Dairy Veterinarian Uses Dairy Care365® for Training and SOPs

The best animal care has always been a priority for Sara Hanson de Peralta, D.V.M., associate veterinarian, Mayville Animal Clinic in Mayville, Wisconsin. Not growing up on a farm herself, Dr. Sara pursued a degree in veterinary medicine because she liked the idea of taking care of cows in a way that satisfies consumers and keeps them buying dairy products.

“When it comes to animal care, farmers care about their livestock as much as other people care about their pets. But livestock animals have a purpose, which is to produce food,” says Dr. Sara, who spends about 95 percent of her time with dairy clientele, and travels to dairies within an hour’s driving distance of the clinic.

Dr. Sara follows Dairy Care365 practices during all her visits and uses them as the basis for the animal welfare program on the dairies. “Most of my SOPs for handling come straight from Dairy Care365 templates,” she explains. “I tailor them for each farm.”

Applicable, real-life training

“The dairies I work with greatly benefit from the Dairy Care365 training modules,” says Dr. Sara. “All employees at the farms watch the videos. They are especially beneficial in teaching proper animal handling. Employees can relate to what they see in the videos. They gain a better understanding of animal behavior, especially understanding things like blind spots.”

“In fact, when I play the training video that describes a cow’s blind spot, it visually clicks with the employees. They have all stood directly behind a cow and pushed on her in an effort to get her to move forward, but all she does is turn and look behind her. Employees usually laugh at this part in the video because they have all been in that situation many times.”

Dr. Sara has noticed that employees on many of her farms have difficulties moving fresh heifers to the parlor. “I am able to use the training modules and describe tips that the producer or I have tried to make that process smoother,” she says. “Then I tie that into milk letdown and milk production to demonstrate that what employees do on a daily basis really does affect the outcome.”

“Dairy Care365 has changed the way I do my job.”

—Dr. Sara Hanson de Peralta, Mayville Animal Clinic

Proper animal handling is key

Dr. Sara says employee training is a priority for her clients. “I see all the resources farmers put into training their employees,” she says. “Animal handling and welfare are important to them.”

“Dairy Care365 has changed the way I do my job. If I am having difficulty moving an animal, I am more likely to stop and re-evaluate what I am doing and change something in my approach, instead of getting frustrated with that animal.”

The formula for a smooth and successful dairy operation includes attention to animal handling and to the relationship between producer, veterinarian and employees, according to Dr. Sara. “It takes a team effort with a singular focus of animal care. If that is accomplished, the success of the business will follow.”

To experience the benefits of Dairy Care365 on your dairy or calf ranch, register or login today.