Local vet wins national award
A Dorset based vet is celebrating his success after receiving a prestigious national award. Mark Burnell - a founding director of Synergy Farm Health, which operates from practices in Evershot, Crewekerne, Dorchester, Tauton, Chard, Martock, Bridport and Bere Regis - was announced as the winner of the Livestock Advisor of the Year category at the Farmers Weekly Awards held on October 7th 2010. Sponsored by Silotite®, the market leading brand of silage balewrapping film from bpi.agri, this category sets out to acknowledge those who have made an outstanding contribution to the UK’s livestock farming community. Speaking on Mark’s success, Louise Aplin, Marketing Manager from award sponsor bpi.agri, said: “The standards at this year’s awards were incredibly high, and each nominee thoroughly deserved their place on the shortlist. To have overcome such strong competition to be named Livestock Advisor of the Year should be considered a great achievement." An instrumental factor in Mark’s success was his role in spearheading a new approach to vet services in Dorset, Somerset and East Devon. Already a partner in a smaller practice including six farm vets, he and his colleagues agreed to merge with the farming arm of another practice to combine skills and resources and create Synergy Farm Health. With a team of 17 farm vets in total Synergy Farm Health is focused more on advice and less on commission from the sales of medicines. To free the vets up and allow them to concentrate on consultative services, Synergy employs three Suitably Qualified Persons (SQPs) able to dispense and prescribe certain medicines such as wormers and fly control products. In addition a further five paraprofessionals are employed to undertake foot trimming, to offer a heifer rearing service, to carry out freeze branding, dis-budding and mobility scoring, as well as to provide general assistance with cattle handling operations such as TB testing or vaccinating using the practice’s own handling system. This clearly defined strategy and cohesive team structure has enabled Synergy Farm Health to set new standards in the provision of veterinary advice. The business model is also being held up as an example to other vet practices. Mark was presented with his award by representatives from both Farmers Weekly and sponsors bpi.agri. Commenting on his success, he said: “It’s always great to receive recognition and even more so when it comes not only from your peers but from the industry you serve. To be presented with such a prestigious award is an enormous compliment and I can’t express my gratitude enough.” ENDS IMAGE: Mark Burnell winner.jpg CAPTION: Livestock Advisor of the Year 2010. Locally based vet Mark Burnell has been awarded the title Livestock Advisor of the Year at the 2010 Farmers Weekly Awards. Pictured left to right Jane King, Farmers Weekly, John Lancaster, bpi.agri, Mark Burnell, Lisa Tarbuck, TV Presenter & Awards Compare.