The GB Dairy Calf Strategy is a cross-industry campaign, spearheaded by AHDB and the NFU, and aims to ensure that all dairy-bred calves are reared with care and for a purpose – as part of either the dairy or beef supply chains.
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The inaugural Great British Calf Week will take place between 2 and 9 February 2022, to celebrate the progress that has been made by the industry since the launch of the GB Dairy Calf Strategy in 2020 and raise awareness of the work of the strategy and how farmers can be involved.

The week will include a series of online events, webinars and farm walks, each focussing on a different aspect of successful calf management. Topics include practical on-farm approaches, such as colostrum management, to more strategic issues, such as genetics and selecting the right sire for your dairy-cross calves. Labour, skills and enterprise management will also be featured. The event offers farmers a unique opportunity to hear from recognised experts in the field, and to have all your questions answered.

‘The Great British Calf Week will celebrate all the progress that has been made through the GB Dairy Calf strategy’ said Nic Parsons, Head of Dairy Development at AHDB. ‘Farmers will also be able to hear from a range of speakers talking about ways to maximise calf health and nutrition, for example, to make sure each animal reaches its full potential. Making targeted breeding decisions is another way that farmers can increase the value of their calves, ensuring each calf born is fit for its intended purpose.’

As an industry stakeholder in the GB Dairy Calf Strategy, Chris Dodds, Executive Secretary of the Livestock Auctioneers Association (LAA) is supportive of the initiative. ‘It is important that every calf is presented for sale in good health and with as much supportive health information as is available, to ensure a strong market value is achieved. The LAA supports the Great British Calf Week to promote this information, as we continue to work with our members to further strengthen the benefits of the live auction system in offering calf producers a fair and true marketplace for their animals.’

Another industry stakeholder involved in developing the Calf Week programme is NFU Cymru Milk Board Chair, Abi Reader. She adds, ‘The Great British Calf Week offers farmers a wide programme of events in which they can engage with the efforts of the strategy so far to work towards the elimination of routine euthanasia on farm, by 2023. I am proud to be involved in this week and would urge other farmers to get involved and learn more and find out more about opportunities that may work for them in their own calf management systems.’

 

To find out more about what’s on offer during the week and how to register for events, please click here

United Dairyfarmers of Victoria members have instructed their organisation to lobby the Victorian Government to abandon its plan to cut agricultural staff.

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