THE opportunities and challenges surrounding sustainable beef production in northern Australia will come into focus during a seminar program being staged in Rockhampton during Beef Australia 2018 in May.
The Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation (QAAFI) and the University of Queensland will host the seminar, being staged on Thursday, May 10.
The sustainability issue continues to build momentum in the beef industry, with global food service giants like McDonald’s making pledges in recent years to secure at least a portion of its global beef requirements through certified sustainable programs.
The seminar will be chaired by Australian beef industry identity David Crombie, former MLA chairman, who sits on the QAAFI advisory panel, and on the board of the Australian Agricultural Co. He will moderate a series of short presentations from leading beef researchers, followed by an engaging industry panel discussion on the challenges and future of sustainable beef production in Northern Australia.
Click the link below to view a short precis from seminar chair, David Crombie
Some of the prominent industry stakeholders making presentations will include:
QAAFI’s Professor Ben Hayes, who will discuss quick, easy and accurate breeding decisions with genomics. Prof Hayes is a world genomics expert and is the co-inventor of genomic prediction for traits in dairy and beef cattle. He has extensive research experience in genetic improvement of livestock, with a focus on integration of genomic information into breeding programs. He also sits on the National Livestock Genetics Consortium Taskforce.
There is an opportunity for breeders to utilise genomics in their herd – but there is a need to breed for balance, not just one trait, Prof Hayes says. Welcome to the genomics era, where breeding to balance growth, fertility, meat quality, feed efficiency, adaptation, is an achievable and measureable reality.
Professor Alan Tilbrook, who will discuss the importance of assessing animal welfare, as part of sustainability. Prof Tilbrook is a national and international leader in animal welfare science. He is a founding member of the Animal Welfare Science Centre and served as Deputy Director and Co-director of the Centre, was the Research Chief of Livestock and Farming Systems at the SA Research and Development Institute. He is also the Research Provider Champion and Chair of the Steering Committee for the National Animal Welfare Research, Development and Extension Strategy.
As public awareness and concern over animal welfare increases, there is no greater risk currently facing the red meat industry in Australia than not engaging in animal welfare R&D, Prof Tilbrook argues. The path forward will require a scientific approach to develop an understanding of both the biological functioning (physiology and behaviour) and affective (emotional) states of animals throughout the supply chain. Success will be measured by how well we can engage the public and consumers in that process.
Dr Luis Prada e Silva, who will discuss nutritional strategies to enhance milk delivery and calf growth in northern Australia. Dr Prada e Silva is a leader in the area of ruminant nutrition. Luis brings perspective from the world’s largest producer of beef, Brazil, where he had a previous appointment at the Universidade de Sao Paulo.
Poor nutrition of cows during gestation leads to high levels of stress, low calf birth weight, low quantity and quality of colostrum, poor transfer of passive immunity and, consequently, poor health and growth of calves. What can be done to ameliorate this problem?
A panel of prominent red meat industry stakeholders will then discuss the roles that breeding, nutrition and welfare have in the broader sustainability context.
Panellists include prominent NSW seedstock producer and former MLA boardmember Lucinda Corrigan; Tess Camm from Angus Pastoral Co’s Signature Beef supply chain in Central Queensland; and Susan McDonald, principal of Brisbane warehouse-style meat retail chain, Super Butcher.
Sustainable Beef: The Northern Frontier seminar
What: Join industry leaders for a light breakfast and discussion on producing sustainable beef in the northern Australia beef industry
When: Thursday 10 May 8:30am – 10:00am
Where: Beef 2018’s Gallagher Energiser Room (James Lawrence pavilion)
Tickets: $20. Click here to access tickets