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Calving events equip farmers with skills and knowledge

Calving events equip farmers with skills and knowledge

DairyNZ is launching two training events to provide dairy farmers with a road map for a successful, risk-free calving season.

The Bobby Calf Focus and CalvingSmart events are part of a wider caring for calves programme designed to equip farmers with the skills, knowledge and resources to ensure that calves receive the best start to life. The events are free to levy-paying farmers and their staff.

Bobby Calf Focus

Fifty-seven Bobby Calf Focus events will be delivered by vets and held around the country in May and June. The interactive 1.5 hour workshop has been developed by DairyNZ to give farm owners and managers the knowledge to clearly understand their responsibilities and provide them with tools for communicating messages to calf rearers.

Topics will include fit for transport requirements, loading facilities, good staff management, and information about the proposed changes to the animal welfare minimum standards.


Everyone in the farm team can boost their skills and knowledge at one of 17 CalvingSmart events in June and July. The one day event is split into sessions for different experience levels.

Those new on farm, or within their first couple of seasons, can learn how to identify the signs of calving, stages of labour and normal and abnormal calf presentation. By the end of the sessions, participants will know how to handle newborn calves safely, why it’s important to feed colostrum and why and how to record births. Wellbeing tips will also be shared to help farmers stay healthy through the season.

For on-farm decision makers, there are sessions on new colostrum research, simple low cost management strategies, managing staff and details of the proposed changes to the animal welfare minimum standards.

DairyNZ’s animal husbandry and welfare team manager Chris Leach says animal welfare is at the heart of good farming practice.

“Our responsibility for the wellbeing of stock starts at birth and continues, not only while they are in our care, but also beyond the farm gate.

“Everyone on-farm has a part to play to ensure that all animals are treated with respect and cared for in a healthy and safe environment. Ensuring that we have high standards of animal husbandry and welfare on our farms is good for us, our farm teams, our animals, our industry, and New Zealand’s reputation.”

For more details on the events and to order resources visit


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