With harvest all wrapped up, most farmers finished planting and the nights drawing in, we thought last week was ideal timing for our series of farm client meetings that we run at least annually.
We aimed to make these social events, as well as being informative, whilst supporting local pubs who kindly put on a good spread for the 35 or so clients and staff that attended each evening.
This year the meetings filled another important role in covering the medicines training that the Red Tractor Farm Assurance Scheme recommends for at least one member of staff per farm.
This is a new regulation that came in on June 1, and inspectors will be keen to see the certificates that we will provide to those who attended the meetings.
Training covered how to safely administer injections, trace element supplemental boluses, oral wormers, plus up to date advice on choice of drug, reduction in antibiotics, correct storage of medicines and how needles, empty bottles and unused drugs should be disposed of.
In most cases this was a reminder of how things should be done, but advice is continually changing regarding antibiotics, wormers and fluke treatments, with an emphasis on monitoring and only treating when absolutely necessary.
In our area, most farms are assured through the Red Tractor Scheme, for which the logo is hopefully familiar. Whilst the regulations may seem like a lot of extra hassle for farmers, they are based on up to the minute research.
Other topics covered were fluke and Bovine Viral Diarrhoea (BVD.
Not all of our clients could make the meetings last week so we plan to put on one more in the future, subject to demand.
We are grateful to MSD and Elanco pharmaceutical companies for their support.