News and Views - September 2017

DAERA Review and Why Your Views are Important

The Department of Agriculture Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) are currently undertaking a review of AFBI, as part of the normal periodic review of all public bodies. The review is examining the role of AFBI, opportunities for AFBI to deliver its role more effectively and efficiently, and is also seeking to identify any new areas of science and technology in which AFBI should play a leading role in the future.

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AFBI Dairy Farm Roadshows Draw the Crowds

Over 500 farmers attended three highly informative ‘Dairy Innovation in Practice’ farm road show events last week in Banbridge, Enniskillen and Newtownstewart.  The road shows were organised by AFBI, in conjunction with AgriSearch, the Ulster Grassland Society and CAFRE, and showcased how AFBI science is making a real difference to dairy farming in NI.

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AFBI Highlights the Economic Impact of Brexit on UK Agriculture

Over the past year, Professor John Davis, Dr Myles Patton and Dr Siyi Feng, economists in the Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute have been leading a UK-wide project analysing the impacts of three potential post-Brexit trade scenarios on UK agriculture. The results of the project were presented at a recent industry seminar held at AFBI, Hillsborough. You can meet one of the authors Dr Myles Patton in "Meet the Scientist" later in this bulletin.

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AFBI environmental science expert works with prestigious US Institute on Fulbright Scholarship

Dr Donnacha Doody (AFBI) was recently awarded a prestigious Fulbright Scholarship to work with the US Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS) in Pennsylvania. Donnacha is currently in the US for 4 months working with Dr Pete Kleinman in the world leading USDA-ARS Pasture Systems and Watershed Management Research Unit, based at Penn State College.

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AFBI science protects reputation of NI produced eggs

AFBI scientists are playing a key role in the UK’s response to the discovery of Fipronil in eggs in the Netherlands and Belgium, and in doing so are protecting the reputation of NI produced eggs. AFBI scientists have developed and implemented a test method suitable for the detection of Fipronil in eggs produced in NI.

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Fane Valley Staff Impressed by BVD Testing Laboratory at AFBI

AFBI’s Veterinary Science Division (VSD) recently hosted a visit for Fane Valley Store Managers. The wide range of work carried out in AFBI’s VSD was highlighted by VSD Director, Dr Stanley McDowell. Dr Maria Guelbenzu (Head of Disease Surveillance and Investigation Branch) highlighted the important work carried out at AFBI in regard to Bovine Viral Diarrhoea (BVD). 

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18th International Conference on Diseases of Fish and Shellfish

AFBI was the host institute for the European Association of Fish Pathologists (EAFP) which brought over 500 world renowned experts to Belfast’s Waterfront Hall at the start of September.  AFBI was privileged to be the host institute for this important conference, having capabilities built on a strong legacy of research into the pathology of diseases of fin fish and shell fish.

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Meet the Scientist - Dr Myles Patton

I joined Agricultural and Food Economics back in 2002, initially as a commodity market analyst as part of the Food and Agriculture Policy Research Institute (FAPRI) Northern Ireland project. This involved using economic-sector models to analyse the impact of policy changes on production, trade, prices and consumption in Northern Ireland.

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AFBI Scientists will be part of "Science Uncovered" - a celebration of science for European Researchers Night tonight Friday 29th September which will be held in the Ulster Museum.  A full report and images will be in the next issue of News and Views.

AFBI Job Vacancies

AFBI currently have a number of job vacancies which can be viewed on the Northern Ireland Civil Service's Recruitment Website

These jobs include:

  • Head of Communications
    (Grade 7)
  • Phenotypic Biobank Data Manager
    (Scientific Officer)
  • Crop Pathology
    (Senior Scientific Officer)