Veterinarians play a critical role in animal health and well-being and are part of the key decision-making process within any production unit. The young students currently enrolled at the Faculty of Veterinary Science at the University of Pretoria (Onderstepoort) are the future of our large animal veterinary practices, and it is these inspiring individuals that will meet the needs of tomorrow’s agricultural industry.
In 2018, Chemuniqué and Zinpro Corporation joined forces as one of the main sponsors for the Onderstepoort Feedlot and Dairy School. This school forms part of the final year elective module and plays a critical role in developing the students’ understanding of industry challenges they will face once they complete their studies. The Feedlot and Dairy School is particularly popular with students as large animal veterinary medicine has a clear career demand because beef, lamb, and dairy production are key to meet the animal protein requirements of a growing human population.
Drs Shaun Morris and Martin van der Leek oversee the content and training during these elective weeks and collaborate with a number of industry professionals to ensure that the programme is valuable and relevant. The students spend one week on-farm at either a feedlot or dairy production unit to practise what they have learnt, before returning to the classroom for a week of intensive discussions and lectures by industry professionals including veterinarians, nutritionists, and key role players.
Jackie Tucker, the ruminant team lead at Chemuniqué, and Wiaan Faber, Chemuniqué’s feedlot and beef specialist, presented some of the lectures last year. “It is critical for veterinarians and nutritionists to work more closely together on farms if we are to optimise animal production efficiencies”, says Tucker. She believes it is important for veterinarians to understand the link between minerals and inflammation. “If we can control inflammation, we are more than halfway along in our mission to grow healthier animals and prevent disease,” she says. “In addition, optimising mineral nutrition is a key component in the movement away from antibiotics.”
Both Chemuniqué and Zinpro Corporation believe in the importance of knowledge-sharing and are passionate about the education of all role players within the agricultural industry. They take great care in connecting with customers to understand and meet the needs of today, as well as tomorrow. “In this way we can continue improving efficiencies in animal production, while making sure animal well-being remains a priority,” says Tucker.
Photo caption: The final year veterinary students that participated in the 2018 Onderstepoort Feedlot and Dairy School.
Contact: Robyn Joubert
Phone: 074 252 3333