Emily Gascoigne of Synergy Farm Health in Evershot, near Dorchester has been named Farm Educator of the Year in the Ceva Animal Welfare Awards. Emily, who is a RCVS Recognised Specialist in Sheep Health and Production, is known for going the extra mile to share her knowledge with local farmers as well as other vets. Her commitment to training is shared by her practice, Synergy Farm Health, a locally owned independent practice which provides high-quality veterinary services to farmers across Dorset, south Somerset, east Devon and Wiltshire. The team at Synergy offers courses and workshops to help farmers improve animal health and welfare and translate this into better business results.
The Ceva Farm Educator of the Year Award celebrates a remarkable individual who dedicates their lives to research and education on improving farm animal welfare. Amongst local farmers and her veterinary colleagues, Emily has built up a strong reputation in this area. As a practising sheep vet she is actively involved in research, and she also leads some student teaching as well as steering sheep farmer training at Synergy Farm Health. She also regularly contributes to the farming and veterinary press and plays an active part in several veterinary associations.
Emily describes how pleased she is to receive the award from Ceva. “I’m delighted to be named Farm Educator of the Year,” she says. “Training is a huge part of my role that I really enjoy, and it’s wonderful to gain this award to celebrate that.”
Emily is keen to use training to help local farmers improve animal welfare and boost business productivity as well. “In the farm animal context, investing in people and constantly upskilling people is the real way we have a positive impact on animal welfare,” she says. “In my work as a sheep vet, I’m passionate about communicating how animal welfare, productivity and profitability are intimately linked. Essentially, by making a healthier and happier flock, you’ll end up with a healthier sheep business and probably a happier farmer as well.”
One topic upon which Emily provides training to support farming clients is the loss of newborn lambs. “This is a threat to both animal welfare and productivity, so it’s in everyone’s interests to address,” she says. “To help with this I provide training to teach farmers how to perform their own neonatal lamb post-mortems. This helps farmers understand the issues they’re facing and take appropriate actions to reduce lamb mortality. Ultimately this will improve welfare and deliver business benefits as well.”
Continually offering training such as this is part of the ethos of Emily’s practice, Synergy Farm Health. The team at Synergy provides ongoing education on how to improve farm animal health, welfare and production. Informative courses and workshops are available for farmers, as well as a range of discussion groups and a dairy apprenticeship programme.
Synergy Farm Health also provides training for vets as well, via courses organised through a community of proudly independent practices known as XLVets. Veterinary practices in this community work together to share their skills, experience and knowledge to provide the best possible standards of client care and animal welfare. As a proud member of the XLVets community, Synergy Farm Health takes a proactive and forward-thinking approach to veterinary care while celebrating its independent heritage. To find out more about Synergy Farm Health, visit https://www.synergyfarmhealth.com/.