every farmer and their dog wanted us to seal their heifers! By the end of our second week, we had sealed a whopping 1940 heifers between two techs, a vet and a farm worker or two. We definitely earned our Aussie burgers!
On the whole, the trip was very successful and we absolutely smashed the Tasmanian teat sealing. We even managed to fit in some hikes at Cradle Mountain and Stanley, but coming home to beach views was a highlight at the end of each day. Everything that could have been thrown at us, was, and we still trucked on and got the jobs done. Let's just say a few days off in Melbourne on the way home was well needed.
We are so proud to be part of a team that is supporting farmers not only across the region, but the world! If you haven’t had a chance to see the techs in action, know we’re here to help, and Here for Good.
- Tegan Sullivan