Better dairy hygiene products and advice can help farmers to boost animal health and productivity, and SHEPHERD AGRI is focusing heavily in this area with a new appointment.
Sue Ridge, who has been a dairy farmer, mastitis consultant, and after-sales manager at both GEA and Boumatic, has joined the SHEPHERD AGRI team as a new dairy hygiene product manager.
“Sue has a lifetime experience in this sector and her ability to troubleshoot on farm will be a welcome new resource for us and our farmers,” says Graham Shepherd, CEO at SHEPHERD AGRI. “Animal health and wellbeing sit at the heart of everything we do, and Sue’s vast experience will help our customers produce great quality milk from healthy and productive cows.”
Although Mrs Ridge didn’t grow up on a farm, she always wanted to milk cows. “I kept my horse on a farm and loved helping out, so I applied to study agriculture at Myerscough College, specialising in dairy. I did six months’ work experience on a beef and sheep farm and 18 months on a dairy farm, and then went on to do trial work in nutrition at the college,” she says.
A lecturer then asked her to run an embryo transfer programme on their farm, after which Mrs Ridge moved to Farmers Guardian, selling display advertising. “I worked my way up to senior national account manager, but the higher I got the further away I moved from real farming, so I took a job with Genus as a mastitis consultant.”
This came at a time when bactoscan and somatic cell count bands were introduced, so farmers needed a lot of help to reduce their levels, much of which involved improving hygiene.
Mrs Ridge then married a dairy farmer, milking 400 cows between two units, and after having two children became secretary of the Western Holstein Club, before starting a 10-year stint at GEA as dairy hygiene manager. Unfortunately, Covid then intervened, after which she moved to Boumatic in the same role.
“I’ve known and worked with Chris and Graham Shepherd for many years, and I’m really looking forward to being part of their team,” she explains. “They provide exactly what farmers need, and my role will be to add value to those products by troubleshooting problems on-farm. It’s all about filling farmers’ needs, not selling products for the sake of selling.”
SHEPHERD AGRI – headed up by brothers Graham, a vet; and Chris, who specialised in agri-business marketing and finance – manufactures and sells a wide range of animal health products, as well as installing and servicing dairy engineering equipment. Its vision is to help farmers produce more and better quality food from happy, healthy animals, so that producers can boost profits and reinvest in their farm.
“As a company, we want to grow dairy hygiene sales in order to meet our vision and goals – and the opportunity to recruit Sue was one that we did not want to miss,” says Graham. “We are looking forward to her getting out on the road, visiting farmers and helping them to have the best possible systems in place for their cows.”
For more information visit shepherdagri.co.uk.
SHEPHERD AGRI is headed up by brothers Graham and Chris Shepherd. Graham is a vet and manages the animal health enterprise, G Shepherd Animal Health, which manufactures and sells a wide range of animal health products, including equipment, nutraceuticals and disinfectants.
Chris, who previously specialised in genetics, agri-business marketing and finance, runs the dairy engineering enterprise; Shepherd Dairy Services, installing and servicing dairy engineering equipment.
The company’s mission is to help farmers produce more and better quality food from happy, healthy animals, so that producers can boost profits and reinvest in their farm.
For more information or to interview Graham or Chris, contact Olivia Cooper at Agri-hub on [email protected] or call 01392 840009.