Thursday, 11 July 2024 08:55

Planning with farm team to reduce stress at calving

Written by  Staff Reporters
Calving is one of the busiest times of the year on the farm. Calving is one of the busiest times of the year on the farm.

Planning and preparing for calving with your farm team will reduce stress when calving is in full swing, and will help keep everyone safe and healthy.

Calving is one of the busiest times of the year. Spend time with your team prior to calving to create a plan that works for everyone and the results will follow.

Ensure you have everything you need prior to calving to help reduce stress, keep you on track from the get-go, and to create better outcomes for your team and animals.

To get your team onboard and performing at their best they need to:

  • Understand what you are trying to achieve and why
  • Understand what is expected of the
  • Feel respected and valued
  • Have time to recharge so they can maintain productivity on farm

Some simple suggestions to help build the platform for successful calving.

  1. Get your team involved - Make sure they know why you do things, how you'll do it together and what you are trying to achieve. Also, work with them to identify injury risk areas on your farm and potential solutions
  2. Make sure your roster is achievable - Making sure staff have adequate and regular time off to rest and recharge, helps to prevent fatigue which can lead to mistakes or compromise health and safety. If casual or relief staff are part of your plan, make sure you have access to them when you need them.
  3. Discuss and plan any upskilling your team members will need - his includes introducing new staff to your systems and processes.
  4. Ensure all appropriate PPE and tools are available for your team - this includes having the right footwear for the job with good grip, support and comfort. Also think about the best equipment to use for calf pickup, and for transferring heavy loads of milk and feed to calves.
  5. Make sure the whole team is eating wellensure everyone has 3 nutritious meals a day and access to snacks to maintain energy levels.
  6. Share what goes through your head as a manager - create a list of items you need for calving, and daily/weekly tasks to be completed, so everyone can help achieve them.
  7. Hold regular team meetings - five-minute stand-up meetings are most useful at this time of year so that everyone gets the same message and any minor frustrations can be dealt with. Use a simple agenda of ‘what happened yesterday’ and ‘what’s happening today.
  8. Work as a team and lead by example.
  9. Watch for signs of stress and fatiguethis includes yourself and in your staff. If you do notice any stress or fatigue, be proactive in dealing with it.
  10. Keep timesheets for all employees – it is good practice and you can reflect on them later to plan for next season
  11. Keep talking, coaching and providing feedback- celebrate success.

Article - DairyNZ

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