Schol­ar­ship win­ner to re­search dairy beef

The Northern Star - Northern New South Wales Rural Weekly - - Front Page -

CLARENCE Val­ley vet and farmer, Sarah Bolton, has been awarded a Nuffield Farm­ing Schol­ar­ship to re­search how best to rear dairy calves so as to in­te­grate them 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 in­creased 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.

Sarah will visit dairy farms in NZ, the UK, Europe, the US and Canada to study ways in which other coun­tries op­er­ate dairy beef sys­tems from calf rear­ing through to the fin­ished an­i­mal, fo­cussing on pre­ven­ta­tive health, wel­fare and nu­tri­tion.

Sarah is co-man­ager of the 150ha Big River Dairy on the banks of the Clarence River, which runs a 300-cow herd of jer­seys, hol­steins and their crosses on a 36-bail ro­tary. She and her part­ner also op­er­ate a 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. She said there was a push from the beef in­dus­try to im­prove the bobby calves 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.

AWARD: Sarah Bolton has been awarded a schol­ar­ship to study the in­te­gra­tion of dairy calves into the beef sup­ply chain.

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