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Dairy event success

Posted 6 May 2010

Watch the video on our YouTube channel.

Owen Atkinson's presentation

Dairy Technology 2010 this week brought together more than 90 exhibitors and 1,000 visitors on the site of the new dairy unit at Harper Adams University College.

Visitors were able to attend demonstrations and seminars on subjects including foot trimming, cow tracks, cow signals, soil quality, grazing welfare implications, herd activity monitoring, developments in mineral nutrition and rationing to reduce methane output.

Harper Adams Principal Dr David Llewellyn said: “We are delighted to have seen so many people turn out to this event. It’s tremendous to see the support from the industry. We would like to thank our sponsors, - DairyCo, Alltech and the Environment Agency – for all the support they have given to make Dairy Tech 2010 come to life.”

The Harper Adams Dairy Unit first opened its gates to exhibitors and visitors last September, when the site was formally opened by DairyCo Chairman Tim Bennett. The thirst for knowledge then was such that the University College and partner Fusion Events pushed ahead to plan the Dairy Tech Day, which it is hoped will become an annual event.

Farm Manager Scott Kirby said: “Wednesday’s event was a great success, with once again somewhere in the region of 1,000 visitors coming to the University College from throughout the country. Both visitors and stand holders seem to have had an enjoyable experience.

“The event allowed us to present ourselves not only as a fantastic educational site but also as a place that is committed to the livestock sector and particularly the dairy sector. It was fantastic to have such a range of exhibitors. Pretty much all of the issues currently facing the dairy sector were represented, so hopefully people have gone away with new ideas and answers to the issues on their table at the moment.”

Cow Signals expert Owen Atkinson, from Shropshire-based Lambert, Leonard and May Vets, attracted bumper crowds for his presentations entitled: “What are your cows telling you?” He said: “Cow signals is all about looking at the cows for cues to see how well you are doing with cow management and how you’re doing with their housing as well.

“Harper Adams has a really interesting dairy set up - they’ve recently become clients of the practice and it’s been great to get involved and actually it’s interesting to see that the new dairy facilities have taken on board a lot of the cow signals principles: good light, air, space, cow comfort and a stress-free calving line. It’s fantastic to see those in place but there’s always work that we can do to improve what we’ve got.”

DairyCo’s Jo Speed, who gave two Cow Tracks presentations, said she thought the event was an “excellent opportunity”. “Today I’m talking about the practicalities of setting up a cow track,” she explained. “I want farmers to think about how you would identify if you’ve got a problem and if you might want to set up something like a cow track. I’m thinking, in particular, of an increase in lameness… It’s thinking about why you might need one and how you plan one.”

Jo added: “I was a student here 10 years ago. I did an animal science degree and got an excellent job when I graduated. I think the new dairy is a brilliant learning facility and for a day like this, to base a Dairy Tech Day, it’s just an excellent opportunity."

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