Back in the late 1990s a Kiwi vet had a vision. He knew that, with the right insight into both individual animals and the wider production systems, there was great potential for positive change.
At first a few pioneering farmers joined their efforts monitoring stock and making improvements. With success here a wider pilot project tested this vision. Since then other vets and farmers have joined them, the farm productivity programme growing a solid reputation for strong results.
StockCare started life as the Sheep for Profit programme when a pilot project was rolled out from 2001 to 2003 on 48 farms throughout New Zealand.
Funded by Meat & Wool Innovation, the primary objective of the original project was to improve income from the sheep enterprises by $12 per ewe. We beat that by 37 cents.
Such a result was worth $1,546,250 over 125,000 ewes. The major improvement was an extra 6.3kg lambs weaned per ewe mated.
Financial performance was compared to the national average of all farms in the M & WI Economic Service annual survey for the relevant period. Over these three years the participating farms achieved a 27% greater cash surplus compared to the national average – an increase of $5 per stock unit.
After careful analysis of this work and further development of the service the programme was commercialised in 2003. More than 250 farmers have been involved since the programme was commercialised, with new clients arriving regularly.
Through the StockCare programme we also provide the opportunity for farmers to become a Kumanu lamb supplier, an arrangement that delivers a premium price for their stock.
After over fifteen years of raising standards and rising profits we now look forward to even further success working alongside New Zealand farmers.
Meet the people behind the plans the consultants who’ll be working alongside you as, together, we take your farm into the future.
Our consultants have a huge amount of experience with New Zealand sheep and beef farmers.
Most importantly, they all have a commitment to advance the farm businesses of our clients, ensuring each and every farmer we work with can maximise returns and minimise risk.
StockCare ensures this work is undertaken with the latest and greatest industry knowledge. We have regular intensive workshops where we discuss individual case studies, new farming research and fresh opportunities for our clients – every action and approach here comes back to the continuous improvement of their business.
This means our consultants can combine their animal health and production expertise with a broader appreciation of the financial, nutrient and pasture management aspects of farm business.
It’s an approach that ensures they can identify the wider factors that may be limiting performance, refer to other experts from within our network for more detailed advice and recommendations, and then work alongside you to enact changes when and where they are needed.
Senior StockCare Advisor
After spending 25 years in a mixed practice in Central Otago, Chris moved north to establish the renowned AgriNetworks. The reasons behind the big move were obvious at the time.
“While spending my first 15 or so years doing ‘normal practice’ I became frustrated when attending the individual crook animal when I could see huge potential in the mob or herd that individual came from,” he says. “There had to be better way to do things at the top of the cliff rather than always doing them at the bottom.”
In 1995 Chris began to focus on managing the veterinary business, developing an approach to help farmers know what was going on in the smaller details before the big issues arose. This move was the catalyst for what would become the StockCare programme.
Chris states he was “very lucky to be able to test the concept with a small group of Central Otago farmers – it was exciting work and we made some huge gains.
Since then he has developed the wider network and managed several extensive on-farm research projects, including iodine deficiency in pregnant ewes, long-acting drench treatment, cost benefits of cattle worm control programmes, drench resistance, footrot and lice in sheep.
He has also been involved in two very successful large-scale farm improvement projects - 100% Merino Club and Focus 2000, both based on the concepts of StockCare.
Chris believes his success and that of his clients is due to a simple uniting factor – “I'm just very passionate about our sheep and beef industry, and enjoy working with farmers who are just as passionate.”
Senior StockCare Advisor
Born and educated in Dunedin, Don started his veterinary career in Wairoa after graduating from Massey in 1980.
This solid grounding in sheep and beef veterinary practice lead to a shift to start up a practice in Te Kuiti, where he spent many years helping the many sheep and beef farmers of the northern King Country.
Don’s involvement with StockCare started in 2001, when the company was known as the Sheep for Profit programme. Getting up close to the systems and mindset helped Don appreciate what those involved in this unique project were trying to achieve.
“I was fortunate enough to have several sheep and beef clients participating in the three year pilot project of this programme,” says Don. “Seeing the benefits of ‘knowing exactly what is going on’ with these participating farms' businesses confirmed my belief that this system had the potential to offer great value to any New Zealand sheep and beef farm.”
With this initial personal experience and the wider victories of the pilot project Don was in the perfect position to join Chris Mulvaney when FarmCare first began (in the form of AgriNetworks).
Since then he has helped grow the wider business to the success it has become today. Now Don’s focus is primarily on overseeing the StockCare programme. Here he works hands-on with several clusters of Stockcare farms around the North Island, while also continuing to develop and improve the FarmCare range of services.
Growing up on a sheep and beef farm in the Wairarapa provided Will with a solid background for his studies at Massey University. After graduating in 2008 he followed his interest in sheep and beef production medicine and, in 2010, found his way to VetEnt, where he began work as a large animal veterinarian working out of the Te Kuiti clinic.
At the start of 2015 Will moved into a new role with StockCare as an advisor, his position also providing a support role to the lead managers of StockCare. Here his work is also focused on coordinating and facilitating the delivery of internal staff training and any related communication that goes with this training.
The role is a diverse and demanding one, and Will enjoys the challenge of helping farmers to improve their bottom line both in the short and long term. With an energetic approach and a keen focus for the small details he ensures a united, coordinated system benefits these farmers to the greatest degree.
This energy is put to good use outside of office hours too. Away from work Will spends his time working on the house, playing golf and hunting.
Our work at StockCare is supported by external advisors. They have all been through a rigorous induction programme to ensure we can provide a consistent StockCare mindset and the highest of service standards throughout our operation.
Our external advisors are:
- Pete Anderson
- Mark Colson
- Rebecca Smith
With the combined knowledge of this network the sharing of advice and specialist expertise provides our clients support that is both effectively comprehensive and efficiently targeted.
If you have any questions about how our supporting network may be able to help your operation please don’t hesitate to get in touch.