Always improving competition winners

During National Fieldays® we ran an always improving competition. We asked for submissions on improvements dairy farmers had made over the years and how we helped make these happen.

We thank everyone that entered for the time and thought put in. The following are the three winning submissions.

Naomi and Mark Mossop – Manawatu

Mum and Dad had a small herd with 80 cows. They used an all paper office system and were involved with the Sire Proving Scheme. 

35 years on and we have 280 cows, averaging 500kgMS/cow. Naomi and I have completed LIC Artificial Insemination training and are now doing our own insemination. We have learnt heaps from training courses and support through the help of the whole LIC team. We’ve managed to grow our production and improve the herd to a level we are happy with. In 2016 we won third place for equity farmers in the New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards (Manawatu Area). 

Mum and Dad had a small herd with 80 cows. They used an all paper office system and were involved with the Sire Proving Scheme.

Naomi and Mark Mossop – Manawatu

Fraser McGougan – Eastern Bay of Plenty

LIC has provided the best genetics for our herd since, well forever. BMC stands for Bay McGougan showing the forethought that my father and grandfather put into breeding. This will continue for future generations with my sons or daughter inheriting the best of LIC breeding for their future that will safeguard their future.  Thank you to everyone for your hard work for us. 

This will continue for future generations with my sons or daughter inheriting the best of LIC breeding for their future that will safeguard their future.

Fraser McGougan – Eastern Bay of Plenty

Deb Connelly – Waikato 

We started dairy farming 5 years ago. Since then we have always been looking for new ways to improve our farming practices and our herd, and have consistently worked with LIC to achieve this. Four years ago we started nominating our best cows, utilising LIC’s knowledge and expertise to pick the bulls that are right for our cows and our herd. We are seeing the improvements of these matings coming through into the herd and are very impressed with the contribution they are making now and will continue to through their progeny in generations to come.

MINDA LIVE has also made significant improvements to our management practices. It just keeps getting better all the time and during the last season I have definitely enjoyed some of the new features. The reports have especially saved a lot of time because of the ability to create, save and edit our own custom groups and reports. We can highlight cows and rank a particular group based on any particular attribute. It has made culling and mob sorting decisions so much easier and faster than previous years.

Last year we installed Protrack into our shed. It is absolutely wonderful! From everyday drafting individual cows (e.g. lame or AI cows during mating) to drafting groups of cows for specific purposes (e.g. CIDR cows). We lease our own runoff block, so dry off cows and bring them home in small groups. Protrack has just been a life-saver over the last few weeks. We can set up groups in MINDA LIVE days before, and at the end of milking we will have our 3 groups of cows (teat seal only, antibiotic and teat seal, and milking cows) all ready and waiting. I then have an accurate record of who received what treatment and exactly when those cows went out to grazing. 

We will continue to look for new ways to improve our herd and management practices and will keep an eye on LIC’s innovations.

My dream for the future is to one day move to Genemark DNA testing of our herd to ensure the total accuracy of our records.