EVENT SUMMARY

                                                              

B+LNZ Genetics 2018 Beef Breeder Forum – 29-30 August

Each year for the past three years, B+LNZ Genetics has hosted a Beef Breeder Forum alongside Beef Expo in Feilding. This year, we want to expand the number of people who can “attend” the forum. So, welcome to this virtual conference. Here are the four steps:
1) Register in advance by clicking the "Register" tab in the top right of this window (or the massive "Register now" button above...). Simply fill in your name, email and nominate a password of your choice.
2) You then receive a confirmation email that includes the conference link.
3) Use this link to log in on the night - you'll need your password, so keep it handy.
4) Settle in with a cup of tea and watch via your computer or tablet.

2028: What’s for dinner?

We have five “live” sessions over Wednesday and Thursday evening – all focused on what we can expect 10 years from now. These involve:
• Pre-recorded presentations (to avoid technical glitches).
• Live questions and answers with each speaker, immediately after the presentation.

How to ask questions?

Please do ask questions during and after the presentations. Simply use the chat box immediately below the presentation screen or text in your questions (number will be circulated in advance).

Programme

Wednesday 29 August

7pm Welcome
Graham Alder, B+LNZ Genetics General Manager

7.05pm Crossbred bulls: Are they the future?
Matthew Cleveland and Bill Cornell, ABS Global

8pm Genomics is here: Get with the programme?
Bull breeders Bryan Bendall & Jono Reed

8.30pm So what will be for dinner in 2028?
Melissa Sowden, Silver Fern Farms

Thursday 30 August

7pm Beef Progeny Test: A frank conversation with the men at the coalface
Beef Progeny Test managers' panel

8pm Ireland's beef genomics programme: A most un-Muldoon approach
Andrew Cromie, Irish Cattle Breeders Federation

There are also another 12 on-demand presentations, which will all be available to view from 6.30pm on Wednesday 29 August. See Sessions tab above for details.

We hope you enjoy the opportunity to be part of this forum, no matter where in New Zealand or further afield that you happen to be.

SESSIONS



Welcome

Graham  Alder
Introduction and welcome to the forum.


Crossbred bulls: Are they the future?

Matthew  Cleveland
Bill Cornell
If you consider New Zealand's sheep industry, crossbreeding is an established part of the ram scene. In the beef sector? Not so much. Dr Jason Archer (AbacusBio) talks to Matthew Cleveland and Bill Cornell from ABS Global - a company that is commissioning the crossbreeding of bulls to produce the ultimate high merit bulls. And why not? From the ABS website: "This targeted approach allows ABS to continuously deliver improved and validated genetics for traits that truly impact a customer’s profitability." This will be a fascinating 40-minute conversation, followed by your questions.


Genomics is here: Get with the programme?

Bryan  Bendall
Jono Reed
Join us for a genuine yarn about the place of genomics in a stud beef herd. Is it worth all the talk? Or have you already missed the boat? Max Tweedie (B+LNZ Genetics) is talking with two bull breeders: big-time genomics enthusiast Bryan Bendall and cautiously interested but yet to be convinced Jono Reed. For 15 minutes, we let them put forward their views and hopefully get a bit fired up, then we open the floor to questions.


So what will be for dinner in 2028?

Melissa  Sowden
This 15-minute presentation will discuss what the high-end beef consumer is likely to be looking for 10 years from now. And, with that in mind, the insights bull breeders should take on board now, in preparation. Following the presentation, Max Tweedie (B+LNZ Genetics) will facilitate a live Q&A with Melissa.


Beef Progeny Test: A frank conversation with the men at the coalface

B+LNZ Genetics Beef Progeny  Test managers Panel
The Beef Progeny Test is now in its fourth year and - finally - the all-important carcase and maternal trait information is coming through. Max Tweedie (B+LNZ Genetics) and Dr Jason Archer (AbacusBio) talk to managers from the five progeny test farms. What have they seen that they didn't expect, what management practices will they be adopting going forward, what do they believe bull breeders need to be taking particular notice of? After about 40 minutes, it'll be your chance to ask your own questions.


Ireland's beef genomics programme: A most un-Muldoon approach

Dr Andrew  Cromie
The Irish Government understands that the country's beef genetics need to move into the 21st Century. It’s investing tens of millions of euros annually, supporting best practice use of genomics and performance recording. In return, farmers must complete key actions, such as genotyping and using 4 & 5 star rated $ index bulls. The system translates to a direct payment back to the farmer of about €65/cow/year. But, if the farmer doesn’t uphold their end of the bargain - including data recording, education, training, etc - they get no payment. Dr Jason Archer (AbacusBio) talks to Dr Andrew Cromie from the Irish Cattle Breeders Federation about this very un-Muldoon approach to promoting change. The 20-minute interview will be followed by a live Q&A.


Eating Quality hit rates: From dunce to dux

James  van Bohemen
ON-DEMAND - Available to watch from 6.30pm on Wed 29 Aug
James van Bohemen will talk about how poor Rangitaiki's EQ hit rates were (28% in May 2017) - and what the team did to become top performers within one season - 78% in March 2018. This video includes kill sheets (before and after), the triggers used to initiate change, and the role of weight vs condition. To hit EQ, you generally need to "finish" the cattle further along than simply processing to a specified weight. Dr Jason Archer (AbacusBio) and James discuss the cost-benefit of carrying stock for extra weeks vs the premium.


Bull Breeder Job Description - 2028

Nick  Beeby
ON-DEMAND - Available to watch from 6.30pm on Wed 29 Aug
The Red Meat Origin Brand and Story will be rolled out later this year. What should bull breeders be doing to position New Zealand beef producers for best advantage? What's in it for breeders? Or is it just more of the same idealistic talk that's been around for years? In this audio, Robert Peacock (bull breeder) asks Nick Beeby of B+LNZ all the questions you want to know the answers to.


Gene editing: What stance should New Zealand take?

Professor Dorian  Garrick
ON-DEMAND - Available to watch from 6.30pm on Wed 29 Aug
Massey University's Professor Dorian Garrick opens the lid on gene editing technology. What are the pros? The cons? What are the implications for New Zealand and its global position, when it comes to marketing the country's agricultural products? This thought-provoking presentation was recorded at last month's B+LNZ Genetics Sheep Breeder Forum 2018 in Dunedin.


Why Single Step is the bomb

Andrew  Byrne
ON-DEMAND - Available to watch from 6.30pm on Wed 29 Aug
In December 2017, Angus Australia rolled out the new single step Breedplan genomic evaluation. As a result, software now simultaneously crunches genomic, pedigree and performance information to generate the best possible prediction of an animal’s breeding value. Eight months on from its launch, Andrew Byrne (Angus Australia) explains why single step is such a leap forward for the breed.


Single Step: It's pretty much what Mendel said, but maybe not what you thought

Dr Steve  Miller
ON-DEMAND - Available to watch from 6.30pm on Wed 29 Aug
Dr Steve Miller is Director of Genetic Research at Angus Genetics in the States. If his name sounds familiar, it’s because he was in charge of AgResearch’s beef genomics programme until mid-2016. In this presentation, Steve shares the experience of US Angus and their adoption of Single Step. It’s an eye-opening insight that will make you question what you thought you knew about genetics. This video was recorded during July's B+LNZ Genetics Sheep Breeder Forum in Dunedin and was one of the most talked about presentations over the two days.


The Aussies are muscling up

Dr Linda  Cafe
ON-DEMAND - Available to watch from 6.30pm on Wed 29 Aug
Selection for muscle score in British bred cattle has proven successful, but how does it affect your cattle and your bottom line? Hear from Dr Linda Cafe of NSW DPI in Australia on how results from a long term research project could influence cow selection.


Describe the ultimate cow: It’s not as easy as you think

Professor Wayne  Pitchford
ON-DEMAND - Available to watch from 6.30pm on Wed 29 Aug
The Trans Tasman Beef Cow Profitability Programme is a $5m investment over three years. A key part of this programme is developing genetic measures that better describe the important physical attributes of the beef cow. How big is she? What’s her body condition? Can she handle fluctuations in feed availability? With the tools available now, are we changing cows for the good, for both New Zealand and Australian conditions? Professor Wayne Pitchford from the University of Adelaide brings us up to speed.


Beef Progeny Test: Let's cut to the chase

Dr Jason  Archer
Max Tweedie
ON-DEMAND - Available to watch from 6.30pm on Wed 29 Aug
What are the key insights for bull breeders? Dr Jason Archer (AbacusBio) and Max Tweedie (B+LNZ Genetics) cut to the point in this relaxed audio. From a bull breeder's perspective, what are the take-home messages, four years on.


B+LNZ Genetics beef strategy: What's the plan?

Graham  Alder
ON-DEMAND - Available to watch from 6.30pm on Wed 29 Aug
While New Zealand’s beef export earnings are worth about $3b per annum, improving genetic gain has the potential to add another $708m over the next 10 years. The industry approach is “Better Beef – Better Cattle”. Graham Alder (B+LNZ Genetics General Manager) will outline B+LNZ Genetics' beef strategy for the next seven years and some of the specific projects within that, including improved maternal and terminal productivity, progress on environment-related traits, matching calves to production systems and markets, and New Zealand's increasing focus on the consumer.


Will Dairy and Beef still be “dating” in 2028? Or will they have committed?

Associate Professor Rebecca  Hickson
ON-DEMAND - Available to watch from 6.30pm on Wed 29 Aug
What's it going to take for the dairy sector to commit to beef genetics, for the betterment of all? Associate Professor Rebecca Hickson (Massey University) - who oversees the B+LNZ Genetics Dairy-Beef Progeny Test - tells us what she believes will trigger change and what beef bull breeders should be selecting for to hammer the message home.


Heifer mating: Breed 'em, and feed ’em

Dr Jason  Archer
Max Tweedie
ON-DEMAND - Available to watch from 6.30pm on Wed 29 Aug
Ready to tune up your heifer mating? This presentation fronted by Max Tweedie (B+LNZ Genetics) and Dr Jason Archer (AbacusBio) summarises new research and understanding around mating heifers. Key point: Choose the right bulls and manage them right.


Want 5 gold stars for data recording? Yes please

Catriona  Millen
Boyd Gudex
ON-DEMAND - Available to watch from 6.30pm on Wed 29 Aug
Ever wondered how you get Completeness of Performance stars that tell bull buyers how good your records are? Easy. Get 5 gold stars by designing - and completing - your recording calendar. Southern Beef Technology Services extension officers Catriona Millen & Boyd Gudex explain how to read and improve your BREEDPLAN Completeness of Performance report.


SPEAKERS

Bryan Bendall

Stud Master, Seven Hills Angus
Bryan and partner Nicky run a 1100ha sheep and beef operation in the Tararua region. The stud is based around 400 Angus cows and rising-two-year-old heifers (in calf), with associated young stock and a 4000-ewe Romney flock. Seven Hills markets 120 Angus breeding bulls via auction, private treaty and contract sales, with a strong focus on calving ease and carcase quality. Genomics is a key tool for the stud, providing more confidence in the bulls’ EBV accuracies. This is especially valuable when selecting sires for the stud’s own breeding programme and the bulls sold to commercial clients. Seven Hills first engaged in genomics in 2012 and, since 2015, all rising-two-year-old bulls sold at the stud’s June auction and all females retained for breeding have been HD 50K tested.

Jono Reed

Studmaster, Grampians Angus
Jono has been wanting to produce stud bulls for as long as he can remember. As a 16 year old, he started what is now Grampians Angus, with help from fellow Angus breeders Neal and Rose Sanderson. The stud is based at his family’s 3200 hectare Mackenzie country station, The Grampians, and sells about 40 bulls annually. Jono’s breeding programme focuses on sound, easy-doing cows that work in a hill country environment. While the stud uses extensive embryo programmes, Jono is yet to be convinced about the reliability of genomics and wants to be persauded that it’s worth the investment.

Melissa Sowden

Agribusiness Technical Manager, Silver Fern Farms
A key part of Melissa’s job is engaging with Silver Fern Farms’ suppliers to raise awareness of the importance of Eating Quality (EQ) and how it relates to a consumer’s purchasing decision. Melissa has also been involved in implementing several strategic projects in the red meat industry, the Beef + Lamb Genetics Beef Progeny Test, and is on the advisory board for a B+LNZ Beef Innovation Farm in Southland. Melissa recently returned from leading an in-market Farmer Tour to North America, where the group gained insights to the future of this market. Melissa has a Bachelor of Agricultural Science (Honours) from Lincoln University.

B+LNZ Genetics Beef Progeny Test managers Panel

Richard Schofield
Manager, Whangara Farms

Sam Bunny
Manager, Landcorp’s Rangitaiki Station

Ian Evans
Manager, Tautane Station

Simon Lee
Manager, Mendip Hillls

Dr Andrew Cromie

Technical Director, Irish Cattle Breeding Federation (ICBF)
Andrew has specific responsibility for delivery of services to the Irish cattle breeding industry, including genetics, genomics, breeding programs and the ICBF Herdplus service. He comes from a dairy and beef background and is a graduate of QUB, Belfast, University of Edinburgh and University College Dublin. Andrew holds an MBA from University College Cork. His current work focus is the Irish beef genomics scheme – the world’s largest livestock genomics project. It involves about 2.5 million animals being genotyped with the Irish Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine, as part of an EU-funded project. Andrew is also chairperson of Interbeef, which is an ICAR initiative to help establish global genetic evaluations for beef cattle. Technical Director, Irish Cattle Breeding Federation (ICBF) Andrew has specific responsibility for delivery of services to the Irish cattle breeding industry, including genetics, genomics, breeding programs and the ICBF Herdplus service. He comes from a dairy and beef background and is a graduate of QUB, Belfast, University of Edinburgh and University College Dublin. Andrew holds an MBA from University College Cork. His current work focus is the Irish beef genomics scheme – the world’s largest livestock genomics project. It involves about 2.5 million animals being genotyped with the Irish Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine, as part of an EU-funded project. Andrew is also chairperson of Interbeef, which is an ICAR initiative to help establish global genetic evaluations for beef cattle.

James van Bohemen

Farm Operations Manager, Landcorp’s Rangitaiki Station
James has been involved in the B+LNZ Beef Progeny Test at Rangitaiki Station since the test kicked off four years ago. He spent two years at Massey studying towards a Bachelor of Agricultural Commerce, before a stint shepherding and finding himself at Rangitaiki. James has worked his way up to operations manager, while continuing his study extramurally, as time allows. At 8500ha, Rangitaiki is an extensive operation, finishing 800 steers and 3500 bulls annually. James believes EQ is the way of the future and describes it as a shift away from “mob mentality” to “individual analysis”. Cattle are generally being finished at heavier weights and James is interested to see if the EQ premium is sufficient to cover potentially higher production costs.

Nick Beeby

General Manager – Market Development, B+LNZ
B+LNZ’s market development programme has recently been through a significant change, led by the sector – farmers, meat companies and industry stakeholders. As a result, it now focuses around customer insight, market innovation, and developing and implementing the Origin Brand and New Zealand red meat story. Nick was born and raised on a family farm in Hawke’s Bay. He has more than 10 years’ experience in the New Zealand primary sector, working in both New Zealand and Europe.

Professor Dorian Garrick

Chief Scientist, Massey University
Dorian graduated with a Bachelor of Agricultural Science (First Class Honours) from Massey University, before a Fulbright scholarship and the Andrew D. White Fellowship took him to Cornell University, where he completed his PhD on the use of pedigree and performance information from field data for prediction of genetic merit and estimation of variance components. He returned to Massey University, teaching and extending his research. His work led to the development of new approaches to national evaluation in dairy cattle and sheep including across-breed animal model prediction and web-accessible systems for on-demand turn key evaluations. Dorian has held professorial positions at Colorado State University and Iowa State University and is the A.L. Rae Chair in Animal Breeding and Genetics at Massey University.

Andrew Byrne

Breed Development & Extension Manager, Angus Australia
Part of Andrew’s role is providing Angus Australia members and their customers with genetics tools to achieve continuous enhancement of Angus and Angus-influenced cattle and beef products. He is well versed in the BREEDPLAN genetic evaluation software, BREEDPLAN and companion products (such as BreedObject selection indexes, Internet Solutions, MateSel and TakeStock), as well as genomic technologies for parentage verification, management of genetic conditions and genetic improvement for both qualitative and production traits. Andrew has been heavily involved in the delivery of innovative extension activities regarding the utilisation of genetic improvement technologies. Andrew has a Bachelor of Agricultural Science (Hons).

Dr Steve Miller

Director of Genetic Research, Angus Genetics Inc
Steve became well known within Canada’s beef industry for genomic research during his 20 years at the University of Guelph. It was there he completed his doctorate in animal breeding and genetics specialising in beef cattle. He continued his career with the university’s Centre for Genetic Improvement of Livestock, including as Director for seven years. Steve’s recent projects include the Canadian Cattle Genome Project, which contributed significantly to the international 1000 Bull Genomes Project. Led by the Canadian Simmental Association, he’s also been involved in genomic innovations investigating prediction tools to improve fertility, feed efficiency and carcase and meat quality. Steve joined Angus Genetics Inc (AGI – a subsidiary of the American Angus Association) in 2016, just as the implementation of Single Step genomic evaluation was ramping up. Prior to AGI, Steve spent three years with AgResearch’s animal genomics team at Invermay.

Dr Linda Cafe

Livestock Research Officer, New South Wales Department of Primary Industries
Linda joined the Department as a technical officer in 2002. She moved to the Armidale Livestock Industry Centre in 2005 and, after completing her PhD on cattle temperament, gained a research position in 2010. With a background in ruminant nutrition and rangelands research, she has a broad understanding of livestock systems. Linda is Principal Researcher for the Department’s muscling selection line cattle herd. Part of her role is ensuring that this important cattle resource is utilised and applied to solving industry issues. Linda is interested in developing her research to include temperament in broader cattle welfare research.

Professor Wayne Pitchford

Professor of Animal Breeding and Genetics, Davies Research Centre, University of Adelaide
Wayne studied agricultural science at the University of Adelaide, completed his PhD in Sydney and has been lecturing at Waite and Roseworthy Campuses since 1992. He has been a programme leader in the Beef CRC (Co-operative Research Centre), director of Pork CRC and continues to lead multiple sheep and cattle projects. The majority of his research has been targeted at genetic improvement of production efficiency and meat quality. His passion in agriculture is to help people grow academically; he supervises student projects in physiology, statistical genetics, social science, extension methodologies and influence of social media on public opinion.

Associate Professor Rebecca Hickson

Associate Professor in Animal Breeding and Genetics, Massey University
Rebecca is lead researcher for the B+LNZ Genetics Dairy-Beef Progeny Test. She completed her PhD on dystocia in beef heifers at Massey University in 2009. She also has a Bachelor of Science (Hons) in Animal Science and Mathematics and a Bachelor of Business in Finance. Rebecca grew up on a sheep and beef farm near Gisborne and has maintained a strong interest in beef production, particularly breeding cows. Her current research interests include beef cow efficiency, making the best use of dairy beef opportunities and Theileria orientalis (ikeda) impacts in beef herds.

Catriona Millen

Technical Officer, Southern Beef Technology Services, Agricultural Business Research Institute, Armidale NSW
Catriona has been with Southern Beef Technology Services (SBTS) since January 2015. She completed a Bachelor of Science at Monash University in 2008 and a Bachelor of Agricultural Science (Hons) at the University of Melbourne in 2009. She has previously worked as a genetics demonstrator for the “Get Into Genes” programme at La Trobe University. In her role at SBTS, Catriona provides technical support for 11 of the 14 breeds involved in the project. She is also involved in SBTS extension initatives and is a moderator of the recently-formed BREEDPLAN Discussion Group on Facebook.

Boyd Gudex

Technical Officer, Southern Beef Technology Services, Agricultural Business Research Institute
Boyd is based in Armidale, Australia and has been with Southern Beef Technology Services since May 2017. A New Zealander, Boyd graduated from Lincoln University before crossing the ditch to complete his PhD at the University of New England. He has extensive cattle industry experience having worked on his family’s South Canterbury farm, Landcorp’s genetics unit, LIC, NSW Department of Primary Industries, University of New England and the Sitz Angus Ranch in the USA. At SBTS, Boyd provides technical support for the Australian Limousin and Simmental breed societies. He also conducts the BREEDPLAN analyses for Trans-Tasman Limousin, Shorthorn and Simmental, and is responsible for MateSel and BreedObject selection index work at ABRI.

Dr Jason Archer

Consultant, AbacusBio
Jason is experienced in agricultural research and management in New Zealand and Australia, having held senior leadership and governance roles in R&D. He managed a large portfolio of meat and fibre research projects at AgResearch, before joining AbacusBio in 2014. Today, Jason works with commercial clients across the value chain – from on-farm through to processing and marketing – identifying opportunities to add value for their businesses. Jason has expertise in beef cattle breeding and management and is heavily involved in the B+LNZ Beef Progeny Test. He has a PhD in agricultural animal breeding from the University of Adelaide.

Graham Alder

General Manager, B+LNZ Genetics
As General Manager, Graham’s focus is on the commercial farmer and ensuring B+LNZ Genetics provides the information and tools farmers need to increase their profits via genetics. While that sounds simple, B+LNZ Genetics has about 20 research projects underway, collectively contributing to the bigger picture of using genetics to lift profit. Prior to joining B+LNZ Genetics in 2014, Graham was business manager for Zoetis Genetics for several years.

Max Tweedie

National Beef Genetics Manager, B+LNZ Genetics
Max has been with B+LNZ Genetics for three years. He has a Bachelor of Agriculture from Lincoln University and spent a semester at the University of New England in Armidale, where he studied breeding programme design and had exposure to Breedplan and the Australian Animal Genetics and Breeding Unit. Max originates from a sheep and beef farm in Northern Hawke’s Bay. Based in Hastings, Max’s role focuses on beef, specifically helping commercial farmers and breeders apply genetics to their business objectives.

B+LNZ Genetics 2018 Beef Breeder Forum

 
 
 
 
 
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