Development and evaluation of a new educational resource for farm-health planning

Annie J Kerr, David C J Main

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review


    Simple Templates for Everyday Planning and Support (STEPS) was created to illustrate the dynamic process of farm-health planning. Farm-health planning, also known as herd health or flock health planning, is a holistic, proactive management approach to animal health and welfare. This resource was used in a teaching seminar held for two groups of fourth-year veterinary students over a two-year period. Students answered a questionnaire before and after the teaching seminar that revealed that most participants believed the new resource had increased their knowledge of and ability to undertake farm-health planning. Students also completed one of four species-specific case examples that were evaluated by the first author. Most students (90.7%) included at least half of the essential farm-health planning factors in their case example submission. Twenty-six of these essential health planning factors were included by at least 80% of study participants. Six essential health planning factors received less than 20% of the student response rate. The traditional veterinary skills, which involve the management of individual animals, such as an assessment of the severity of lesions, were well represented in all of the case examples. However, the monitoring step of farm-health planning, such as the use of intervention levels, was the least well answered by the student population. In conclusion, the research study found that the STEPS seminar was successful in introducing many of the main principles of farm-health planning to two groups of fourth-year veterinary students.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)136-44
    Number of pages9
    JournalJournal of Veterinary Medical Education
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2010


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