Dr Craig Wood, left, and Con Glennen, right, discussing herd health.
Con and Michelle Glennen – ProDairy Members
Third generation southwest Victorian farmers
Ask Con Glennen when was his last family holiday and he turns to his wife Michelle. “Five years ago. We went to Port Douglas.”
It is not as though the Glennens don’t want to go on more holidays it is just that they are busy managing the family’s 400 milking jersey cows on their 500-acre farm at Noorat in south-west Victoria. It is a job they have been doing since 1992.
And it has been a busy few months for Con as he is the Noorat Country Fire Authority Lieutenant and was part of a strike force of 28 sent to fight the Banyabba fire in NSW. The Glennens also export cattle semen to the US.
Con and Michelle are the third generation of Glennens to live on the Noorat farm. It was Con’s grandparents who bought the farm in 1923 – meaning that in just three years the family will celebrate their 100th year on farm.
And it has been very much a family affair. Con’s grandparents had 15 children with Con’s father the youngest. There are 76 grandchildren, including Con. Two of Con and Michelle’s sons – Jim, 27, and William, 21 – also work on the farm.
The Glennens are more advanced than many dairy farmers. They have had their entire herd genomically tested and just on a year ago they joined Apiam Animal Health’s Prodairy program.
Con says joining Prodairy made sense “to have many of the procedures and protocols that we were doing formalised”.
The program was recommended to the Glennens by his long-time vet “Woody” otherwise known as Dr. Craig Wood from the Terang and Mortlake Vet Clinic. Craig is also Captain of the Noorat and District Fire Brigade.
“Woody has been our vet for 17 years and once he explained the benefits of Prodairy we knew it would benefit us. From my point of view it is where our industry has to go.
For us it has been very educational. We are doing culture milk samples on the farm now so we are using less antibiotics than we used to. And we are making further savings on the products that we are buying. I’d recommend Prodairy to anyone who has a decent sized cow herd.