Promoting farm advisor engagement and action toward the improvement of dairy cattle lameness

Wynands, E. M., Roche, S. M., Cramer, G. and Ventura, B. (2022) Promoting farm advisor engagement and action toward the improvement of dairy cattle lameness. Journal of Dairy Science . ISSN 0022-0302

Full content URL: https://doi.org/10.3168/jds.2021-21745

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Promoting farm advisor engagement and action toward the improvement of dairy cattle lameness
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Abstract

Lameness represents a significant management challenge in the dairy industry worldwide. In addition to farmers, many advisors are involved in lameness management, including veterinarians, hoof trimmers, and nutritionists. These advisors support farmers through lameness prevention practices, treatments, and advice, but little is known about how advisors view others' roles and the extent to which they work together. This study used qualitative participatory methods to facilitate the formation of lameness advisory groups among 13 advisors (4 veterinarians, 5 hoof trimmers, and 4 nutritionists), with the aims of promoting advisors' engagement with one another and documenting their perceptions of the benefits and challenges of the research activities through semi-structured interviews and thematic analysis. Participants shared predominantly positive views toward the project and voiced appreciation about the quality of discussions and the opportunity to connect and build relationships with other advisors. Participants reported improved communication with others via sharing reports and farm information, as well as increased confidence in reaching out to other advisors. Reported challenges included time constraints and discomfort in leading the lameness advisory group meetings. Difficulties were also found in bringing issues to farmers' attention when they might not align with the farmers' goals or priorities, as well as participants' questioning other advisors' knowledge and intentions. This study describes a promising avenue of facilitating advisor engagement, although more work is needed to determine whether such engagement translates to a reduction of lameness on farms.

Keywords:stakeholder engagement, communication, animal welfare
Subjects:L Social studies > L990 Social studies not elsewhere classified
D Veterinary Sciences, Agriculture and related subjects > D300 Animal Science
D Veterinary Sciences, Agriculture and related subjects > D420 Livestock
Divisions:College of Science > School of Life Sciences
ID Code:49706
Deposited On:07 Jun 2022 12:48

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