Training Spotlight

Annabelle Staveley reports back from the Zinpro FirstStep Academy in Leipzig

Training Spotlight

Last week, Scott Carson and I had the brilliant opportunity to attend the Zinpro FirstStep Academy in Leipzig, Germany. The experience was invaluable, not only for my personal training and development, but also for the benefits it brings to dairy clients.

At Advanced Nutrition, we firmly believe in a holistic approach to dairy cow nutrition. We know that nutrition affects every part of the farm business and, conversely, is also influenced by many other areas of the business. This interconnectedness is particularly evident in lameness prevention, an area where the Zinpro FirstStep program plays a major role in our own Advanced Mobility program.

The training session, aptly titled “How to Stop Bad Things Happening to Good Cows,” covered a range of topics including the influence of nutrition on bovine skin and hoof health, and strategies for setting up dry cows for success. The comprehensive program also featured numerous on-farm demonstrations, such as hoof pressure on different flooring, comfort and locomotion scoring, heifer mobility, and mastering TMR feeding. These practical sessions were informative and directly applicable to our everyday farm operations.

One of the most engaging aspects for me was the focus on cow environments and lameness in heifers. Understanding how these factors interrelate with our holistic approach, starting from calves through the cow lifecycle, was particularly interesting. Being a farmer's daughter myself, I could see the practical implications for our own farm and those of our clients. The hands-on demonstrations and real-life applications highlighted effective strategies for lameness prevention.

The Zinpro FirstStep program is a tool which helps farmers assess and analyse lameness, implement prevention programs, and ultimately improve dairy performance through enhanced animal health and welfare. Our team at Advanced Nutrition, all trained as FirstStep Assessors and are equipped to support you in achieving these goals through our own Advanced Mobility program.

Zinpro’s science-based research and expertise perfectly complements our program, which also emphasises a holistic approach to lameness prevention. The synergy between our protocols and Zinpro’s insights ensures we’re providing the best possible care for our herds.

From an industry perspective, training sessions like these and collaborations with partners such as Zinpro are crucial. They help us move towards a more sustainable future in dairy farming, enhancing both the welfare of our animals and the efficiency of our operations.

The trip reinforced the importance of a comprehensive approach to dairy cow nutrition and lameness prevention. I’m excited to implement what I’ve learned and continue working towards a healthier, more sustainable future for our farms.



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