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A farm vet has landed a pioneering business development role which also aims to help farmers build a more sustainable future.
Sally Dixon, 36, has taken on the role of Farm Animal Practice Development Manager for the independently-owned Willows Veterinary Group based at its main Hartford farm practice.
The vet-run group, which has a network of 25 small animal practices, a referral veterinary hospital, two equine centres and seven farm veterinary sites, has expanded significantly and the size of the group’s farm veterinary team has more than doubled.
From a 10-vet farm practice with two sites in 2004, Willows Veterinary Group’s farm division now has a 24-strong veterinary team, with seven sites which stretch across Cheshire and into North Wales.
Farm partners at Willows have recruited Dixon to help ‘streamline’ the operation and ensure the group maintains its high level of service to its farming clients.
Her role will also focus on the use of the latest data capture technology to ensure both Willows vets and their clients can make the most informed decisions regarding the welfare of their animals and the future sustainability of their businesses.
The role is thought to be the first of its kind in the UK farm animal veterinary industry.
She said: “My main role with Willows is to help the group identify key goals for the farm side of the business and then to empower the whole team to turn these goals into a strategy and turn that strategy into action.
“Animal welfare and a client focussed approach is at the fore of everything which Willows does and my role will be to ensure that these core values remain in sharp focus as the group continues to grow and expand.
“The practices which have recently joined the group will all have their own uniqueness and we don’t want to lose that, but equally there needs to be an element of consistency to ensure we are all doing the very best by our farming clients.”
Future sustainability will be one of the key topics at the first Willows Dairy Conference for farmers which Dixon is organising for March 29 at Nunsmere Hall Hotel in Oakmere near Northwich.