Calf and Heifer Rearing Roadshow

Day one of the three workshops, Mark and Denis Blelock hosted the Thompsons Team, along with world class speakers; Professor Sandra Godden and Dr. Roger Blowey. Pictureed are James Black,Thompsons; Lauren Stinson, Mark Blelock, Michael Graham, Thompsons, and Jason McFerran, CAFRE.

Three workshops in three days, in different parts of the country, was never going to be an easy task. However, with the team effort of Thompsons and top class speakers, a huge amount of interested calf and heifer rearing farmers were able to benefit from the knowledge shared at each farm workshop.

With the help of excellent hosts – Mark and Denis Blelock, Malcolm Keys and the Murney Brothers – the stage was set for three informative days which included four practical presentations, designed be both thought provoking and interactive.

Roger Blowey proved to be a very popular speaker at the workshops, using both unusual and practical methods to highlight the importance of routine in the early stages of calf rearing.

Dr. Sandra Godden brought her knowledge on calf housing, all the way from the University of Minnesota, to provide everyone with her extensive research and opinions on the subject.

The well-known Roger Blowey used dissection to highlight how the routine of feeding a calf has a huge impact on its physiology, which in turn can affect how well it will develop.

James Black, from Thompsons, and Shine’s Joe Murphy were on hand to detail how the development of the calf’s digestive system is dictated by how well it is managed in the early stages.

Finally, Richard Moore, from Thompsons, and CAFRE’s Jason McFerran used a weighbridge to show the need for early growth and weight gain and how this affects the economics of calf rearing.

The workshops proved to be very popular and more information on the three days will be published in next week’s Farming Life.

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