Countdown Farm Guidelines and Technotes

Above: The Countdown Farm Guidelines and Technotes provided clear technical messages that had been agreed by the industry stakeholders

Fast Facts

logo-drdc Client: DRDC Location: Melbourne When: 1999-2000 Responsibilities: To provide clear, consistent information on mastitis control and milk quality relevant to Australian farmers

Project description 

The need: Mastitis control is complex. In the years before Countdown, people waited for science to deliver a mastitis control ‘silver bullet’. Actions we regard as fundamental today, such as wearing gloves at milking, were seen as controversial. This was turned around in the early noughties when the dairy industry invested in a national extension program to achieve better mastitis management using the existing science and technology.

What we did: The first step of the industry program was to broker clear, consistent industry-agreed messages with stakeholders. These became the Farm Guidelines – the cornerstone of Countdown Downunder’s communication and training packages. Technotes were then written to underpin each Farm Guideline, summarising the field experience and science behind the guidelines and identifying any significant knowledge gaps.

These resources have been embraced by industry and are still used as the main reference material for farmers and advisers two decades later, with Dairy Australia updating the guidelines to a Second Edition. New Zealand and Ireland have also adapted this resource to use in their own industry.

Further Reading

Technote pages from the 2001 Final Report Technote Update from the 2005 Final Report Click here for examples of the Technotes on Dairy Australia’s website (maintained by Dairy Australia since 2013)