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TAS Country : June 23rd 2011
ne 24, 2011 15 Wright. Picture: CHRIS KIDD cess LOOKING AHEAD: Brent Anstis, VDL manager non-dairy and development, inspects a wallaby-proof fence, right, and left, chief executive Nicola Morris, with an aerial shot of part of the VDL property. BIG STAKE: Share farmer Jan Johnston feeds some of her calves. The share farmers are a vital part of the system. fencing has resulted in happier cows and im- proved pasture, Mr Niven said. ''Cows don't want to eat grass that wallabies have been on,'' he said. Improved culverts and walkways have gone in, with 200 new culverts built in the last three months. ''It's hard work when you try and get cows in and out of muddy paddocks, they have to walk in and out of a big swamp,'' Mr Niven said. ''Improving the ground they walk on prevents lameness.'' Three dairy sheds have been replaced and improvements made to cow entry and exits. Concreted walkways and correct drainage have improved cattle flow and staff use. ''It's all Nicola's work, she has transformed this business,'' Mr Niven said. There are four pillars that support VDL, he said. ''People, cows, inputs and other assets like sheds, tractors, dirt, fertiliser and animal health. ''There has been considerable improvement in the cows, we have better people, the right person in the right role, it's more of that which will fuel our future success. ''We've got a heap of areas to improve on, our utilisation of pasture, that's the future, the farms have improved and will keep improving.'' Mr Niven said the big difference between VDL and individual farms is that VDL is a story of corporate agriculture driven by the success of each individual farm. People can see a future for themselves in VDL, Mr Niven said. ''We attract staff because we have succession plans. ''They can start off milking cows, go on to manage a 300-cow dairy and, in time, manage a 1000-cow farm and they are supported with industry experts all the way.'' VDL is setting the standards for the develop- ment of staff and opportunity for training within an organisation, Mr Niven said.
June 16th 2011
June 30th 2011