Vets launch online training for farmers

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Farmers and their staff can now access Red Tractor accredited veterinary training online, to complete in their own time and gain Dairy Pro points.

Synergy Farm Health, which already delivers a wide variety of farmer training in-person, has developed a new online training platform, to cater for those who struggle to make physical workshops.

“Our experience is that attending courses in person often proves challenging for a variety of reasons for farm staff, but there is an ever-increasing demand for quality training to meet milk buyer/Red Tractor requirements,” says Pete O’Malley, vet at Synergy Farm Health. “There is a lack of quality online training available for the production animal industry – but there is definite demand for training farm staff in subjects like youngstock health, medicine training, and downer cows. This doesn’t necessarily have to be delivered one-to-one, they can be studied at the individual’s convenience.”

The courses – which are bite-sized modules of video learning followed by an online test at the end – have taken some time to create, and the first to become available is Safe Use of Veterinary Medicines in Cattle. This will soon be followed by Safe Use of Veterinary Medicines in Sheep, care of the downer cow, cattle handling, lameness management, and youngstock health management.

Trainees can undertake the courses in their own time, and once successfully completed, receive a certificate and DairyPro points, which can be used for their Red Tractor assurance. “We know that farmers have difficult working hours and limited travelling time,” says Mr O’Malley. “Hopefully this online training overcomes those obstacles.”

Rhian Baker at FAW Bakers, Rushywood Farm, Somerset, has already been using the system for training farm staff. “The Synergy Farm training platform creates an easy way to train our staff and keep a record of their progress, using the MCQ assessments to assess operator knowledge,” she explains. “We use it both as a part of an induction process and for refresher training. Since rolling the training out it has received positive feedback from our team.”

Mr O’Malley hopes that the training will help farmers across the UK and further afield. “We have carefully designed our learning platform to be video-based, accessible from either a computer or your phone, incorporating subtitles and translation tools to ensure our training is accessible to as many people as possible.”

Synergy will be officially launching the online training at the Dairy Show on October 4 (a press briefing is being held at stand 219 at 10.00-10.45). Staff will be on hand to give live demonstrations and answer any questions producers might have. For more information visit