In his research, Felix found that the preference of the farmers varied substantially towards the different management areas. This variation in preference could not be explained by any of the routinely collected farm data, e.g. herd size, health problems or milk production Notably, most farmers did not give the highest preference score towards animal health management. The majority of farmers gave the highest score to calf management which was mainly motivated by a high preference for appropriate colostrum supply and a low preference for measuring chest girth of all youngstock.
Insights in the individual dairy farmers' preferences is valuable information for (veterinary) advisors. It shows that to most farmers, animal health management is not the most preferred management area and explains why farmers remain incompliant with veterinary advice. This should motivate veterinary advisors to further back-up their advice by showing the potential benefits, either economic or technical, to the dairy farmers. On the other hand, it shows that the methodology used in our study is a good method to explore dairy farmers' motivations.