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St Thomas dairy farmers benefit from Nutramix seminar

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

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Animal feed manufacturer and distributor Nutramix recently conducted a seminar for dairy farmers in St Thomas as part of its efforts to help develop the local industry.

The seminar saw presentations and demonstrations by two animal nutritionists from the Nuscience Group in the Netherlands. Nuscience is a key partner for feed manufacturers worldwide and a global player in animal feed, nutritional concepts, and feed additives in the animal nutrition industry.

The nutritionists, Sylvia van Doremaele and Teus van Os, offered valuable advice and recommendations on the rearing and care of their animals, as well as information about improving facilities and farming practices.

Arvel Knight, president of the Serge Island Small Dairy Farmers Benevolent Society which represents more than 60 dairy farmers in the parish, was pleased with the seminar.

“The session was very much beneficial to me. I learned a lot and it also gave me some knowledge on what I can do to get more milk from my cows, and to also get the animals in better condition,” Knight said.

Sergeant Damian Harry from the Praedial Larceny Prevention Unit spoke to the farmers about efforts in the fight against farm theft.

According to van Doremaele, the objective of the session was to help farmers invest in their calves to ensure increased milk production.

“We have been partnering with Nutramix for several years and we've been working to improve the dairy sector in Jamaica. Nutramix is dedicated to growing the dairy business, and we believe that every farmer deserves some attention to improve their business,” said van Doremaele

“Investing in your calves with a good calf starter and calf milk replacer will help the animals grow up as good, healthy dairy cows that can be inseminated at an earlier age than they're doing now. And then, together with the Nutravit minerals and the new milk booster that they have been producing, you will see an increase in milk production on the farms. That will help to grow the dairy sector,” she added.

Van Doremaele also said she was pleased with the feedback and response from the farmers.

“The interaction was good. There were a lot of good questions and the farmers understand the technology behind milk production, and how they can improve their businesses,” she said. “We are trying to get the farmers to see that they must invest in their dairy cows and cattle to improve their business.”

Winston Thomas, technical sales manager at Newport Mills, said the visit by the Nuscience animal nutritionists was routine.

“They develop our premixes and nutritional programme for the dairy industry in Jamaica. And as such, they have to visit us from time to time to see how well the farmers are adapting and what they're doing,” Thomas explained.

“The small farmers here in St Thomas need this information, and they appreciate it being brought directly to them. We also have a special product, which is the Kalvolac milk replacer, that we're introducing to them which will help to grow their calves faster and help them to save money from their operation,” Thomas added.

“It is a good product, and when you mix it (a substitute for milk) the cost per litre of feeding it to the calf is half the cost of feeding them with whole milk. So, you're substituting the whole milk with a better product while paying less for it — so it's really savings for the farmers,” he added.

These presentations will continue across the island as a part of the Drink Real Milk campaign and to benefit other small farmers.

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