In the latest instalment of our regular
feature, the Mole Valley Newsletter continues to introduce you to our team of AMTRA
Registered Animal Medicines Advisors (RAMAs), our professionally trained
colleagues working with you to help improve the health and performance of your
animals, whether that be your herd or flock, horses at your yard or stable, or
for trusted companion animals.
Within our stores throughout the country, we have a strong team of RAMAs, fully trained and legally qualified to advise, prescribe and supply certain veterinary medicines, such as parasitic controls, wormers and vaccines, for farm animals, horses, pets and poultry.
Working in conjunction with AMTRA, the regulatory body for RAMAs (also known as SQPs), our team are all qualified and undertake regular CPD to help provide the most suitable and effective advice or treatment.
These qualified professionals are at the front-line as your first port of call for advice on animal healthcare. In this issue, we meet Andrew Dobinson, our field-based business development manager covering County Durham, as he gives us an overview of his typical day, along with advice on worming as we head towards lambing.
Having grown up on the family beef and sheep farm in rural County Durham, Andrew’s career in the agri-supply and animal health industry started from the age of 19, and within a year his passion to learn and develop saw him achieve his AMTRA RAMA qualification.
“I wanted to be able to continue to add to my skill-set, while providing the best advice and being able to prescribe the right medicines for my customers, and becoming an AMTRA RAMA enabled me to achieve this,” says Andrew.
Fast-forward 14-years, and now an integral member of the Mole Country Stores team as business development manager, Andrew’s typical day involves on-farm visits to clients across County Durham, catering for all of their agricultural supply requirements.
“The aim is to provide any and everything a farmer may require, from feed and fertiliser, to fencing and fuel. Of course this also includes the prescription and supply of animal medicines,” he says.
Andrew works closely with his local Mole Country Store in Piercebridge, while also working with the customers on his ledger to provide a joined-up approach, ensuring clients have the relevant solutions in place for the needs of their farm and livestock.
Key to this, according to Andrew, is keeping up to date with best advice, and making use of the CPD and training available through AMTRA to ensure all prescriptions made are done so with the relevant knowledge, backed by his experience.
“This helps provide customers with the confidence that the solutions I provide are the right ones for their individual animal,” he says.
“Having the confidence to approach what can sometimes be a difficult conversation is also crucial. It is important to ask the right questions and listen carefully to the answers to ensure an accurate prescription is made.”
Andrew also stresses that when it comes to animal medicines, AMTRA RAMAs are not just selling a product, but are delivering qualified and professional advice, and this is particularly relevant as we head towards the lambing season.
“My advice is to always encourage regular faecal egg counting (FEC) of the flock, as this allows us as RAMAs to build a picture of the potential challenges on that specific farm. It is also important to advise that sheep do not necessarily need worming pre-lambing, but through FECs we can monitor the worm burden,” says Andrew.
“Attention should always be paid to the highest risk groups of sheep pre-lambing. These are likely to be either the youngest sheep in the flock or the older ewes carrying multiple lambs. If it is decided a pre-lambing dose is required, a proportion of the flock should always be left untreated,” he adds.
Building client confidence and trust is again key to delivering effective worming treatments, and ensuring those treatments remain effective.
“Advising a customer to change practice against ‘the way it has always been done’ is always a challenge, but backing up a prescription or advice with evidence of that action working elsewhere really helps to further develop that customer confidence and can counter pre-conceived ideas,” concludes Andrew.
Andrew can be reached
on 07957 819384 or at [email protected]