XLVets farm practices have successfully held a one of a kind four-day “Transition Cow Roadshow” spanning the country with Canadian vet and professor in dairy cattle health management, Dr Stephen LeBlanc. At regional on-farm meetings from north to south, Stephen spoke alongside UK experts to offer insight into proactive transition cow health and dairy cattle management to over 200 farmers, in addition to holding Q&A sessions for vets from XLVets member practices. Committed to working with farmers towards long-term growth in the UK livestock industry, XLVets utilised their shared resources and engaged community to plan and host the unparalleled event.
Project managing the roadshow was Alice Renner, XLVets Farm Animal Marketing Executive, who commented “This roadshow is a wonderful example of what XLVets stands for. A community of independent, proactive vets, who come together to share resources and ideas to further push clinical excellence within the group. Farmers attending the event enjoyed Stephen’s knowledgeable, pragmatic, and challenging approach, our inspirational host farms also provided many new ideas with all attendees taking home actionable changes for the improvement of their own operations. The roadshow was a huge success among both farmers and vets and we extend our gratitude to Stephen for his time and expertise.”
Dr Stephen LeBlanc is the Director of Dairy at Guelph, the Centre for Dairy Research and Innovation, and has made significant contributions to the dairy sector over more than two decades. His research focuses on transition cow management, which is why Nick Gibbon from Belmont Farm & Equine Vets suggested the farm practices in the XLVets community should invite him to share his knowledge.
Nick comments, “Transition cow management can be a complex topic but it’s one with such potential to make a real difference to herd health and performance. That’s why when I had the idea to invite Stephen to speak, the other practices were on board. Numerous member practices have been involved in curating this idea and it simply wouldn’t have been possible to have pulled this off without the team effort. Huge thanks to everyone at XLVets that have been involved with flying Stephen over and arranging this unique roadshow.”
Travelling from north to south, XLVets practices hosted four sessions across the country. In each region, practices within that area invited 60 forward thinking farmers to attend an on-farm 6-hour session with Dr LeBlanc, in which he offered insight on topics ranging from metabolic profiling to troubleshooting for transition cows. The interactive sessions were designed to give farmers the chance to ask questions, discuss new approaches and share ideas. Evening Q&A sessions for over 70 vets followed the on-farm sessions, providing a valuable CPD opportunity for those looking to enhance their herd health expertise.
Alongside Dr LeBlanc, each region hosted an additional expert speaker. Professor Alastair Macrae, Personal Chair of Farm Animal Health and Production at the University of Edinburgh, Chris Hudson, Clinical Associate Professor in Dairy Health and Production at the University of Nottingham, and Richard Cooper, RCVS Specialist in Cattle Health and Production at Map of Ag, all offered their own expert input into the latest approaches to transition cow management.
The farm practices within the XLVets community are dedicated to providing high quality service to their farming clients, and they extend this beyond providing simple healthcare. The roadshow is just one example of how they provide added value to farmers, offering advice, guidance and consultancy to help them achieve long-term growth. To find out more about the XLVets farm community, visit www.xlvets.co.uk/the-boss