Woody started as a vet at the Terang and Mortlake Vet Clinic in 2002 – his first job after graduating from Murdoch University. He has been there ever since.
That’s a long way from growing up in the seaside town of Nhulunbuy on the Gove Peninsula in East Arnhem Land with his father working as an engineer on the mines.
Woody’s clinic joined Apiam Animal Health just over two years ago and he believes that fairly soon 100% of all his work will be supporting Prodairy in his area.
“We really like being part of something bigger and having more resources. It has also been great for career development. What we do with Prodairy is something you couldn’t do as a standalone small clinic.
“I find we are now working so much more from a collaboration perspective and both myself and the farmer want better outcomes for their herd.
“The conversations I have with the farmers are totally different. They are round table conversations. It is not us dictating what the farmers have to do. It is more about ‘if we do this what would be impact be’.
“There may be a reason we can’t do it – financial, staffing – and working through what is going to work for them and what probably won’t.
“I find it rewarding that we can reduce, for example, the use of antibiotics. There are certain antibiotics that we want to see a reduction and I would say that in all the farms I go to there has been a reduction. The farmers are seeing that there are good alternatives.”
Woody is so upbeat about Prodairy that he thinks certain components such as the lessons learnt about diseases and the educational side would translate to his bigger beef clients. “I would love to see that happen,” he said.
Woody is balancing his work life with his family life which includes raising three young daughters with his wife as well as keeping up with his passion for running. “I’ve done a couple of Melbourne marathons but that takes time so at the moment it has taken a back seat.”
We really like being part of something bigger and having more resources. It has also been great for career development. What we do with Prodairy is something you couldn’t do as a standalone small clinic.