Veterinarians and nutritionists can NOT work together to collectively bring additive value to feedlot clients
Keywords:feedlot, communication, nutritionist
Nutritionists and veterinarians play an important role in helping feedlots with protocol generation and implementation, training, use of new technologies, and monitoring of outcomes. In general, nutritionists are judged on growth performance, feed efficiency, feed-only cost ofgain, and metabolic disorders/mortalities, while veterinarians are judged on morbidity and mortality outcomes, as well as pharmaceutical costs. In some cases, the protocols or recommendations that could be implemented to optimize these outcomes in 1 realm may conversely result in negative impacts on outcomes in another realm, thus reflecting poorly on either the nutritionist or the veterinarian. If these professionals can work cooperatively to optimize outcomes, this is the best case scenario for the client, the cattle, and ultimately the consumer. However, the client also needs to have clear communication and more importantly, realistic expectations to hold these professionals accountable for the right reasons. As technology continues to improve through monitoring tools, data collection, new products, and research, opportunities for collaboration between professionals does exist. Clear expectations from all 3 parties (feedlot, veterinarian, and nutritionist) are required for success.