Dr. Tim Byrne of AbacusBio Limited, Edinburgh, gave an insightful presentation on the last 10 years of business for Sheep Ireland on day 1, session 1 of the ICBF & Sheep Ireland Genetics Conference which took place on Wednesday 5th and Thursday 6th December 2018 in the Hudson Bay Hotel, Athlone. Tim works as a genetics consultant for AbacusBio and has a extensive knowledge of production systems internationally, specifically New Zealand, one of the largest exporters of lambs in the world. Tim works on the design, development and evaluation of genetic improvement programs in livestock species, internationally. Tim assisted in the development stage of the design of Sheep Ireland’s breeding strategy and helped with the implementation of this strategy into the Irish Agricultural Industry specifically in the areas of communication and extension.
In his presentation given at the ICBF & Sheep Ireland Genetics Conference, he spoke about the initial challenges faced by sheep breeders prior to the implementation of Sheep Ireland’s strategy to breed more profitable sheep in Ireland. He goes through the timeline of Sheep Ireland from 2009 to the present day and the achievements of not only Sheep Ireland but more importantly what sheep farmers in Ireland have achieved over the last 10 years through performance recording. What Sheep Ireland has helped breeders achieve in genetic trends of the Terminal and Replacement index through programmes such as CPT and LambPlus is also outlined in Tim’s presentation as well as what the future holds regarding new traits and new challenges in generating genetic evaluations through performance recording.
Tim’s presentation is available here and is well worth the read.