neXtgen Agri organises first virtual Head Shepherd conference

Sheep Central, April 6, 2020

New Zealand sheep scientist Dr Mark Ferguson.

SHEEP producers will get unique perspectives on breeding, consumer trends and leadership at the first virtual Head Shepherd conference on 16 April.

neXtgen Agri is a group of sheep industry specialists dedicated to enabling the animal industry make optimum rates of genetic gain by making timely and well-informed decisions.

neXtgen Agri geneticist Dr Mark Ferguson said Head Shepherd conference speakers were organised  at short notice because of the number of events being cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

He said free entry to the conference was being offered to secondary and tertiary students.

Speakers for the online conference will include award-winning company director and industry leader, Traci Houpapa, who will start the event with an address on the importance of leadership and good governance.

Traci is a multiple award-winning company director and a recognised industry leader. Traci has been named in the top ten most influential women in NZ agribusiness and in the BBC’s 100 most influential women in the world.

Victorian veterinary consultant and Livestock Logic directopr at Hamilton, Dr Andrew Whale, will speak on ‘Healthy ewes, healthy business’, to outline how animal health underpins the prosperity of livestock farming. He will lead participants through the key practices that are required for healthy livestock and a healthy livestock business.

Breeding for a consumer driven world

University of Sydney Professor Herman Raadsma will speak on ‘Breeding for a consumer world’, outlining what consumers love and how the health of our animals can be improved through breeding the right ones.

Head of analytics at NZ’s stock exchange Julia Jones and her team specialise in analysing global dairy and agri-food behaviours, sustainability, infrastructure and equities. She will outline to conference participants her version of what the future has in store for us.

Thrive Agri Services director and consultant Dr Andrew Kennedy will speak on minimising the carbon footprint of the breeding ewe. Applying his hands-on practical experience with detailed bio-economic modelling, Andrew will discuss the factors to consider in optimising a prime lamb system and in doing so how to minimise the carbon footprint per unit product.

Murdoch University research scientist Dr Amy Lockwood will take participants into the lambing paddock with her presentation on the simple concepts to set up lambing mobs for success, with a focus on mob size.

Fourth generation South Australian Merino farmer Rachel Titley has spent the past 20 years supporting and mentoring people in multiple case management and leadership roles. She has a strong affinity for agriculture and a strong desire to see people to succeed, and will lead a session of self-reflection and concepts that we should all confront whether we like it or not.

Specialist in genetics focussed research and development Dr Bronwyn Clarke from Murdoch University has more than 20 years of experience working in the Australian and New Zealand sheep breeding industry. She will present her take on classing commercial ewes and how good the industry is at picking the winners.

Managing director of the Livestock Collective and corporate governance/compliance officer for Emanuel Exports Dr Holly Ludeman will tell how transparency builds trust in an industry, before Dr Ferguson summarises the day with his presentation ‘Create your future.’

For more information and to register for Head Shepherd click here.



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