Future of Livestock Farming under Spotlight at Major AFBI Conference

Date published: 16 February 2018

The challenges and technologies shaping the future of the agri-food industry will be the focal point of a high-profile science outlook conference, hosted by the Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI).

Dr Andrew Byrne (centre), a keynote speakers at AFBI’s Science Outlook Conference which takes place on 13 March, is pictured with members of the Organising Committee (from l-r) Elizabeth Magowan, Stanley McDowell, Sinclair Mayne and Josephine Kelly

AFBI Science - Shaping Livestock Farming for 2030 will take place on Tuesday 13 March 2018 at the Hilton Hotel, Templepatrick.

With an international panel led by Prof Simon More of University College, Dublin, Professor Donagh Berry from Teagasc Moorepark Research Centre and Dr John Gilliland Chair Expert Working Group on Sustainable Land Management, the conference will investigate some of the global challenges currently facing the agri-food sector. Bringing together over 300 stakeholders, the one-day event will also examine their potential impact on the sector, as well as the opportunities they could present.

Key discussion topics will include:

  • Bovine Tuberculosis – Progress Towards a Science-Based Solution;
  • Livestock Improvement Through Genetic Selection and the Power of Big Data;
  • Delivering Profitable and Sustainable Farming – Land Management and Ammonia.

International experts speaking at the conference include:

Prof Simon More of University College, Dublin.  Simon is Professor of Veterinary Epidemiology and Risk Analysis within the UCD School of Veterinary Medicine, University College Dublin. He is also Director of the UCD Centre for Veterinary Epidemiology and Risk Analysis, Ireland's national resource centre for animal disease control.

Professor Donagh Berry from Teagasc Moorepark Research Centre is a principal investigator in statistical genetics at Teagasc, Moorepark, Ireland.  Since completing his PhD in Animal Genetics in 2003 Donagh has been responsible for the development of the national cattle breeding objectives. His work includes the prioritisation of the relative importance of different animal characteristics in the national breeding goals;  generation of statistical and genomic models to provide accurate individual animal estimates of genetic merit for all traits;  and the development of optimal breeding schemes to ensure long-term genetic gain.

Dr John Gilliland Director of Agriculture at Devenish Nutrition. John is Chair of the Expert Working Group on Sustainable Land Management and a former President of the Ulster Farmers’ Union. He has a unique breadth of experience in the world of farming, food, the environment and energy.

AFBI speakers include Dr Andrew Byrne, Dr Steven Morrison and Dr Donnacha Doody.

AFBI CEO Dr Sinclair Mayne said: “This conference marks another milestone in our vision to use scientific excellence to advance the agri-food sector both locally and globally. It is evidenced by our focus is on three critical issues – bovine TB and scientific developments; the role of genetic selection in livestock improvement; and the role of science in delivering profitable and sustainable farming with reduced ammonia emissions. I would urge anyone with an interest in agri-food to attend and gain insight into the very latest technological developments and best practice in these issues”

The event will also provide a platform to launch the very latest impacts resulting from AFBI’s widespread research projects.

View the Programme for the event

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