Dear DFI readers,
It’s been a wonderful year. When we first started this blog in February, I was half-convinced that no one would read it. That the only subscribers would be myself, my boss, and maybe my mother if I could persuade her that I wouldn’t send spam. I’d heard the stereotype that the dairy industry was full of crusty blokes who didn’t like new technology and didn’t have time to read a ‘blog’. So what was I getting myself in for?
Well… here we are in December, with 100+ subscribers, and over 6,500 views of the articles I’ve written. I feel really proud to work in an industry full of people who are determined to keep learning and growing; who seek to inform themselves of the latest research outcomes, and to constantly improve fertility on-farm.
I get a lot of emails from farmers through the blog, and also work closely with a few in my ‘day job’. Through this, I’ve seen with my own eyes farmers go from struggling to survive, to industry best. Farmers having to make new goals for themselves because they’ve smashed through the old set. I’ve been privileged to view these triumphs, and want to share these with any farmers who may have given up on herd fertility, to persuade them to keep on trying. I hope that the blog can stand as a resource for those in a similar boat, aspiring to make a change.
Seeing farmers make progress has been the most satisfying thing about being an extension officer. Unfortunately, from next year onwards, I’ll no longer be working in this capacity. Instead, I’ll be a full-time dairy vet for the Rochester Veterinary Clinic, and researching dairy fertility in my own right as part of the University of Melbourne dairy clinical residency program. I’m really excited about these changes, but sad to leave at the same time.
So… what will become of the blog? The short answer is that I don’t know yet. I’d love to keep on writing, but it isn’t my decision to make. However, as soon as I know what’s happening, I’ll be sure to keep you informed. Either way, I’m taking a (much-anticipated) Christmas blog break, and I hope to see the rest of you looking bright and perky and ready to share ideas about dairy fertility next year.
In the meantime, I’d like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year. May your six-week-in-calf rates be high, and your profits even higher!
The Dairy Fertility Investigator