Meet the OSPRI Contact Centre Team
Dan first joined the OSPRI Contact Centre team in 2015. Now in his second spell, he has continued building expertise in disease management, working alongside area disease managers and case managers out in the field.
How long have you worked with the OSPRI Contact Centre?
I started back in 2015 and returned in February this year to work with the newly formed Disease Support team.
Have you had any previous experience working in the primary sector?
Before joining OSPRI, I worked for over two years with FarmsOnline in their disease response team. I’m actually a builder by trade but a hand injury meant I can no longer work with tools safely. I do miss being outdoors, but that experience has helped me appreciate the challenges farmers face especially with the weather and getting things done.
Disease control is a broad area, what do you specialise in?
TB reactors is my expertise. I work in small team and we are first port of call for area disease managers and case managers seeking permits or if farmers need to be contacted about a herd’s blood test showing up as a positive.
How do you approach that engagement with farmers?
It’s never good news to tell a farmer one of his animals has returned a positive blood test for TB. There is no easy way to do this other than listen and empathise- you don’t really know what kind of day they’ve had beforehand. You can bring some perspective by advising them there is still a post mortem to go through and the outcome might not be so bad.
OSPRI Contact Centre has recently moved and has additional operators, how is that going?
I like the changes, there’s more space on the new floor and now more people to answer phones and help with callers. I know farmers are too busy to be left on hold, and the 10 new operators have made a difference and got our response rate back to where it should be.
What gives you the most satisfaction about your role?
Getting on top of TB is really satisfying. When you see the number of affected herds reducing, you know you are helping to make a difference for farmers and the wider industry. Also, working with area disease managers and case managers closely, you can hear at first-hand that we are moving in the right direction towards TB eradication in cattle. Field day events are also especially good to get out the contact centre and get ‘amongst it’ and meet farmers.
Do you have a message for farmers?
We’re not here to interrogate, we’re here to help. If you need to get your NAIT account up to date, please give us a call. Something you’ve been stewing over for a few months can be probably fixed in five minutes.
How do you unwind after a busy day helping farmers?
I don’t play active sport these days after I had surgery to fix a punctured lung. I like hanging out with family and friends and shooting some Pool or reading thriller novels.