Sheep and cattle producers to explore futures at Melbourne conference

Terry Sim, August 22, 2022

SHEEP and beef producers will explore scenarios with keynote speakers within various themes at the Livestock 2022 Conference in Melbourne next month.

The Southern Australia Livestock Research Council (SALRC) will host the Livestock 2022 Conference in Melbourne on 6-7 September.

The conference objective is to bring sheep and beef cattle producers, researchers and extension professionals together to consider what a red meat livestock farm will be like in 20-plus years and the research activity which will be needed to allow them to reach their potential.

To assist attendees in moving from here and now to blue sky thinking, SALRC has engaged futurist Paul Higgins to develop scenarios for possible futures around four broad topics.

Key speakers will explore the scenarios with the four broad topics of:

– Information technology – Keynote Speaker, Emma Weston

– Social Values and Ethics – Keynote Speaker, Dr Rebecca Huntley

– Biotechnology – Keynote Speaker, Prof. Ben Hayes

– Competing Products / Lifestyles – Prof Paul Wood

Using a series of scenarios that will be presented and challenged by subject experts, participants will workshop ideas and concepts relating to a best practice livestock production business of 2038 or thereabouts. The workshops will be highly interactive using small groups each made up of a mixture of researchers, extension providers and producers. The producers will include the SALRC regional chairs and members of the regional committees across four states of Australia.

SALRC chairman Ian Rogan said our livestock industries are strong and productive at the moment and play an important role in providing high quality, ethically produced meat products to high value domestic and world markets.

“But to maintain productivity and access to these markets, our producers, processors and others in the meat supply chains need to be anticipating and planning to accommodate any future changes over the next 10 to 20 years, and that is what our Livestock 2022 conference will be focusing on.”

Conference facilitator Paul Higgins said he is really looking forward to a wide ranging and stimulating discussion where participants can actively and productively disagree with each other to explore new ideas.

“Rather than a ‘I am right, you are wrong’ interaction we will be taking a ‘what if this happened’ approach to help people explore different possible futures.

“That does not mean just making stuff up,” he said.

“We have asked the speakers to prepare logical and coherent pathways as to why their vision of the future might come true and there will be plenty of time to challenge those stories and create new ones.”

The Livestock 2022 Conference will be held at the Best Western Airport Motel and Convention Centre on 6-7 September. Registrations are now open for the conference and more information is available via the SALRC website.

SALRC is an independent, incorporated association and one of three national research Councils setup to provide recommendations on Research, Development & Adoption (RD&A) priorities and planning for grass-fed beef and sheepmeat producers throughout Australia.


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  1. John Karlsson, August 22, 2022

    Integrated Pest Management (IPM). Premiums for non-mulesed wool, based on genetic selection.

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