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Virbac Multimin Performance Ready Challenge winner announced!

After 12 intensive months of in-depth trace mineral trials conducted by seven farmers around Australia and their mentors, the results of the Multimin Performance Ready Challenge winner’s vote are finally in.

With close to 5,000 public votes cast for the three finalists, and 50% of the votes going to the overall winner, challenge organiser Virbac Australia are thrilled to announce the 2019 Multimin Challenger Queen as Victorian farmer Renee Murfett from Framlingham.

Virbac Australia’s Livestock Nutrition Product Manager Jerry Liu described the level of public support for the challenge as “truly amazing. This competition has really captured the hearts and minds of our farming communities, and we’re incredibly proud of Renee and her mentor Dr Susan Swaney for all the hard work and dedication they’ve put into this trial over the last year.”

Renee’s goal was clear from word go. “I wanted to use Multimin to increase the immunity, health and productivity of our calves,” she explains. With five heifers previously lost due to broken legs, all indications were that her stock was suffering from suboptimal levels of trace minerals. “The Multimin Challenge was a great opportunity to see the impact of trace mineral supplementation on our livestock health and performance,” says Renee.

With the trial itself focusing on 105 treated animals and 105 untreated animals, calves were weighed at birth and even numbered tags were given a shot of Multimin injection, with odd numbered tags left untreated as a control mob. “Our first observation was that the treated calves had a very shiny coat compared to the untreated animals,” Renee explains. “With skin being the first line of defense, animals with healthy coats have higher immunity to disease, and they can better fight off infections – and that leads to improved future productivity.”

The next obvious difference was when calves were transitioned onto hard feed. “Many untreated animals developed scouring and went off their feed for 2-3 days,” Renee reports. “However, none of the Multimin-treated animals developed scours, and continued to feed well. This really impressed me, because scouring calves are very hard work and very time-consuming – so to be able to avoid that problem is a major bonus.”

“This trial has proved the critical roles trace elements play in immunity and animal health, and it’s really showed how Multimin can enhance immunity. There’s no doubt that optimisation of trace minerals at high demand times can improve animal health and productivity,” concludes Renee. “It’s been a fascinating12 month trial, and I’m over the moon to hear that I’ve won the competition.”

As part of her prize, Virbac Australia will be sending Renee on an overseas study tour tailored to her farming system, valued at more than $20,000. She’ll be jetting off on an overseas study tour to learn more about best-practice dairy farming. “It’s going to be life-changing,” says Renee. “To have this opportunity to study overseas dairy farming practices and gain new inspiration to help improve our business is incredible. I feel really excited for what’s to come.”

For Jerry, the Multimin Performance Ready Challenge has been a unique way for the industry to encourage livestock producers to get involved and learn more about this important aspect of animal health and nutrition. “The program has received an incredible amount of support from the public, and also from livestock experts all over Australia. The results of this challenge will really help us to continue pioneering new research that improves product efficacy and benefits our local producers.”

Find out more about Multimin, Virbac Australia’s Performance Ready Challenge and Challenger Queen Renee Murfett at www.multiminchallenge.com
Media Enquiries:
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Photo caption:
  1. Multimin Performance Ready Challenge Winner Renee Murfett
  2. Renee Murfett with mentor Dr Susan Swaney