Andrew is Managing Director and is responsible for coordinating the Management teams and ensuring the smooth running of the Business.
Andrew is Chairman and SOV of XLFarmcare Wessex Ltd and is a Governor at Kingston Maurward College, Dorchester.
Clinically he is interested in proactive health planning programmes, fertility management and calf health. He has an active interest in Responsible Use of Medicines and the steps we can take in veterinary practice in minimising any impact on AMR (anti microbial resistance).
Andrew is married to Mary and has two children, Sian and Ieuan, one dog, two cats, a rabbit and eleven sheep. He enjoys beer, singing, rugby, being Welsh and especially beating England!
Alastair qualified at Edinburgh in 1993. After spending a period of time working in Cirencester he joined Kingfisher Veterinary Practice. In 1997 he attained a Certificate in Cattle Health and Production, and in 2003 the RCVS Diploma of Cattle Health and Production - the highest specialist qualification available. Since 2009 he has been an appointed examiner for the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons Diploma in Cattle Health and Production and received RCVS Specialist status in Cattle Health and Production in 2011. He is a member of the Nottingham University Dairy Herd Health Group.
His areas of interest include all aspects of cattle medicine and husbandry, in particular nutrition, mastitis and organic production. Outside his practice work he has performed a large amount of consultancy to both farm and allied industry throughout the supply chain and is an associate consultant of Evidence Based Veterinary Consultancy. Between 2002 and 2005 he sat on BCVA council and between 2003 and 2005 chaired Bovine TB and welfare for BCVA. In 2006 He was jointly awarded the Vetoquinol award for "Outstanding contribution to the Cattle Veterinary Industry" and in 2015 was voted Farmers Weekly Farm Advisor of the Year. Alastair has authored a number of papers in the field of cattle health and is Co-author with Kat Bazeley, also of Synergy, of “Practical Cattle Farming” published by Crowood Press and co-edited Dairy Herd Health published by CAB International.
Alastair is married to Rachel who is also a vet at Synergy. He enjoys all sports and plays squash, cricket and mountain bikes whenever he is not injured!
Alastair is a BCVA Accredited Johne's Veterinary Adviser
Andy Adler has spent the last 12 years working in farm practice in Dorset. He worked in New Zealand prior to this, and developed an interest in seasonal calving dairy systems, as well as profitable beef systems utilizing compact calving. He sees these farm systems delivering sustainable solutions to the current poor farm economic situation. These interests in farm sustainability lead him to do an MBA which he completed in 2009 and he now uses his financial and business skills whenever he is on farm.
Currently he works with a range of dairy and beef clients as well as being a Director of Synergy Farm Health, with specific responsibility for Finance and Marketing. Additionally he is a non-exec director of XL Vet Training Services and Chairman of XL Vets UK Ltd with responsibility for leading the Business Management Executive.
When at home he spends time with his family and in his garden. At weekends he often disappears to Weymouth to go sailing or acts as a taxi driver for his children’s sailing ambitions.
Andy is a BCVA Accredited Johne's Veterinary Adviser
Jon Reader qualified as a veterinary surgeon in 1997 from the University of Bristol and has been a farm animal vet in Somerset ever since. In 2001 he gained the Certificate in Cattle Health and Production and then in 2010 the Diploma in Cattle Health and Production. He is an RCVS recognised Specialist in Cattle Health and Production and in 2013 was runner up as Farmers Weekly Farm Advisor of the Year. He holds the NPTC Level 3 foot trimming qualification and has also attended a five day Dairyland foot trimming course in the USA. Jon is a LANTRA approved trainer and is also a member of the Nottingham Dairy Herd Health Group (NDHHG) as well as being a member of the UK Dairy Cattle Mobility Steering Group. Jon is a Healthy Feet Programme mobility mentor but is also a trainer for other mentors. He jointly runs the BCVA advanced practitioner lameness course.
Jon has been involved with lameness all his career and has a particular interest in foot trimming, working with para professionals as well as using technology to assist in the recording and analysis of mobility and lameness records. He has carried out peer reviewed research and has presented papers at conferences both nationally and internationally as well as carrying out consultancy work in China.
Jon has a particular interest in large herds and facilitating effective recording and analysis of data.
Jon is an Executive director of RAFT solutions, an SME delivering close to practice research, training and consultancy for the Agri Industry.
In September 2004 Jon began a 12-month sabbatical and was a crew member on board the Samsung yacht in the Global Challenge round-the-world yacht race. He enjoys many competitive sports including rugby, hockey and golf and when time allows enjoys endurance cycling events.
Jon is a BCVA Accredited Johne's Adviser
Marks interests are in all areas of cattle veterinary work, particularly lameness, reproduction and surgery.
Mark qualified in 1985 from the Royal Veterinary College. He is currently the Clinical Director at Synergy Farm Health.
After qualifying as a vet Mark started work in Castle Cary, Somerset under the late foot ‘guru’ Don Collick. After 3 years and several ruined cars later (handbrake issues!) he went AWOL in India and Nepal for seven months. On returning to the UK he worked briefly in London and the Cotswolds but missed the cows and in 1990 joined Southfield Veterinary Centre in Dorchester. In the following years he gained the Certificate in Cattle Health and Production, the Diploma in Bovine Reproduction and spent a week in Holland to obtain the Dutch Foot Trimming Diploma.
Developing a foot trimming service was hard work (lead by example!) but he is convinced that the ultimate service to farmers is provided by having all aspects of lameness control under one roof. With this in mind he helped develop the ‘Cattle Lameness Academy’. He is a firm believer in the valuable role veterinary technicians can play in farm animal practice and is proud to have developed what is currently the biggest vet based team of Techs in the UK.
Besides lameness, Mark's interests lie in all aspects of cattle veterinary work, particularly reproduction and surgery and he now spends considerable time involved with large high input/output- type dairies developing protocols, ways to measure/monitor performance and staff training/motivation.
In 2015 Synergy Farm Health started a major teaching program for vet students in association with the Royal Veterinary College. Mark was instrumental in the development of this and now oversees the teaching.
In 2010 Mark was honored to be awarded the 'Farmers Weekly Livestock Advisor of the Year'. He has talked extensively on many aspects of herd health to both vets and farmers in the UK as well as in Europe, Japan and Russia.
Now his glory days are over on the rugby pitch he tries to stay in shape by cycling whenever possible; he is also a keen skier. Mark's wife is a retired vet with a thriving pottery business; they have three children.
Originating from rural Kent, Ed qualified from the University of Cambridge and joined Kingfisher Veterinary Practice in 2006. In 2013 Ed became a Regional Director of Synergy Farm Health, leading our team of clinical vets covering the southern part of the Synergy practice area which includes farms in south Somerset, west Dorset and east Devon.
Ed is interested in all aspects of bovine health, and dairy farming in general. He performs a large number of routine visits each week, having a particular affinity for the family farms of the practice. Ed has developed a keen interest in robotic dairy units and provides veterinary care to some of the highest performing robotic dairy herds in the UK. He runs Synergy's discussion group for dairy farmers on the Blackdown Hills and oversees our teaching on industry apprenticeship programmes, as well as providing mentorship to a number of our younger vets. Ed is currently working towards a postgraduate certificate in cattle health.
Ed takes an active role in the local rural community and is well known to many clients through the Crewkerne Farmer's Skittle League where he is league secretary. He also follows the Seavington Hunt and is a keen skier and gardener. Ed lives in east Devon with his young family, two dogs, multiple horses and assorted poultry.
Tom is originally from the Purbecks and after some years in farm animal veterinary practice in Oxfordshire and New Zealand has come home to settle down. He has a special interest in mastitis control and loves all things bovine.
He is married to Laura and they have 4 children. Most of the time out of work is spent chasing around after the kids but he enjoys getting outdoors and a good pint of cider.
Alasdair graduated in 2008 from Glasgow, and since then has worked in mixed and large animal veterinary practices in several locations in the UK, as well as spending a year working in dairy practice in New Zealand. He recently completed a diploma in International Animal Health, where he focused on disease costing and modeling (particularly bovine TB) and a ‘One Health’ approach to antimicrobial resistance. Alasdair is particularly motivated by striving to improve efficiency in the medium sized family dairy enterprises of the practice, and he is always keen to develop novel approaches to existing farming challenges! He firmly believes that farming as a way of life is bad business, but farming as a business is a great way of life.
Moff is from the Highlands of Scotland, and despite being reared on a diet of tatties, black pudding and porridge, he enjoys sampling the various baked goods the South West has to offer and is now confident he knows the difference between a Dorset, Devon and Cornish pastie! Moff played a couple of seasons as flanker for Honiton Rugby Club, but has now given up his ambitions of playing rugby for Scotland due to injury. He is a keen runner, and has completed large sections of the South West coast path. Moff is in the lucky position to work with his beautiful wife, Esme.
Abi graduated from the Royal Veterinary College in 2016, and joined Synergy fresh faced in July 2016 as one of the new interns. Abi was born and bred in Somerset, so she is excited to start her new venture close to home. She has particularly loved working with beef suckler herds over the years and has a keen interest in herd health and genomics particularly in cattle.
Abi is a BCVA Accredited Johne's Veterinary Adviser and Bovine Viral Diarrhoea Virus and BVDFree England Scheme Adviser.
Outside of work Abi enjoys spending time with her Cypriot rescue dog, playing hockey, going to festivals and trying out the local scrumpy.
Andre studied both in Germany and South Africa and graduated from the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of the Ludwig-Maximilians-University (LMU) Munich in 2005.
Sponsored by the Federal German Research Authority (DFG) he spent the following two years as an intern and research assistant at the Chair for Physiology and Pathology of Reproduction at the Clinic for Ruminants with Ambulatory and Herd Health Services of the LMU Munich working as well as clinician and tutor for veterinary students.
His intensive research on bovine mastitis lead to publishing articles in international scientific journals, presenting posters and giving lectures at international congresses and was finally awarded with a doctoral degree in 2010.
He has worked exclusively in pure farm animal practices in Germany, England and Wales, predominantly in the field of buiatric.
Andre joined Synergy Farm Health in 2012 and followed his main professional interests by being part of our surgical and reproductive development groups at that time.
He regularly teaches final year students of the Royal Veterinary College, gives lectures for recently qualified vets and frequently runs our DIY AI courses.
In his role as one of RAFT‘s Advanced Breeding Directors he developed, established and leads our successful Bovine Embryo Collection and Transfer Team and is involved in various projects exploring and using cutting-edge breeding technologies.
He is married, father of one son, enjoys reading, music and the outdoors.
Ben is originally from the arable lands of Suffolk and qualified from the Royal Veterinary College in 2014. After qualifying he migrated to the rolling hills of the Southwest and initially began working with Synergy through the internship programme - he has been with us ever since. His primary interests lie with dairy and beef cattle but he is also keen in being involved with the sheep flocks of the practice. Ben is actively engaged with the teaching of university students at the practice and has also been part of teaching projects abroad in aid of charity.
Ben is an avid squash player and enjoys participating in Young Farmers in his spare time.
Ben is a BCVA Accredited Johne's Adviser
Clare is particularly interested in beef and small ruminants.
Clare is a farmer’s daughter from Hampshire and joined Kingfisher Veterinary Practice in Crewkerne in 2001 as a new graduate from Bristol University. In 2006 she took some time out from working in practice and spent a few years working firstly as a consultant for ADAS and then as a farm animal veterinary manager for Pfizer Animal Health. She returned to the practice part time in 2008 just before it became Synergy Farm Health. She is particularly interested in beef and small ruminants and enjoys teaching the beef module of the RVC student rotation.
Clare is married to local farmer Tom and when she is not working for the practice she has her time filled with helping to run the farm and trying to keep their two young daughters out of trouble. On the farm they have 500 mule and Suffolk cross mule ewes that they lamb outside in April and a suckler herd of 50 mainly Ruby Red Devon cows. When she gets a chance Clare has a large vegetable patch to dig, lots of fields to run over and two nutty terriers to occupy.
Clare is a BCVA Accredited Johne's Veterinary Adviser
Originally from Sussex, Claire grew up working on a dairy and sheep farm and qualified from The Royal Veterinary College in 2005. After a spell in mixed practice she joined a farm animal practice in Dorset where she worked for 3 years, before starting with the farm animal team at Southfield Vets in Dorchester (which became Synergy) in 2009.
Claire is based in the Purbeck area and since having her two children works part time on our East side team.
Her main focus is cattle medicine, and she has particular interests in fertility and infectious disease control. Claire is a member of BCVA and is currently working towards a post-graduate Certificate in Advanced Veterinary Practice. She is also involved with teaching of the RVC students here at Synergy.
Claire is a BCVA Accredited Johne's Veterinary Adviser and Bovine Viral Diarrhoea Virus and BVDFree England Scheme Adviser.
She spends her spare time running around after the kids and enjoying the beach (weather permitting!).
Charlotte graduated from Bristol University in 2015 and went on to spend six months working as a dairy vet in New Zealand, enjoying the challenges of seasonal calving work. Charlotte joined Synergy as one of the new interns in July 2016 and is excited to get stuck into the variety of work that Synergy has to offer; her particular interests include preventative medicine and sheep work.
Outside of work Charlotte enjoys walking, horse riding and helping out on her family beef and sheep farm, particularly tending to her own pedigree flock of Hampshire Down Sheep
Emily originates from Lancashire and joined the practice as an intern in 2012 having graduated from the University of Cambridge.
As well as dairy cow medicine, her special interest is sheep and goat production with an emphasis on flock health planning, reducing production losses on sheep units with a special emphasis on neonatal management and infectious disease. She is actively involved in clinical research in practice, student teaching and steers our sheep farmer training.
Emily completed an alternative residency under the supervision of Dr Fiona Lovatt in 2018 and was awarded a European Diploma in Small Ruminant Health Management (http://ecsrhm.eu/ ).
She was actively involved in the foundation of Farm Association of Veterinary Students (FAVS) www.favs.org.uk encouraging veterinary students to pursue a career in farm animal medicine. She is also a committee member of the Goat Veterinary Society, the Sheep Veterinary Society and member of the British Cattle Veterinary Association. Emily is a regular contributor to the farming and veterinary press.
Emily spends her "spare time" with her own flock of Hebridean Sheep and Poll Dorsets and as a club leader for Wareham and Purbeck Young Farmers Club.
BCVA Accredited Johne's Veterinary Adviser
Bovine Viral Diarrhoea Virus and BVDFree England Scheme Adviser
Peer reviewed publications- Original research
Jennings, A., Gascoigne, E., Macrae, A., Burrough, E. and Crilly, J.P., 2018. Serological survey of British sheep flocks for evidence of exposure to ovine pestiviruses. Veterinary Record, 183(7), pp.220-220.
Davies, P., Remnant, J.G., Green, M.J., Gascoigne, E., Gibbon, N., Hyde, R., Porteous, J.R., Schubert, K., Lovatt, F. and Corbishley, A., 2017. Quantitative analysis of antibiotic usage in British sheep flocks. Veterinary Record.
Gascoigne, E., Williams, D.L. and Reyher, K.K., 2017. Survey of prevalence and investigation of predictors and staining patterns of the split upper eyelid defect in Hebridean sheep. The Veterinary record.
Gascoigne, E., Bazeley, K. and Lovatt, F., 2017. Can farmers reliably perform neonatal lamb post mortems and what are the perceived obstacles to influencing lamb mortality? Small Ruminant Research, 151, pp.36-44.
Peer reviewed publications- Opinionated reviews
Gascoigne, E., Morgan, E.R., Lovatt, F. and Vineer, H.R., 2018. Controlling nematode infections in sheep: application of HACCP. In Practice, 40(8), pp.334-347.
Crilly, J.P., Jennings, A. and Gascoigne, E., 2018. Border disease: an under-appreciated threat to flock health and productivity?.Livestock, 23(2), pp.88-92.
Gascoigne, E., 2016. Sheep flock health planning and the role of sheep veterinary surgeons. Livestock, 21(6), pp.370-374.
Gascoigne, E. and Lovatt, F., 2015. Lamb growth rates and optimising production. In Practice, 37(8), pp.401-414.
Gascoigne, E., 2015. Disbudding of goat kids. Livestock, 20(2), pp.96-100.
Gascoigne, E. and Crilly, J.P., 2014. Control of tapeworms in sheep: a risk-based approach. In Practice, 36(6), pp.285-293.
Gascoigne, E., Hemmingway, J., Hill, E., McElwee, J., Laing, N., Nabb, L. and Oliver, L.A., 2017. Reclassification of Monepantel. Veterinary Record, 180(14), pp.361-+.
Gascoigne, E., Swain, J., Glover, M., Nabb, L. and McLean, J., 2017. Controlled release progestagen sponges for sheep. Veterinary Record, 180(4), pp.101-102.
Gascoigne, E. and Millar, M., 2015. Multidrug resistance in enterotoxigenic K99 E coli infection in lambs. Veterinary Record, 177(2), pp.52-52.
Esme graduated from Glasgow vet school in 2009 and took her first job in a mixed practice in Shropshire. After a few years of getting the skills of general practice under her belt, Alasdair and Esme packed our bags and our stethoscopes and headed down under. They worked for 3 months in Westport on the South Island during scanning season and worked the calving season near Hamilton on the North Island. It was a great experience - interesting to see how other people do it.
From there Esme and Alasdair took up their positions at Synergy Farm Health.
This year Esme had her first baby so she learning to juggle being a mum with vet life. But in between it all, her other great passion is running - she likes to race and now has a few marathons under her belt. So give Esme a wave if you see her out pounding the lanes of East Devon.
Gareth joined the practice in July 2011. He is interested in a wide range of farm work particularly cattle lameness, fertility, surgery and medicine. Gareth likes the practical approach to health planning on farm. Outside of work Gareth will be found out in the countryside with his wife and beagles.
Gareth is a BCVA Accredited Johne's Veterinary Adviser
Josh qualified from the Royal Veterinary College in 2015 and joined Synergy straight from university as the latest in a line of interns. Josh has an interest in herd health and preventative medicine in all species but particularly cattle and enjoys getting stuck into a calving.
Originally from Cornwall, Josh has enjoyed his move ‘up country’ and everything Dorset has to offer and when not working likes surfing, rugby, cycling and a pub with a good selection of ales.
Josh is a BCVA Accredited Johne's Veterinary Adviser
Pete is passionate about all aspects of the job, but his particular interests include dairy work as well as small holdings and pigs!
Pete qualified from the Royal Veterinary College in 2013 and has been based in Dorset with Synergy ever since. He loves getting stuck in with the emergency work, but also enjoys being involved with on-farm discussions about herd health and preventative medicine. As well as the more common farmed species in this part of the country Pete also has a particular passion for pigs, both domestic and commercial.
He enjoys cycling, skittling and painting, and also plays the piano in as many of the local pubs as will let him.
Pete is a BCVA Accredited Johne's Veterinary Advisor
Rachel is interested in all aspects of dairy and beef cattle, particularly mastitis, fertility and infectious disease. She carries out bull fertility testing and also enjoys working with goats.
Rachel graduated from Edinburgh in 1993 having also completed an Honours degree in Pathological Sciences. She obtained her Certificate in Cattle Health and Production in 1998.
After a brief spell in mixed practice in Lancashire, she joined Southfield Veterinary Centre in 1995. The majority of her time is spent carrying out routine fertility visits for dairy clients and looking after all aspects of herd health and preventive medicine. One of her major passions is carrying out mastitis investigations, including delivering the Dairyco Mastitis Control Plan, and monitoring the effects of control measures. She also carries out bull fertility testing for both beef and dairy clients and particularly enjoys working with goats.
She is married to Alastair and they live in Somerset with their three children.
Outside of work Rachel enjoys cooking, cleaning and providing a free taxi service. When not looking after the family she manages a bit of running and has dabbled in the odd triathlon.
Rachel is a BCVA Accredited Johne’s Veterinary Adviser
Originally from South Derbyshire Tom graduated in 2007 and worked in a local mixed practice for the next three years. Having decided that dog and cat medicine wasn’t for him he moved to Dorset in 2010 to focus on dairy cattle, initially within another mixed practice in North Dorset until joining Synergy in 2015.
Tom is a BCVA Accredited Johne's Adviser
Tom is particularly interested in youngstock health and ways to improve heifer performance by helping farmers with building design, preventative medicine and nutrition.
In his spare time (when not being given the run around by his young children) he enjoys the hobbies normally associated with someone thirty years his senior- namely gardening, bird watching and the Archers omnibus podcast!
Dave joined the Vet Tech team in early 2012. He has worked with cows since leaving college, both in organic and conventional systems.
Dave holds the National Diploma in Hoof Trimming and trained as a lay ultrasound scanner.
Outside of work he enjoys playing rugby for Puddletown RFC and is a keen Arsenal supporter.
Dave also has a small herd of Longhorn cattle and recently made their showing debut at the Dorset County Show where one of their cows won Champion Longhorn.
Although not from a farming or dairy background, Matt has plenty of animal experience from previous job so is used to getting kicked, trodden on and covered in muck!
He enjoys the variety of work his Vet Tech role brings from foot trimming, freeze branding and disbudding to helping out the smallholders. Matt recently qualified as a category 3 trimmer and is proud to hold the title of 'The slowest sheep shearer in the world!' .
Matt lives near Chard and enjoys shooting, hunting and looking for his terrier, Tilly.
Tom grew up on a large mixed farming and sporting estate in Hampshire where he became interested in farming and livestock. After leaving school he travelled to Canada and the USA for two years working on farms and plantations. Prior to joining Synergy he worked as a gamekeeper for many years.
Toms wife and children successfully show their family flock of pedigree Texel sheep.
Toms particular interest and the part of his job he finds most rewarding is the successful treatment of lame cows. He enjoys the great and interesting variety of his work and meeting different people.
Outside of work his passions are hunting, shooting and fishing with his family and working their spaniels.
Rhi graduated from the Royal Agricultural College Cirencester in 2013, gaining a BA Hons Degree in Agriculture and Animal Science. She went on to work as an Assistant Manager on a large dairy farm and was responsible for fresh and dry cow management as well as the rearing of young stock. During this period she took a three month sabbatical to work on a beef and dairy farm in Zimbabwe. Rhi joined the Synergy team in March 2015 and is a Clinical Veterinary Technician, focusing mainly on The Cattle Lameness Academy but also assists with vaccinating, mobility scoring and organisation of training courses.