Genetics, sustainability, nutrition headline Northern beef research conference + pictures

Jon Condon, 23/08/2023

Sundowners during the NBRUC meet and greet on the Darwin foreshore last night

More than 200 delegates from across the meat and livestock and land management research community, extension personnel, industry advisers, agribusiness representatives and producers are gathered in Darwin today for the 2023 Northern Beef Research Update Conference.

The event is the pre-eminent conference for Australia’s northern beef research sector, providing participants with the latest results and technical information about key areas of cattle research and management in the region.

NABRC’s Jay Mohr-Bell from Mathieson Station via Katherine welcomes delegates to the 2023 conference at last night’s meet and greet

This year’s biennial conference marks 30 years of representation by the North Australian Beef Research Council (see outline below).

The two-day conference program starting this morning features a strong international and Australian speaker lineup, covering diverse topics from genetics and genomics to sustainability, nutrition, and managing drought and flood events. Stand by for more Beef central reports from the conference in coming days.

The main conference dinner on Wednesday night will feature the awarding of 2023 NABRC medals for research, production, communications/extension and Industry Contribution.

Keynote speakers this year include Dr David Riley, Professor of Animal Breeding and Genomics in the Department of Animal Science and a member of the Faculty of Genetics at Texas A&M University; and Dr Derek Bailey, a Professor of Range Science at New Mexico State University.

Also speaking are flavour chemist and sensory scientist, Associate Professor Heather Smyth from the Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation, and Dr David Beatty MLA’s Group Manager for Productivity and Wellbeing.ure presentations from leading industry researchers who will review and report on recently completed, and ongoing research projects that support the northern beef industry to continue to improve profitability, resilience and sustainability.

Beef bites

Today’s conference will also feature a series of Beef Bites: three-or ten-minute presentations under one of five themes:

  • Livestock performance and management
  • Feed base including rangelands and pastures
  • Technology, data management and use
  • Animal welfare and best practice
  • Human capacity, social science, extension

Here’s some of the stakeholders pictured at last night’s meet and greet gathering:

Don and Laurel Heatley from Home Hill, North Queensland, with Todd Donaldson from Elders Townsville

Tom Stockwell from Sunday Creek, via Katherine (right), with research scientist David Cobon from the University of Southern Qld, and Nick Baker from Livecorp

Keynote speaker David Riley from Texas A&M University, centre, with Zoetis’s Andrew Hallas and Kate Everett

Sponsors for this year’s Northern Beef Research Update conference include Zoetis, CSIRO, MLA, Northern Drought Hub, University of QLD, QLD Government, CRC for Developing Northern Australia, Elders and CQ University, Olssons and AA Co, Cibo labs, Farmbot, NTCA, Performance Feeds and Direct Injection Technologies.


The conference is coordinated by the North Australia Beef Research Council, an independent organisation made up of producer representatives, research organisations, education providers, and state farming organisations. NABRC celebrates 30 years of achievement this year.

NABRC aims to ensure innovation and learning in the northern beef industry is relevant to producers and beef industry participants, and achieves this by bringing together stakeholders in the planning of R,D&E activities for Queensland, the Northern Territory and the Pilbara and Kimberley regions of Western Australia.

NABRC does not fund RD&E activities. Rather, its role is to gather feedback from stakeholders from across Northern Australia to influence the RD&E agenda and ensure it addresses the priority issues facing our industry.

This is achieved through 11 Regional Beef Research Committees (RBRCs), which identify and discuss strategic industry issues. The chairs of each committee participate in NABRC meetings held bi-annually as part of NABRC’s role in developing and providing advice to organisations that invest in or undertake beef cattle RD&E.





Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Your comment will not appear until it has been moderated.
Contributions that contravene our Comments Policy will not be published.


  1. Zibani Madzonga, 23/08/2023

    This is a good article, it gives a picture of the level of achievements. The beef industry is taken as serious venture in Australia.

Get Beef Central's news headlines emailed to you -