Scholarship winner to research dairy beef
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.