AFBI’s agri-science conference to share findings on TB, big data and ammonia

The challenges and technologies shaping the future of farming will be the focal point of a high-profile science outlook conference, hosted by the Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI) next month.

AFBI Science – Shaping Livestock Farming for 2030 will take place on Tuesday, March 13, 2018, at the Hilton Hotel, Templepatrick.

An international panel will be led by: Prof. Simon More of University College Dublin; Prof. Donagh Berry from Teagasc Moorepark Research Centre; and Dr. John Gilliland, chairman of the expert working group on Sustainable Land Management.

The big issues

The conference also brings together more than 300 stakeholders to examine the potential impact of challenges on the sector, as well as the opportunities they could present.

Key discussion topics will include:

  • Bovine Tuberculosis – Progress Towards a Science-Based Solution;
  • Livestock Improvement Through Genetic Selection and the Power of Big Data;
  • Delivering Profitable and Sustainable Farming – Land Management and Ammonia.

International experts speaking at the conference include:

Prof. Simon More of University College Dublin (UCD)

More is a professor of veterinary epidemiology and risk analysis within the School of Veterinary Medicine in UCD.

He is also a director of the UCD Centre for veterinary epidemiology and risk analysis, Ireland’s national resource centre for animal disease control.

Prof. Donagh Berry, Teagasc

Prof. Donagh Berry is a principal investigator in statistical genetics at Teagasc Moorepark.

Since completing his PhD in animal genetics in 2003, Prof. Berry has been responsible for the development of the national cattle breeding objectives.

His work includes:
  • The prioritisation of the relative importance of different animal characteristics in the national breeding goals;
  • The generation of statistical and genomic models to provide accurate individual animal estimates of genetic merit for all traits;
  • The development of optimal breeding schemes to ensure long-term genetic gain.

Dr. John Gilliland

Dr. John Gilliland is director of agriculture at Devenish Nutrition. Dr. Gilliland is also the chairman of the expert working group on sustainable land management and a former president of the Ulster Farmers’ Union.

He has a unique breadth of experience in the world of farming, food, the environment and energy.

AFBI speakers include Dr. Andrew Byrne, Dr. Steven Morrison and Dr. Donnacha Doody.

AFBI chief executive, Dr. Sinclair Mayne said: “This conference marks another milestone in our vision to use scientific excellence to advance the agri-food sector both locally and globally.

It is evidenced by our focus is on three critical issues – bovine TB and scientific developments; the role of genetic selection in livestock improvement; and the role of science in delivering profitable and sustainable farming with reduced ammonia emissions.

“I would urge anyone with an interest in agri-food to attend and gain insight into the very latest technological developments and best practice in these issues.”

The event will also provide a platform to launch the very latest impacts resulting from AFBI’s widespread research projects. The admission fee is £20. Further information and registration can be found online.