Veterinarian Stacey Bateman has been working with farmers in his area to improve their herd performance, using information and resources on feed management and nutrition from DairyNZ's FeedRight programme.

He'd been on other DairyNZ levy-funded training courses and decided he needed a good grounding in nutrition to provide a proper advisory service to his farmers.

"FeedRight training seemed a very good fit to complete the suite of services," the Taranaki vet says. "I've applied the tools on a couple of farms so far. You can use it as part of a whole advisory package, or in a trouble-shooting capacity."

One of the farmers Bateman has been helping is Warea contract milker Scott Gawler.


"We were finding our first season here pretty daunting and this has really helped," says Gawler.

"We had a bit of an issue with overweight cows at calving.

"Using the FeedChecker tool with Stacey has helped us identify how much feed and minerals to use.

"We'll definitely use other FeedRight tools to help us make decisions later this season around feed budgets and dry off."

Okato farmer Jimmy Quay says he also heard about FeedRight from Bateman.

"We had a small amount of milk fever on the platform and we able to use FeedChecker and the FeedRight information to identify what was needed," Quay says.

"Stacey showed us how easy FeedChecker was to use and understand.

"It gives you plenty of information to think about and help you make decisions. It also helped us to catch things early."

Bateman says he's also used FeedRight with a herd fertility focus group he runs, receiving great feedback.

"FeedRight's package of tools and information covering the fundamentals of nutrition help to answer the common questions that come up through the season.

"I believe rural professionals will find they can easily integrate FeedRight into the services they already provide. It's not a one-size-fits-all programme.

"Being a vet, I obviously approach nutrition from an animal health point of view, but other rural professionals will be able to use the information and tools for their own line of work.

"I think being 'FeedRight-trained' is an advantage for our business and will be for other rural professionals, as well as farmers."