Shar­ing on dairy­ing

Matamata Chronicle - - Rural Delivery -

Talk­ing it over with some­one who’s been there, done that, is at the heart of a new ini­tia­tive for Waikato dairy farm­ers.

Dairy Con­nect, de­vel­oped by in­dus­try or­gan­i­sa­tion DairyNZ, was launched in late 2011 to help farm­ers learn from each other through shar­ing in­for­ma­tion and ex­pe­ri­ences, one on one.

Dairy Con­nect co­or­di­na­tor Ja­nine Broekhuizen said peo­ple were more likely to try a new ini­tia­tive or suc­cess­fully trou­bleshoot a prob­lem if they had talked it over with some­one who had been there be­fore.

‘‘It helps farm­ers make good, well-in­formed farm­ing or busi­ness de­ci­sions,’’ she said.

She re­ferred to Mata­mata farmer Ralph Gore who said it was great to talk to some­one ‘‘at the coal face’’.

Mr Gore was rel­a­tively new to dairy farm­ing and said he had ‘‘struck gold’’ with his Dairy Con­nect part­ner­ship, which gave him prac­ti­cal ac­tion points to ad­dress mas­ti­tis in his herd.

Dairy Con­nect was de­vel­oped in re­sponse to farmer feed­back which high­lighted that a large num­ber of farm­ers wanted to share their knowl­edge and ex­pe­ri­ence to help oth­ers.

Dairy Con­nect bud­dies up those farm­ers look­ing for in­for­ma­tion, with oth­ers who can help.

‘‘Cur­rently, DairyNZ has 80 sup­port farm­ers across the Waikato re­gion – peo­ple with var­ied back­grounds and ex­pe­ri­ences, which are of ex­treme value,’’ said Mrs Broekhuizen.

The sup­port farm­ers have ar­eas of par­tic­u­lar strength or re­cent ex­pe­ri­ence, through de­vel­op­ment on their farm, and are happy to share that knowl­edge with oth­ers.

Peo­ple look­ing for in­for­ma­tion or help with any­thing – for ex­am­ple, animal health, en­vi­ron­men­tal man­age­ment, busi­ness de­vel­op­ment, or who are new to an area, can con­tact Dairy Con­nect.

From there, a sup­port farmer will be iden­ti­fied and both will have con­tact de­tails and topic in­for­ma­tion ex­changed.

Then, it’s up to them to pick up the connection.

It usu­ally in­volves a phone call, maybe a farm visit and of­ten a fol­low-up call.

Dairy Con­nect is a re­source for peo­ple at all busi­ness and ca­reer lev­els. How to get in­volved? Visit, email dairycon­ or phone 0800 4 DairyNZ (0800 4 324 7969).

Handy ad­vice: Ja­nine Broekhuizen ex­plains the Dairy Con­nect process to farmer Lief Tu­mai.

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