Local vet wins world dairy research tour
NORTH Coast Local Land Services district veterinarian Sarah Bolton has recently been awarded a Nuffield Farming Scholarship for 2018 to support her research.
She will join 24 Australian primary producers and managers from a diverse range of backgrounds and with interests in a broad range of study topics.
The Nuffield Farming Scholarships showcase the depth and breadth of Australian agriculture.
Sarah was supported by Dairy Australia and the Australian Dairy Conference.
She will research how best to rear dairy calves to integrate successfully into the beef supply chain.
Every year, approximately 350,000 young ‘bobby’ calves leave Australian dairy farms to be sold for meat, skins or other uses.
Interest has grown within Australia’s dairy beef industry in opportunities to grow out a larger percentage of bobby calves for beef.
Sarah believes this move would help address negative industry perceptions, as well as contribute to diversification of farm outputs.
She plans to study ways that other countries operate dairy beef systems from calf rearing through to the finished animal, focusing on preventative health, welfare and nutrition.
Sarah is co-manager of Big River Dairy on 150ha on the bank of the Clarence River.
It runs a 300-cow herd of jerseys, holstein-friesians and their crosses on a 36-bail rotary dairy.
She and her partner also operate their own beef farm next door.
Along with helping to manage both farms, Sarah works full-time for North Coast Local Land Services as a district veterinarian.
Sarah said there is a push from the beef industry to improve the bobby calf value chain.
“With the broader livestock industry coming under increasingly high levels of scrutiny from the general public, it is vital that we continue to find practical, achievable ways to satisfy community expectations, prioritise the care of our animals and provide new market opportunities for producers,” Sarah said.
For her research tour, Sarah will visit dairy farms in New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Europe, the US and Canada.
OFF TO FIND BETTER WAYS: Sarah Bolton is a talented and enthusiastic member of the agricultural industry who is helping shape the future of North Coast farming.