The winner of last year’s livestock Biosecurity Farmer of the Year award is calling on fellow producers to highlight the benefits of sound on-farm biosecurity by nominating for this year’s award.
Former veterinarian Dr Rod Hoare runs the 330 acre ‘Cadfor’ at Binda in the NSW Southern Tablelands with partner Helena Warren, where they breed Murray Grey cattle and run a horse riding school.
He said receiving the award was a humbling experience, while the subsequent publicity was good for business.
“The award generated plenty of media interest, particularly locally, and any publicity is good publicity,” Dr Hoare said. “The award has certainly has given us more exposure.”
Decades of experience working for the NSW Department of Primary Industries taught Dr Hoare to carefully plan and take action to protect against potential risks such as strangles, herpes viral abortion and resistant parasites at his equestrian centre.
He also prepared for cattle disease risks such as bovine Johne’s disease, which could be potentially contracted from neighbouring properties or if cattle were taken to shows. Cadfor’s stud breeding herd is protected by minimising the number of introduced animals and careful selection of purchased stock.
These days, Dr Hoare encourages his fellow graziers to implement good biosecurity for the benefit of the entire industry.
“Biosecurity awareness seems to be a gentle and evolutionary process,” he said. “A lot of things now get taken for granted among stud owners in particular, such as being free of brucellosis, tuberculosis and Johne’s disease, or standard courses of vaccination.
“But I believe that the average Australian grazing farmer still does not think about biosecurity enough. With declarations such as the Cattle Health Statement, vendors should be offering it and purchasers should be requiring it. The more people do that, the more people start to demand it.”
The revised National Cattle Health Statement was released last year and is available to download from the Declarations and Statements page.
“For me, getting nominated was a surprise, but the best thing to do is to lead by example,” Dr Hoare added. “If you’ve been running a biosecurity regime that works, I encourage you to nominate and tell that story to the world.”
Hosted by Kondinin Group and ABC Rural and sponsored by Animal Health Australia and Plant Health Australia , the Biosecurity Farmer of the Year award is part of the Australian Farmer of the Year Awards. It publicly recognises the efforts of producers dedicated to keeping their operations free of diseases, pests and weeds.
Nominations close on Friday 2 August, with the awards ceremony to be held in Melbourne on 12 September. For more information, or to nominate yourself or someone else, visit www.farmeroftheyear.com.au , email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1800 677 761.