With tours taking two hours from 11am to 1pm the challenge of moving nearly 250 producers around workshop stations every 15 minutes proved to be a logistical success and by 3pm most had heard from all six speakers.
The Digital Dermatitis (DD) Workshop held at Greenmount Campus this week, in conjunction with Cafre, Provita, Thompsons and Zinpro was designed to explore everything to do with DD in Northern Ireland.
James Black welcomed each of the four groups of fifty plus producers and set the stage for the day’s guest speaker, Dr Arturo Gomez from Minnesota.
Emphasising the need to acknowledge that digital dermatitis (DD) can be found on all farms, Dr Gomez gave an understanding of how to treat acute cases and prevent chronic ones.
With prevention overshadowing the merits of a good treatment programme, Dr Gomez highlighted that if the incidence of DD is to be reduced at farm level the starting point is with heifers.
Following the classroom part of the workshop each group of producers accompanied their allocated ‘tour guide’ around the four stations manned by Tommy Armstrong, Jonathan Huxtable, Alastair Boyle and Richard Moore.
Combining academic and practical knowledge at every stop, the focus was on ensuring that whether you were taking an ‘outside-in’ or an ‘inside-out’ approach to digital dermatitis, there were hints, tips and advice for everyone.
With the excellent facilities provided by Greenmount Campus, delicious food laid on by Alex Berry and the support and knowledge of Cafre, Provita, Thompsons and Zinpro the workshop proved to be a huge success.
Judging by the number of attendees it was clear to see that this subject is of great interest to many and hopefully following it many producers feel more equipped to handle the prospect of digital dermatitis.