Breeding Solutions for Today’s Challenges at the ICBF and Sheep Ireland Genetics Conference

Breeding Solutions for Today’s Challenges at the ICBF and Sheep Ireland Genetics Conference

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The ICBF & Sheep Ireland Genetics Conference will take place on Friday 17th of January 2020 in the Heritage Hotel, Killenard, Co. Laois with registration beginning at 9.00 am. This event will comprise of split Dairy, Beef and Sheep sessions in the morning followed by lunch and the presentation of the LambPlus awards. After lunch the conference will host a panel discussion, led by our keynote speaker Senator Ian Marshall. Social license, environmental impact and the consumer will be the hot topics for discussion on the day with the conference theme being “Breeding Solutions for today’s Challenges”.

Updates on Sheep breeding and genetics

In response to new challenges within the sheep industry, several new developments will be discussed with speakers from Teagasc, Sheep Ireland and ICBF outlining proposed solutions to the challenges that are facing the industry today.

The sheep session will consist of six presentations as follows:

  • Setting the sheep sector up for the future – Mr. Kevin McDermott (Sheep Ireland)
  • How can twins have completely different genetics? – Prof. Donagh Berry (Teagasc)
  • Are we ready for sheep genomic evaluations in Ireland? – Dr. Thierry Pabiou (Sheep Ireland)
  • What can we learn from commercial flock data recording? – Mr. Eamon Wall (Sheep Ireland)
  • Making life easier at the busiest time – Dr. Aine O’Brien (Teagasc)
  • How many lambs is too many? – Dr. Noirin McHugh (Teagasc)

LambPlus awards

Following the morning sessions there will be a poster session with updates from PhD students studying genetics of cattle and sheep. Lunch will coincide with the LambPlus awards ceremony with two awards for LambPlus breeders, the highest achieving LambPlus flock and the most improved LambPlus flock. There are three nominees for the highest achieving LambPlus flock, namely, Eoghan Barrett (Alloon Belclares), Finbarr Godfrey (Cregeen Charollais) and John Renehan (Violet Hill Belclares). There are five nominees for the most improved LambPlus flock, namely, Ciaran Coughlan (Noggus Vendeens), Flor Ryan (Lawn Texels), Maria Philpott (Duhallow Charollais), Ornaith Clarke (Trojan Texels) and Rosemary Madden & Etienne Pinot (Crannóg Texels). Flock profiles of all the nominees for the LambPlus awards are available on the Sheep Ireland website and the overall winner of both category will be announced at the conference.

Afternoon Panel Discussion ‘’Social License-Working with the consumer to tackle today’s challenges’’

After lunch the conference will then host a Panel Discussion. Our keynote speaker Senator Ian Marshall will use his own perspective to discuss Social license, environmental impact and how these matters effect the consumers buying decisions. Also partaking in the panel discussion will be Prof Donagh Berry (Teagasc), Sean Coughlan (CEO of ICBF) and James Murphy Chairman of Sheep Ireland.