Disease? Not On My Farm! Ambassador Blog
Five top tips
for starting the year on the right foot
The beginning of a new year is always a great time for making some positive changes on farm. It provides a valuable opportunity to consider your productivity objectives for the next twelve month and ways to make them a reality.
Implementing a preventative approach to disease can play an integral role in helping you achieve your livestock productivity goals. Having an overarching plan set down on paper in the new year can be a positive step. It gives you a great starting point to work from and one that can be revisited over the coming months to monitor your progress.
Here are five top tips for farm planning for the year ahead:
1. Define your priorities
Then rank them in order of importance.
Don’t over commit, you want your goals to be achievable.
It might be helpful to think of them as ‘SMART’ goals – specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-based.
2. Create a yearly plan
Start by setting out your existing commitments, health protocols and routines.
What else do you need or want to factor in?
What additional capacity do you have?
What extra resources or training might you or your team need?
Having all the key seasonal activities scheduled will help you feel more prepared and in control.
Don’t forget - it’s also important to book-in time away from the farm.
Taking breaks, even for short periods, is closely linked to improving farmer wellbeing which is just as important as looking after your livestock’s health.
3. Book in regular time with your vet
Together you can review your current health plan and discuss any issues and objectives that arise over time.
Having frequent frank and honest conversations about where you want the business to be with your vet will make it much easier to work together to make this a success.
4. Ask ‘why?’
No one wants to be a busy fool, so it’s important to question the reasons for wanting to make changes.
How will they impact you, your livestock and your business?
What is the long-term benefit going to be?
Once you are clear on this, it can really help you to focus and work towards accomplishing the goals you’ve set.
5. Remember plans can change
Nothing is set in stone and being adaptable is an essential approach when managing livestock.
However, having a plan in the first place can help to mitigate risk, especially, when it comes to minimising disease outbreaks.
The Disease? Not On My Farm! ambassadors share their goals for 2022
William Westacott, dairy farmer, Kent
"We plan to finish calving by Christmas, this will be a lifetime achievement as there’s always a few nice old girls who hang on to early January!”
Louise and Tim Cooke, sheep farmers are moving farms from Hampshire to Northumberland
"We are looking forward to a new challenge on a different farm with a new breed of sheep. We are hoping that we can bring a fresh outlook and make some positive improvements by replicating the planned approach to tackling lameness that we started in 2021.”
Gemma and Mike King, dairy farmers, Bristol
“We are looking forward to another year of producing high quality milk and plan to look back on what we've done and see how and what we can improve. In 2021 we changed a lot of little things but the most beneficial has been to install self-locking yokes on the heifers’ cubicles which makes them easier to manage when serving, PDing or when a vet is needed.”
Whatever your plans, we wish you all good luck for the year ahead.
Keep an eye on our social media channels for our 2022 resolution polls.
Share with us what you want to achieve by casting your vote.
The findings will be shared in the coming months.
Remember to follow @notonmyfarm