proAction Advisor Training
Supporting Canadian Dairy’s National Quality Assurance Program
Ensuring optimal health and well-being has always been a top priority for Canadian dairy farmers. Farmers understand that happy and healthy cows leads to more efficient milk production and consumer satisfaction. This sort of thinking is what led to the development of proAction, the Canadian dairy industry’s national quality assurance program (www.dairyfarmers.ca/proaction); designed by farmers, for farmers.
With proAction, farmers are able to provide objective proof to consumers that they are constantly striving to produce safe, high-quality milk while continually improving animal health and welfare, environmental sustainability. It incorporates over 75 on-farm requirements that address 6 key themes:
- Milk Quality
- Food Safety
- Animal Care
- Livestock Traceability
- Environmental Sustainability
ACER Helps to Create proAction Advisors in Ontario
Each province in Canada is responsible for the implementation of proAction. In Ontario, the Dairy Farmers of Ontario (DFO) lead the way. In 2014, the DFO decided to support Ontario dairy farmers in preparing for proAction by subsidizing training and support from their herd health veterinarians. The DFO hired ACER to develop and implement a train-the-trainer program for Ontario veterinarians to turn them into proAction “advisors” for their clients.
Since 2014, ACER has delivered over 15 workshops across Ontario, training over 175 veterinarians on proAction in that time. ACER have also developed a proAction advisor manual, numerous online webinars and video resources, and provide routine presentations to the DFO and Ontario Association of Bovine Practitioners on best practices for proAction training.
Focusing in on Biosecurity and Animal Care Priorities in 2019
The biosecurity module of proAction (https://www.dairyfarmers.ca/proaction#biosecurity) is set to come into force in September 2019. So Drs. Steven Roche and Dan Shock hit the road again, holding 8 workshops across Ontario to approximately 175 veterinarians.
The training educates veterinarians on the core biosecurity requirements (completion of an on-farm risk assessment, developing numerous Standard Operating Procedures) and covers priority animal care issues, such as lameness, downed cow corrective actions, and improving assessment of fitness for transport of cull cows.
The training model closely resembles the Focus Farm approach developed and evaluated by Dr. Steven Roche during his PhD. This model employed an in-class training session, followed by delivery of on-farm training session. This approach helps to provide dairy producers with the knowledge and practical advice they need to make on-farm changes to meet the goals proAction has set to ensure Canada’s dairy industry is a world leader.
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Dairy Farmers of Ontario