On Tuesday (July 12th, 2022) the Sheep Ireland Breeding Conference & Farm Walk was held in the Anner Hotel, Thurles and then out to Gortnahoe to CPT farmer John Large’s for a farm walk. There were 3 speakers, including an international speaker, in the morning session covering a range of areas relating to genetics and genetic gain in Sheep. The first speaker was Mr Sam Boon (AHDB) who leads the service delivery of Signet Breeding Evaluations (Sheep Ireland equivalent in the UK) to 1000 pedigree sheep and beef producers. He has additional responsibility within the AHDB team for breeding-related technology transfer, business development and genetic research. The second speaker was someone who most attendees were familiar with, Dr. Thierry (Sheep Ireland & ICBF) who is in charge of implementing changes to the Irish national sheep evaluations each year and running them each week to incorporate any new data that became available in the previous week. The third and final speaker was certainly someone who everyone was familiar with, Dr. Noirin (Teagasc) who is well-known throughout the Sheep Industry for her leading research on breeding and genetics.
There was a great attendance at the event with over 80 people attendees at the event. We also held the LambPlus Awards for the Most Improved LambPlus Flock 2022 and the Highest Achieving LambPlus Flock 2022. Click here for information on all 6 finalists, click here to see the overall winner of Most Improved LambPlus Flock 2022 and click here to see the overall winner of the Highest Achieving LambPlus Flock 2022. The conference was chaired by Sheep Ireland Board Member Mr. Denis Carroll.
The agenda on the day was as followed:
- Opening with Dr. Noirin McHugh, Teagasc explaining the SMARTER EU project (click here for presentation)
- International speaker, Mr Sam Boon of AHDB on ‘Improving the genetic merit of the national flock’ (click here for presentation)
- Sheep Ireland’s Dr. Thierry Pabiou on ‘Evaluation Demystifier’ (click here for presentation)
- Dr. Noirin McHugh, Teagasc on ‘Reducing GHG and Increasing Efficiency, a win-win for the Sheep industry’ (click here for presentation)
Panel discussion on “How can genetic selection help to increase resilience and efficiency in sheep’’
- The LambPlus Award Ceremony was held
- Farm walk on CPT farmer John Large’s farm in Gortnahoe where there were three main stops:
- Introduction to the Farm and CPT Profile of John Large
- Sustainable Breeding – ‘what genetics can deliver’ and ‘can we see the future without €urostars?’
- Demonstration of how to record health data using the LambPlus App
- Attendees were then free to roam around to see multiple other presentations and see the research projects being carried out by Teagasc Athenry and Sheep Ireland which included research officers from Athenry and several PHD students presenting.
Check out the gallery below of snippets of the event