Sheep CRC Final Conference

The final conference of the Sheep CRC was held in Dubbo from 19th – 20th March 2020. This page provides access to these presentations organised according to the FINAL CONFERENCE BOOKLET.

Official Opening

Sheep CRC Chair 2001–2007
The Right Honourable Ian Sinclair AC served as Leader and Deputy Leader of the National Party for nearly 19 years, and held a number of senior portfolios including Social Services, Primary Industry, Shipping and Transport, Communications, Defence and Leader of the House. In 2001, Mr Sinclair was made a Companion of the Order of Australia, for distinguished service to the Australian Parliament and to the community, particularly through promoting the expansion of opportunities for those in rural, regional and remote areas of Australia. Mr Sinclair was chair of the Sheep CRC during its formation and first term from 2001 to 2007.

Establishing the CRC, creating a culture of productive collaboration and guiding the CRC to a second term were the key challenges when the CRC commenced in 2001. The CRC’s 2003 strategic plan described a mission to ensure that the Australian sheep industry has the technology and know-how to deliver, in a profitable and sustainable manner, the products that are highly desired by domestic and export customers. The CRC has gone on to fulfill this important goal.

Session 1

Sheep CRC – meat and w00l – from concept to impact

19 Years of Innovation

James Rowe has been CEO of the Sheep CRC from its inception in 2001. Professor Rowe holds a PhD in animal nutrition. His research on sheep and cattle production has resulted in a number of new products and innovative feeding systems. He has worked in the public sector with international organisations, large private sector companies and at the University of New England.

The introduction to the conference provides an overview of the key CRC activities over the last 19 years identifying the integrated nature of the CRC’s research, development and adoption. The linkages between the different aspects of sheep production has been a hallmark of the CRC.

Importance of CRC for Industry

Founder, Fletcher International Exports Pty Ltd
Roger Fletcher OAM is founder and proprietor of Fletcher International. Fletcher International’s production is sheep meat, wooltops and various by-products, which are exported to more than 95 countries. With plants in Dubbo, NSW, and Albany, WA, the company can process up to 90,000 sheep per week, and has over 1,300 employees. Roger Fletcher was a member of the CRC Board from 2002–2008 and Fletcher International was a significant Participant from 2002 to 2007. Roger has served on the Boards of AMPC, AWI and many industry organisations, as well as being a patron of the Westhaven Industries, the driving force behind the Get Real program.

The need for a CRC and a coordinated approach to sheep industry R&D was identified by AMPC and Fletcher International at the outset of the Sheep CRC. Meat quality has always been a top priority at Fletcher International. Working with the CRC, Fletcher International installed the first state-of-the-art mid-voltage electrical stimulation system and has continued at the forefront of using technology and information to achieve the best possible meat quality and finding the right customer for every cut.

Session 2

Meating the Market

Moving to a quality based value chain

Sheep CRC Program Leader—Quality-based sheep meat value chains Murdoch University
Professor Dave Pethick holds a PhD qualification from Cambridge University (UK) and an undergraduate degree in Agricultural Science from the University of Adelaide. His research in fundamental and applied meat science in beef, lamb and sheep meats has made a major contribution to the understanding of meat quality and its management. He is head of Production Animal Research at Murdoch University and was previously Program Manager for Meat Science in the Beef CRC.

CRC Meat Program Leader Prof. Dave Pethick says the need for a consumer focus to ensure that lamb is well-placed in a competitive meat market has driven the move to develop a quality-based value chain. Research has focused on understanding all aspects of lean meat yield and eating quality to deliver solutions to industry and a predictable product for consumers.

Developments in processing and retailing of lamb

Senior Principal Research Scientist, NSW DPI
David Hopkins has two degrees from the University of Melbourne and completed his PhD at the University of New England focusing on biochemical mechanisms responsible for tenderization in meat. David is currently an Editorial Board member of Recent Patents on Food, Nutrition & Agriculture and the Editor-in-Chief of Meat Science. He has authored more than 500 scientific papers (including 20 review papers), 18 book chapters and 140 extension/ education publications.

The CRC’s work on electrical stimulation to ensure tenderness, strategies for dealing with larger carcasses and the understanding of nutritional value of lamb all contribute to the consumer focus and the importance of consistency in delivering a quality product. NSW DPI’s Dave Hopkins explains.

Involving the whole supply chain

Consultant, Rural Analytics
Alex was employed as CEO and company secretary of Herefords Australia before establishing his private consultancy company in 2018. Previously, he was employed with MLA as National Manager for Sheep Genetics, Sheep and Southern R&D, Southern Production and Eating Quality and Lean Meat Yield R&D and then as General Manager Livestock Productivity that encompassed work on genetics, objective carcase measurement, and Meat Standards Australia (MSA) Optimisation and Index. He has a wide range of skills in RD&E program management. He also produces fine wool and beef cattle on his own grazing property in the New England area of NSW.

Alex Ball describes how the National Lamb Supply Chain Group initiated by the CRC and MLA has played a major role in integrating the CRC research expertise with expertise from all sectors of the supply chain. The collaboration arising from this integrated approach has underpinned the uptake of many technical advances.

Transformation for processors

Farm Assurance and Supply Chain Manager, JBS Australia
Mark Inglis manages both the lamb and beef farm assurance programs, oversees the MSA component of the JBS Southern business, coordinates and implements R&D programs specific to JBS lamb and beef, and runs producer educational programs across both the beef and lamb supply chains. Prior to joining JBS Australia, Mark worked for MLA/MSA with producers, stock agents, saleyards, feedlots and livestock buyers to gain a greater understanding of the pathways into both the cattle and sheep MSA programs.

The vision for branding lamb products, based on objective quality grades, and providing accurate producer feedback has moved closer to reality.

Session 3

Wool – Going beyond touch and feel

Understanding next-skin comfort

Former Sheep CRC Program Leader—Next generation wool quality
David has spent 35 years in wool research and wool textile manufacturing. Since the end of the Sheep CRC Wool Program, which he lead for five years, David has used his experience and contacts in the wool supply chain to provide consulting services to develop wool products and supply chains for companies in Europe and the USA. David was Senior Research Scientist with the CSIRO Division of Wool Technology for 17 years.

Development of measurement systems for the key attributes that consumers demand in lightweight knitwear, next-to-skin comfort and soft handle, has created an objective quality assurance system for product development and transactions through the wool supply chain.

Wool comfort for mothers and babies

Phillip Attard PHILIP ATTARD
Gostwyck Station, Uralla NSW
Philip Attard spent 33 years in the information technology industry where he held positions in general management, strategic planning, sales, marketing and business development in Asia Pacific and Australia. Philip is now focused on developing the family businesses through increasing farm productivity, direct marketing of the Gostwyck Merino clip, and establishing Henry and Grace, a babywear and maternity wear brand. Philip is Chairman of Practical Systems, a software developer that specialises in agricultural and SMSF software and is the managing partner in the family companies.

An example of the commercial application of the new quality assurance systems for lightweight knitwear has been the development of a line of products for mothers and babies. Where comfort is of paramount importance the QA systems have ensured no surprises in commercial manufacturing.

Session 4

Making the possible practicable – the on-farm tools

From WormBoss to ParaBoss

Executive Officer, ParaBoss
Deb Maxwell is a registered veterinarian and secondary teacher with postgraduate qualifications in agricultural extension. Deb joined Sheep CRC 1 as the Communication and Extension Program Leader and continued in Sheep CRC II doing contract work on WormBoss, FlyBoss and LiceBoss. In 2014 ParaBoss was formed to manage these programs beyond the CRC and Deb took on the role of ParaBoss Operations Manager. In 2018 she took over the role of Executive Officer from Lewis Kahn. Deb has also run a superfine Merino stud for 22 years giving her valuable practical experience and knowledge.

The development of WormBoss from concept to reality set the template for LiceBoss and FlyBoss. Soon to follow was the amalgamation of all three products under the ParaBoss banner. The integrated ParaBoss package is supported by a network of specialists in the field of parasitology and the use of the online information system continues to grow as it is used by all sectors of the industry.

From CRC PhD to industry leader

University of New England, Armidale NSW
Justin Bailey is a large animal veterinarian who practiced for seven years in Australia and overseas before returning to manage the family property. On relocating to Armidale in 2003 he took up a position with a contract research organisation and in 2005 he commenced PhD studies at the University of New England as part of the Sheep CRC’s postgraduate training program. On completion he joined Novartis Animal Health where he played a role in launching what was then the first new class of sheep drench in 30 years. He has recently returned to a new role at the University of New England.

The industry focus of the CRC postgraduate training program, that includes a structured approach to professional development, was a good launching pad for a career at the top level in the veterinary pharmaceuticals industry.

Session 5

Precision Sheep Management

From e-sheep to apps

Kevib Atkins KD (KEVIN) ATKINS
Research Consultant
KD Atkins was Principal Research Scientist at Orange Agricultural Institute, NSW Department of Primary Industries (retired July 2009). KD was a Program Manager for the Sheep CRC (2002–2008) and continued association as a consulting researcher within the Sheep CRC to the present. He has nearly 50 years research experience in the genetic improvement and precision management of sheep. He is the author of 60 scientific journal papers, 100 science conference proceedings and 150 technical and industry publications. He has also developed numerous computer packages for on-farm data capture, data processing and analysis, targeting advice to specific breeding programs and decision support software.

Understanding the extent of within-flock variation highlighted the opportunity to use this information for flock improvement and better targeting treatment for specific sectors of the flock. The development of automated measurement has involved challenges with technology and data capture. Sophisticated web-based apps now take care of many of these problems.

eID – transforming the stud

Centre Plus, Tullamore
Mark is a third generation farmer from Tullamore in Central NSW. Mark has a degree in Farm Business Management from Sydney University. He has been on the Advisory Committee Sheep Genetics, Technical Committee Sheep Genetics, National Livestock Genetics Consortium taskforce MLA, MerinoLink Merino Lifetime Productivity trial steering committee, and the Macquarie Merino Lifetime Productivity trial steering committee. Mark manages the Centre Plus Central Nucleus where his key roles include data capture with electronic tags and the storage, management and analysis of the data. This work has developed a strong interest in genetics and the technologies that go hand in hand with sheep breeding programs.

Mastering the eID technology and developing new applications for its use has turned routine data collection into an interesting and exciting job. With data accuracy taken care of, a number of new opportunities are created – among them embracing the genomic revolution.

Monitoring and sensors – where next?

Research & Development Leader ANZ Region, Allflex Australia
Amanda Doughty works as part of Allflex’s broader Animal Monitoring Research, Development and Application team developing animal monitoring technologies and using these innovations to improve the health and welfare of livestock. Prior to this Amanda was investigating novel and automated methods of assessing the health and welfare of extensively kept sheep as part of a joint Sheep CRC/University of New England Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship. Amanda studied Zoology at Massey University and completed a Master of Animal Studies at the University of Queensland. This was followed by a PhD with the CSIRO and the University of New England.

Amanda Doughty from Allflex discusses the rapid development of sophisticated electronic measurement systems for understanding animal behavior and wellbeing, and how it is opening up new opportunities for livestock management. The experience with dairy and beef cattle provides a glimpse into future opportunities for the sheep industry.

Session 6

Celebrating Success – our history in print

Innovation – Don’t Stop

Director, Sheep CRC 2008–2019
Peter Trefort manages his family’s property at Narrogin, Western Australia. He has over 50 years’ experience in sheep and cattle production as well as management across the meat supply chain. He has worked extensively developing on-farm and processing R&D strategy with the Department of Agriculture and Food (WA), University of Western Australia and Murdoch University. Peter has been successful in developing and commercialising an innovative new range of lamb cuts to extend markets both domestically and internationally. In 2017, Peter was inducted into the WA Agriculture Hall of Fame for contributions to agricultural education.

Running the first sheep feedlot with walk-over weighing, auto-drafting and abattoir hook tracking in 2005 tested the technology and put Peter Trefort on a pathway of continuous innovation through the Sheep CRC. Striving to utilise innovation at a practical level is a powerful way to stimulate further research and stay at the forefront of new developments.

How well did the Sheep CRC perform?

CEO, Cooperative Research Centres Association
Tony Peacock was CEO of a successful CRC and Managing Director of one of Australia’s Rural R&D Corporations. In 2010 he was awarded the Australian Government Eureka Prize for Promoting the Public Understanding of Science. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in agriculture and a PhD in veterinary science from the University of Sydney and has worked at the universities of Melbourne and Saskatchewan, served on the Board of several start-up biotechnology companies, is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and an Adjunct Professor at the University of Canberra. Tony was awarded the 2014 Monash University Churchill Fellowship to investigate university-business relationships. Tony was recently made a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering.

CEO of the Cooperative Research Centres Association, Tony Peacock, compares the Sheep CRC’s performance to other CRCs. The Sheep CRC is one of a number of CRCs that have successfully run for three terms and delivered a range of significant outcomes for industry. An analysis of the Sheep CRC and some indications of future developments for the CRC Programme will stimulate discussion amongst CRC Participants about new opportunities.

The book – telling our story

Sheep CRC Chair 2007–2014
Dr John Keniry AM has served as Chairman or Director of numerous agribusiness companies in Australia and New Zealand and on the Boards of Government organisations at State and Federal levels. He is a Fellow of The Australian Institute of Company Directors, Fellow of the Royal Australian Chemical Institute, Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering and former member of the Prime Minister’s Science, Engineering and Innovation Council, and of the Board of Innovation Australia.

Former Sheep CRC chair John Keniry announces the publication of a history book for the organisation. Identifying Sheep CRC highlights from the perspective of a Chair (2007-2014), and a passionate sheep producer, draws on inside information. The pre-launch of the book, Concept to Impact – the Story of the Sheep CRC (2001-2019), gives formal notice that this vision is on track to becoming a reality.

Session 7

Foundations of future innovation – digital forecasting

What can ASKBILL do now?

Sheep CRC Program Leader—Enhanced sheep wellbeing and productivity, University of New England
Lewis Kahn holds a Bachelor’s degree in Rural Science and PhD in Animal Sciences from the University of New England (UNE). His research interests include control of internal parasites of sheep and grazing management strategies. He was formerly Executive Officer with ParaBoss, the national authority for ruminant livestock parasite management and principal of a consulting business that worked with producers to improve on-farm management. He is the current Associate Dean Research at UNE and Managing Director UNE SMART Farms and has a commitment to ensuring that research has industry impact.

Sheep CRC Wellbeing and Productivity Program Leader Prof. Lewis Kahn tracks the evolution of ASKBILL. At each stage of its development it continues to surpass expectations. Key capabilities of the program continue to expand and demonstrate new features as well as future opportunities.

ASKBILL – making a difference on the farm

Ruby Hills, Walcha NSW
Andrew Burgess manages a family grazing operation at Walcha on the Northern Tablelands of NSW. Due to the limitations being imposed by a recent rapid decline in rainfall, the business is now mostly sheep, including a self-replacing superfine Merino flock and a crossbred lamb breeding operation. He served on the Sheep CRC Kirby Nucleus Flock Management Committee at Armidale and the Sheep CRC Project Research & Review Committee. He has a keen interest in promoting the practical outcomes of the CRC’s research.

As an astute user of ASKBILL, Andrew Burgess says there have been important management decisions helped by ASKBILL forecasts. Confidence in ASKBILL forecasts takes time to grow but as it builds through experience. Once ASKBILL proves itself in one area it gets a chance to prove itself in other areas.

How accurate are the forecasts

Manager, Livestock apps, University of New England
Johan Boshoff is leading the UNE CASI team that is responsible for the development and maintenance of ASKBILL, RamSelect and SheepDNA. CASI is UNE’s data transformation hub focusing on turning research into innovative solutions. Johan has more than 25 years of software engineering experience specializing in business and research focused solutions. He plays an active technical role in the development process, architecting the solutions delivered. Prior to his current role he managed his own software development business and managed a team of eResearch Analysts for Intersect Australia.

Sheep CRC app development manager Johan Boshoff says the ASKBILL forecasts and predictions are highly dependent on the accuracy of the Bureau of Meteorology’s information. This presentation examines how well the predictions of the downscaled (5x5km grid) forecasts for rainfall align with actual records in a number of areas. The results are interesting.

ASKBILL’s role in managing Natural Capital

Associate Professor, University of Edinburgh
Dr Francisco Ascui is an international expert in environmental accounting and finance, with 20 years’ experience across business, government and academia. He is currently an Associate Professor at the University of Edinburgh Business School, an Honorary Research Associate at the University of Oxford, and an independent consultant. He has a PhD in carbon accounting, an MBA and an MSc in environmental management. In recent years he has pioneered a new approach to evaluating natural capital credit risk in agricultural lending, which aims to encourage lenders to reward sustainability best practice with a lower cost of capital.

Francisco Ascui, Associate Professor at the University of Edinburgh, says that determining the capital value of natural resources used in farming systems is becoming an important consideration for banks and landowners. This presentation summarises some of the key parameters influencing the value of natural capital in sheep production systems and outlines how ASKBILL may assist in monitoring and managing these assets.

Session 8

Changing the conversation

If people don’t know – then it didn’t happen

Media Specialist, Central Queensland University
Michael oversees the communications and media activities of the Sheep CRC. Prior to joining CQUniversity in Rockhampton, he was a Senior Consultant for Cox Inall Communications, leading projects for clients including the Beef Australia expo, Meat & Livestock Australia, Woolworths, Grains Research & Development Corporation, the Livestock Biosecurity Network, the Australian Animal Welfare Strategy, and RIRDC’s National Weeds Research Program. He has also worked for NSW’s The Land newspaper, Northern Star in Lismore, and Queensland Country Life. In his journalism career he progressed to roles including Fairfax Agricultural Media’s national political reporter based at Parliament House, Canberra, and national online editor for Fairfax’s FarmOnline group of news sites.

CQUniversity’s ag research communications manager Michael Thomson says effective communication with end users and stakeholders was just as important as the Sheep CRC’s research that delivered new technologies. The Sheep CRC’s approach has been to develop communication strategies and then implement these with a combination of traditional print and radio initiatives, supported increasingly by social media and video clips.

Using CRC communication and social media

Kojonup, WA
Rob Egerton-Warburton farms 4000ha in Kojonup, WA, producing sheep for wool and meat, as well as mixed grain. An adjunct business involves wildflower seed production. Rob has always had a passion for farming, particularly for the sheep industry, and he actively promotes farming beyond the farm gate. He has brought his knowledge of farming to numerous boards and committees and is regularly asked to speak at meetings and in the media on all kinds of farming related topics. He is currently on the Board of Merinotech, a Kojonup-based Merino genetic company. In addition, Rob chaired the WA Sheep Industry Leadership Council for four years and was a member of the Board of the Sheep CRC for seven years.

WA sheep producer Rob Egerton-Warburton says proactive use of social media creates a network for gathering, filtering and disseminating information. Exploring the impact that social media can have for producers searching for innovation will challenge all delegates.

Session 9

Empowering our future researchers

Post Graduates – preparing the future leaders

Associate Professor, Murdoch University
Graham Gardner has coordinated the Sheep CRC’s postgraduate training program since its inception in 2001. Graham holds a PhD from Murdoch University and, after a post-doctoral position at UNE, has continued his career in meat science, nutrition and animal production at Murdoch University. Graham leads the Rural R&D for Profit program ‘Advanced Livestock Measurement Technologies’.

Graham Gardner of Murdoch University says the CRC’s postgraduate development program is set to have a long term impact on the sheep industry. Since 2001, 82 postgraduate students have been embedded in Sheep CRC research programs and a high proportion of the graduates are already contributing to research and education or are utilising new technology in the private sector.

Undergraduates – teaching the essentials

Sheep & Wool Lecturer, University of New England
Dr Emma Doyle has been lecturing at UNE for the past 12 years as Sheep and Wool lecturer. The specialised sheep and wool units were developed by the Sheep CRC and are now assigned to the Australian Wool Education Trust (AWET) and delivered by UNE under licence. Emma is carrying out a range of research projects investigating the reproductive advantage of shorter shearing intervals. She is also involved in parasitological work including Barbervax vaccine and liverfluke detection, as well as goat drench efficacy and pharmacokinetics.

UNE’s Emma Doyle says the novel ‘hub-and-spoke’ model for delivering specialist sheep industry units at all Australian universities teaching agriculture has been an outstanding initiative. It was developed by CRC and AWET between 2001 and 2007. AWET and UNE have continued the initiative ensuring that sheep industry expertise is fostered amongst the undergraduate students.

Session 10

From genetics to genomics

Transforming genetic selection

Julius Van der Werf JULIUS VAN DER WERF
Sheep CRC Program Leader—Faster, affordable genetic gain University of New England
Professor Julius van der Werf holds a PhD in Animal Breeding from Wageningen University in the Netherlands. After appointments as Assistant Professor in Wageningen, and Senior Researcher in dairy cattle breeding at the National Institute for Animal Science and Health, he moved to the University of New England in 1997, first as Senior Lecturer and now as Professor in Animal Breeding and Genetics. His expertise varies from genetic evaluation and breeding program design to analysis and use of genomic information. Julius has lead the Sheep CRC’s genetics research since the start of the CRC in 2001.

The Sheep CRC has taken the Australian sheep industry to the position of world leaders in the use of genomic technologies in livestock production. Improving the accuracy of estimated genetic merit, and expanding selection options to include new traits, has set up the industry for faster, better-targeted genetic gain.

New tools for a breeder in a hurry

Leachim Poll Merino Stud, Snowtown SA
Andrew is a fourth generation farmer, working his 1500ha family farm at Snowtown, South Australia, as well as grazing land in the state’s north-east pastoral area and in the south- east. He has built and operated a large scale sheepmeat and wool business including both Terminal and Maternal sheep. He has extensive experience in the use of breeding technologies in both the sheep and cattle industries incorporating all the latest leading edge animal breeding technologies available. Using these technologies and working with industry groups has assisted him to develop a highly productive business, breeding top performing sheep for quality red meat production, along with high value skins and wools on animals that do not require mulesing. Andrew is a member of the MLA Board.

For a breeder in a hurry, the genomic technologies have created new opportunities. From early use of genomics to identify elite animals for JIVET programs, to the routine testing in commercial ram breeding, there has been dramatic progress and change on farm.

DNA – where is it going

Director, Neogen Australasia; Vice President, Neogen Corporation (USA)
Jason is a 14-year employee of Neogen Corporation, a food security company based in Lansing, Michigan. Jason has a long-standing passion for genetics given his academic training prior to moving into agribusiness. Today, Jason oversees all aspects of Neogen’s strategy and corporate development activities, including acquisitions, technology licensing and IP management. He also leads Agrigenomic business development, which included the acquisition of the AGL from University of Queensland in 2017, creating Neogen Australasia. Jason is the primary director of the company’s Australian operation, based in Gatton, QLD. Jason holds an MBA from Michigan State University and a PhD in Genetics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Neogen Vice President Jason Lilly says that fundamental to the use of genomic technologies is the cost and sophistication of DNA testing. The development of new DNA analytical systems and the impact of these developments on costs is just part of the story. Information from the world’s largest livestock genotyping company gives a glimpse of what the future might hold.

Using genomics to make money

Sheep Industry Consultant, Sally Martin Consulting Pty Ltd
Sally grew up on a grazing property on the Monaro, NSW. Sally studied Agricultural Science at University of Western Sydney Hawkesbury and has completed Postgraduate studies at University of New England and Sydney University focusing on Animal Breeding Management. She worked with NSW DPI for approximately 20 years and now runs her own consultancy business servicing commercial breeders, ram breeders and service providers across the sheep industry. Sally has recently been appointed to the Sheep Genetics Advisory Committee providing strategic direction for the continued development of the key Sheep Genetics programs of LAMBPLAN and MERINOSELECT.

Using genomic technologies in the supply chain between ram breeders and ram buyers is proving to be effective in creating new opportunities for improved genetic gain. The MerinoLink case study defines opportunities for genetic improvement in a commercial context.

Session 11

Simplifying ram selection

RamSelect training program and app

Sheep CRC Industry Engagement and Training Coordinator
Lu Hogan holds a Bachelor of Agricultural Science from the University of Melbourne. She comes from a farming background and until 2002 was a wool, sheep and grain producer in the Riverina region of southern NSW. Lu has previously worked with CSIRO and the Victorian Department of Agriculture and was General Manager, Wool Production at AWI, responsible for on-farm research, development and innovation relating to animal health, welfare, genetics, genomics, wool harvesting, pastures, natural resource management, education and adoption of innovation within industry. Lu was employed as the Industry Engagement & Training Coordinator for the Sheep CRC in 2009.

Identifying and buying rams to achieve defined breeding objectives is not easy. A successful industry training program was converted to a powerful web-based app that is helping many commercial sheep producers manage their genetic improvement programs with confidence.

Buying the right lambs for increased profit

Merino Breeder, Beechworth, VIC
Stuart grew up on a sheep and beef property in North East Victoria. After completing his Agricultural Science degree at Melbourne University, Stuart joined Agriculture Victoria as a lamb extension officer where he also undertook his Masters degree in Agrifood Value Chain Management. In 2012, Stuart left the department for the land, putting into practice his experience by leasing his family farm with his wife, Katie. Their current business runs around 3500 sheep, and performance is underpinned by the objective use of genetic information which has most recently included the use of DNA Flock Profile technology.

Genomic flock profiling and use of RamSelect to buy the right rams for specific breeding objectives has enabled accurately targeted genetic gain for commercial sheep production.

Session 12

Life after the sheep CRC

MLA’s plans for the post-CRC cooperation

General Manager, Producer Consultation and Adoption, Meat & Livestock Australia
Michael holds a Bachelor’s Degree, Rural Science from the University of New England and a Graduate Certificate in Business Administration from QUT. His team is responsible for MLA’s investments in adoption, R&D consultation, livestock genetics and MSA, working closely with producers and the red meat value chain to drive adoption of R&D. Michael joined MLA in 2009 where he has held positions of MSA Manager, International Business Manager (EU & Russia) and now GM Producer Consultation & Adoption. Prior to joining MLA, Michael held a number of commercial positions in the red meat supply chain including running his own business.

Mick Crowley, General Manager, Producer Consultation and Adoption at Meat & Livestock Australia, says plans for using the CRC outputs and continuing the collaboration amongst current CRC Participants is an essential part of the post-CRC legacy.

Capturing the next innovations

Primary Producer, Moorlands SA
Allan Piggott and his family farm 2300 hectares producing grain, prime lambs and rams for the prime lamb industry. Allan is a foundation member of the Australian White Suffolk Association and a foundation member of important biosecurity programs. The Illoura stud began performance recording in 1987 and has utilised the emerging technologies that have been developed by the Sheep CRC. He is currently a member of Livestock SA, chairman of the SA Sheep Industry Blueprint, and an executive councilor of the Royal Adelaide Show and immediate past President of Sheep Producers Australia.

SheepProducers Australia’s Allan Piggot says the importance of innovation for the sheep industry to achieve enhanced productivity and product quality is well understood. Harnessing the synergies of effective collaboration to create new opportunities is a challenge for the future.

Closing comments

Sheep CRC Chair
Ian Wilton has extensive experience as a non-executive director and senior agribusiness executive. He currently serves on the Board of Elders Ltd and is Chair of that company’s Audit Committee. He is also a non-executive director of One Harvest Holdings Pty Ltd. He has undertaken senior management roles in a number of companies including President and CEO of GrainCorp Malt and CFO and interim CEO of Ridley Corporation Ltd. Ian is a CPA with considerable corporate, finance oversight and governance experience.

The productive collaboration and investment by all sectors of the sheep industry has delivered numerous new products that will continue to have a sustained impact on the industry for many years to come. Lessons learned during the Sheep CRC will, hopefully, be useful in developing future initiatives and collaborative activities.