News - XLVets member Emily Gascoigne wins Ceva Farm Educator of the Year
Emily Gascoigne of Synergy Farm Health has been named Farm Educator of the Year in the Ceva Animal Welfare Awards. Emily, a RCVS Recognised Specialist in Sheep Health and Production, is known for going the extra mile to share her knowledge with farmers, vets and vet students. She believes that education is key to improving animal welfare and is always keen to emphasise the links between welfare and productivity. Emily’s practice, Synergy Farm Health, invests heavily in training and is a celebrated member of the XLVets community of independent practices.
The Ceva animal welfare awards celebrate remarkable individuals who dedicate their lives to improving animal health and welfare, and the Farm Educator of the Year Award specifically acknowledges research and education on the benefits of improving farm animal welfare. Emily has built up a strong reputation in this area: she is actively involved in clinical research in practice, and leads some student teaching as well as steering sheep farmer training at Synergy Farm Health. She also regularly contributes to the farming and veterinary press and plays an active part in several veterinary associations.
Emily describes how pleased she is to receive the award from Ceva. “I’m delighted to be named Farm Educator of the Year,” she says. “Training is a huge part of my role that I really enjoy, and it’s wonderful to gain this award to celebrate that.”
Training, Emily believes, is a powerful tool for improving animal welfare. “In the farm animal context, investing in people and constantly upskilling people is the real way we have a positive impact on animal welfare,” she says. “In my work as a sheep vet, I’m passionate about communicating how animal welfare, productivity and profitability are intimately linked. Essentially, by making a healthier and happier flock, you’ll end up with a healthier sheep business and probably a happier farmer as well.”
One topic that Emily is keen to provide training on is neonatal lamb loss. “This is a threat to both animal welfare and productivity, so it’s in everyone’s interests to address,” she says. “To help with this I provide training to teach farmers how to perform their own neonatal lamb post-mortems. This helps farmers understand the issues they’re facing and take appropriate actions to reduce lamb mortality. Ultimately this will improve welfare and deliver business benefits as well.”
Continually providing training such as this is part of the ethos of Emily’s practice, Synergy Farm Health. The practice is committed to providing education for vets, vet students and farmers to help them improve farm animal health, welfare and production. Informative courses and workshops are available for farmers, as well as a range of discussion groups and a dairy apprenticeship programme. For vets, Synergy Farm Health delivers various training seminars through the XLVets VetSkills courses. The practice is a proud member of XLVets and is pleased to take an active role in training within the community.
Alice Renner, Farm Marketing Executive of XLVets, explains how pleased she is to hear the news about Emily’s award. “Emily’s done so much in terms of farm animal welfare education, and it’s fantastic to hear she’s received this award,” she says. “Emily and her colleagues at Synergy show a great commitment to education and training. Their proactive and forward-thinking approach is something we really value in the XLVets community, and we’re delighted to see Emily’s hard work being celebrated.”