A LEADING Cumbrian farm merchant has unveiled its 21 professionals who have graduated from one of their year-long training courses.

The Carrs Billington’s Calf Academy Programme is specifically designed to improve knowledge and expertise in calf rearing and youngstock health, included modules covering nutrition and colostrum management, environmental control measures, and disease prevention.

The training course was designed and led by Julia Wadeson, calf and youngstock specialist, and Clare Lawson, calf and youngstock product manager. It was delivered via weekly online sessions, featuring external industry experts.

“We’re proud to have seen our first group graduating from the course, and it’s brilliant that many of them are already engaging in conversations with customers about youngstock rearing,” says Julia.

“This was an extremely challenging programme which required a significant time commitment and participants were required to pass an exam at the end of each module.

"Our graduates are now better equipped to advise on giving calves the best possible start in life and how to optimise growth to reach an age of first calving of 24 months.

"It was an inclusive programme, accessible to those working in-store and on-farm,” she adds.

Peter Cartmail, area sales manager, says that the entire course from start to finish covered all the relevant points - some much more technical than others, but combined gave a rounded understanding of what’s required to successfully rear calves.

Carr’s Billington will now run the course annually for its staff members, alongside top-up modules for those already qualified.