Education Policy | Post Primary | Preschool | Primary | Tertiary | Search

 

Milking once a day - you life back?

NEWS FROM AGRICULTURE AND LIFE SCIENCES DIVISION LINCOLN UNIVERSITY

Milking once a day - can it give you back your life?
By Janette Busch

Results from a pilot study undertaken by researchers from Farm Management at Lincoln University indicate that once-a-day milking has the potential to impact positively on the quality of life of both employers and employees on farms using once-a-day milking

Responses from farmers and farm employees and their families who were using once-a-day milking indicated that there were benefits to all those involved. Employers spoke about staff turnover, absenteeism, sick leave and accidents dropping dramatically and the employees and their families spoke about having shorter or more acceptable working hours, enhancement of family life and the prospect of a more balanced life style (“getting a life”) were attractive features of once-a-day milking.

Project Leader, Dr Rupert Tipples said that if once-a-day milking becomes more widely accepted than it currently is, it is possible that New Zealand may become a world leader and this may help sustain the industry’s comparative advantage in marketing and trade negotiations.

In New Zealand, once-a-day milking has been used previously in times of drought but in recent years the numbers of dairy farmers converting to once-a-day milking (OAD) has increased considerably.

In carrying out this preliminary investigation Dr Rupert Tipples and Mrs Nona Verwoerd used both traditional (questionnaires, case studies and focus groups) and non-traditional (transactional analysis and drawing pictures) research techniques to find out whether once-a-day milking may hold the possibility of dairy farming becoming socially sustainable in the future.

They used three groups of dairy farmers: new converters to OAD, those undecided about, and those opposed to, OAD as well as their employees and their families.
“As is usual in a pilot study the numbers of respondents involved were quite small but we knew it was important to be able to get some baseline data so we could then design a much larger project that will give some really robust data that the dairy industry will be able to use to recommend changes that will benefit the dairy industry as a whole,” said Dr Tipples.

“The problem for the dairy industry is that while it is a major part of the New Zealand economy, earning 53% of New Zealand’s total merchandise export value, the numbers of people working in the industry has decreased over recent years and the industry is increasingly finding itself lurching from one employment crisis to another,” said Dr Tipples.

“Previously, dairy farming has provided an employment opportunity for those strongly financially motivated. The ‘dairy farming ladder’ has allowed the farm worker/milker to advance through share farming to eventual property ownership. That prospect today appears less and less attractive to entrants to the industry and financially more and more unrealistic.”

“More research is needed into the employment and human issues connected with OAD milking,” said Dr Tipples, “because it is hardly likely to resolve all the employment, recruitment and retention problems facing a modern dairy farmer but our preliminary work shows that there are very real and significant benefits reported by farmers who have taken the plunge and converted to OAD. “

Dr Tipples has recently presented this research at the Pacific Employment Relations Association conference in Australia where it was well received.


ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 
Legendary Bassist David Friesen Plays Wellington’s Newest Jazz Venue

Friesen is touring New Zealand to promote his latest album Another Time, Another Place, recorded live at Auckland's Creative Jazz Club in 2015. More>>

Howard Davis Review: The Father - Descending Into The Depths of Dementia

Florian Zeller's dazzling drama The Father explores the effects of a deeply unsettling illness that affects 62,000 Kiwis, a number expected to grow to 102,000 by 2030. More>>


Howard Davis Review: Blade Runner Redivivus

When Ridley Scott's innovative, neo-noir, sci-fi flick Blade Runner was originally released in 1982, at a cost of over $45 million, it was a commercial bomb. More>>

14-21 October: New Zealand Improv Festival In Wellington

Imagined curses, Shibuya’s traffic, the apocalypse, and motherhood have little in common, but all these and more serve as inspiration for the eclectic improvised offerings coming to BATS Theatre this October for the annual New Zealand Improv Festival. More>>

ALSO:

Bird Of The Year Off To A Flying Start

The competition asks New Zealanders to vote for their favourite bird in the hopes of raising awareness of the threats they face. More>>

Scoop Review Of Books:
Jenny Abrahamson's John & Charles Enys: Castle Hill Runholders, 1864-1891

This volume will be of interest to a range of readers interested in the South Island high country, New Zealand’s natural environment, and the history of science. More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • CULTURE
  • HEALTH
  • EDUCATION
 
 
  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland