17 July 2020
Looking after the health and welfare of livestock is a priority for all farmers at all times. Ignoring early warning signs or letting things slip is simply not an option for any efficient, professionally run business.
As the industry struggles to cope with the restrictions of Covid 19, many farmers are turning to Farming Connect for help. Provided they are registered with Farming Connect, eligible farmers can receive ‘remote’ online guidance from approved farm vets on identifying issues, managing them and in many cases will be able to take the necessary actions to resolve problems without additional and costly professional interventions.
Since Farming Connect first launched its first series of face to face animal health and welfare workshops early last year, hundreds of farmers across Wales have signed up to attend. Since then, a comprehensive range of topics ranging from lameness, parasites control* and respiratory conditions to nutrition, fertility and mortality rates have provided much needed advice and guidance, saving farmers stress, time and money.
Delivered by participating veterinary practices throughout Wales, and with the content for each interactive workshop designed by the National Animal Disease Information Service (NADIS), the format of the workshops has now been adapted so that farmers can attend ‘remotely’ via a series of sector-specific online webinars.
“With each fully-funded workshop, lasting under two hours, led by an approved participating farm vet, farmers have the opportunity to learn from an expert, to voice any questions they may have, and to learn from the experience of other participating farmers,” says Rebecca Summons, who leads on the delivery of animal health training for Lantra Wales, which together with Menter a Busnes, delivers Farming Connect on behalf of the Welsh Government and the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development.
“Farm animal health planning involves having a proactive approach which focuses on prevention rather than cure.
“The benefits to individual farm businesses are significant because improving animal health and welfare leads to increased productivity and resilience,” said Miss Summons.
“Farmers can also record key information which might be needed for a health plan and annual performance review as part of a farm assurance scheme.”
A list of all participating veterinary practices and the topics they offer, is available on the Skills and Training pages on the Farming Connect website, with times, dates and registration details shown on the ‘What’s On’ pages.
Webinars are easy to access and can be booked through any participating vet practice or online here.
“Once you’ve booked your place on a webinar you will be sent a login identity code and password, which also specifies the time and date of the webinar,” said Miss Summons.
Anyone unsure of how to access online ‘meeting’ platforms such as Zoom can download guidance here.
All participants will be provided with a certificate of ‘remote attendance’ which will be added on their behalf to their Farming Connect Storfa Sgiliau record.
Registered farmers interested in specific animal health topics can also access a wide range of fully-funded interactive e.learning modules. Options include eg Antimicrobial resistance (AMR); Cattle lameness; Controlling BVD; Liver fluke management; Sheep scab; Trace elements in livestock etc. Click here to see the full list of all e.learning courses.
* A new parasite control online planner has been developed which enables vets and farmers to compile a parasite control plan for their flock and/or herd. Available to view here this can be implemented and included within a farm health plan.
Farming Connect, which is delivered by Menter a Busnes and Lantra, has received funding through the Welsh Government Rural Communities - Rural Development Programme 2014-2020, which is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the Welsh Government.