Teach milkers new tricks
SOUTH Gippsland farmers wondering if they should attend upcoming Cups On Cups Off courses should listen to what a farmer from the other side of the region has to say.
Peter Jennings from Bruthen recently sent two of his employees to a course in Orbost and was taken aback by the results.
“I can’t believe how reinvigorated they are after this course,” he said.
“They now want to do things, not only properly, but even better than before. I can’t believe we had such a good result.”
GippsDairy’s Cups On Cups Off (COCO) courses, which will be held in Fish Creek during March and Leongatha in April, have one overriding goal: to help farmers and milking teams become better skilled in routine practices to manage milk quality and reduce the risk of mastitis.
Mastitis and milk quality affect the bottom line of all dairy farms, with every case of clinical mastitis costing at least $270 in treatment costs and lost milk.
COCO is a two-day training course delivered by the National Centre for Dairy Education (NCDE) and Countdown 2020 trained experts in mastitis and milk quality. It helps dairy farmers achieve best practice in milk harvesting, with the emphasis on the detection, treatment and prevention of clinical mastitis.
COCO covers the whole of the milking process including mastitis management and the roles of people in the dairy. The course is suitable for anyone on a dairy farm who milks cows – from farm owners, managers and sharefarmers to family members and farm employees.
This training has already helped many dairy farmers to reduce the spread of mastitis and lower the risk of clinical cases of mastitis in their herds.
how and why mastitis infections occur;
practical methods to detect and deal with mastitis; and
adapting your milking process to reduce the risk of infection.
For Peter Jennings the course had the unexpected benefit of boosting enthusiasm and morale in the milking shed.
“The biggest surprise to me is that they now feel like they have a skill,” he said.
“They were already good milkers at detecting mastitis and things like that, but going to a professional course made them feel like they aren’t just milkers, they are skilled employees and that their skills are actually valued and appreciated.”
GippsDairy regional extension officer Louise Sundermann said statistics backed up Peter’s experience from the COCO course.
“Dairy Australia has done research that shows 90 percent of farms where mastitis was a major problem reported significant improvements after doing the COCO course,” she said.
“It’s a program that, using dairy service levy funds, puts knowledge and skills into the hands of farmers who can make a genuine difference to outcomes in the milking shed and to their bottom line.”
The Fish Creek course will be held on March 16 (Day 1) and March 23 (Day 2), with the Leongatha course on April 19 (Day 1) and April 26 (Day 2).
First day programs will run from 9.30am to 2.30pm with the second day from 10am to 1pm.
To register your interest in a Cups On Cups Off course contact Louise on 0428 573 909 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Courses cost $180, but dairy company subsidies may be available.
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