Held every two years at Bendigo, Victoria, the Herd conference has a reputation for addressing exciting topics through speakers who are leaders in their field, including scientists, farmers and service providers.
The Herd ’23 program has a strong sustainability theme, with a particular focus on how breeding and herd improvement can contribute to a sustainable Australian dairy industry.
Live Recordings 2023
Click on the speaker title to expand and view the video in full.
Conference Master of Ceremonies and DataGene Chairman Graeme Gillan sets up the days ahead, leading us through the official welcome.
Session 1 | Barry Irvin AM | Chairman of Bega Cheese | What does sustainability mean?
How are industry and the broader community thinking about the application of sustainability on a dairy farm? How does that impact the herd improvement industry? Barry Irvin, the Chairman of Bega Cheese, will discuss Bega’s circular economy initiative from both a farm and processor perspective. The program seeks to provide innovative circularity solutions across five streams, involving water, waste, renewable energy, food systems and education.
Session 2 | Susannah Tymms | Dairy Australia | The outlook for sustainability policy in Australia
Susannah provides insight into the current and likely future setting for government policies affecting the dairy industry’s sustainability.
Session 3 | Prof. Jennie Pryce | Agriculture Victoria | The role of genetics in creating a sustainable future
Jennie provides an overview of global initiatives to improve the dairy industry’s sustainability and how that will likely impact us in Australia.
Session 4 | Adam Daniel | NHIA | Should a service provider have knowledge about electronic heat detection systems?
Adam leads a panel about electronic heat detection systems. Does a farmer / manager expect the service provider to have knowledge of how electronic heat detection systems work – do they care if they know.
• Dr. Carl Hockey • Andrew Parkinson.
Lunch is proudly sponsored by Zoetis.
An introduction by Daniel Abernethy from Zoetis
Session 5 | Dr. John Morton | Jemora Pty Ltd | Survival and daughter fertility breeding values
John will discuss survival and daughter fertility breeding values. Cow fertility and cow survival are both key to sustainability and, more broadly, social license.
Session 6 | Dr. Thuy Nguyen & Tim Jelbart | DataGene | The new sustainability index
Thuy talks about the first seven months of the Sustainability Index’s existence and how the tool’s utilisation can help farmers who are looking to reduce their emissions intensity. She then invites Tim to share his perspectives as a farmer on the index.
Session 7 | On-farm service improvement
Michelle Axford – DataGene: Accelerating Heifer Genomics & Calf Vitality Work.
PDF of Michelle Axford – Accelerating Heifer Genomics & Calf Vitality Work.
Dr. Debbie Twiss – WestVic Dairy: Biosecurity for herd improvement staff in the current FMD/LSD climate.
Session 8 | Lauren Finger | Dairy Farmer | The view from the paddock
Milking 600 cows in Yannathan, Lauren explains how they view the sustainability of their herd and how genetics fits into the larger puzzle.
Session 9 | Sara Merckel & April Browne | NHIA & Dairy Australia | The collaboration behind new training
The use of artificial insemination (AI) is widespread in the Australian dairy industry with 87% of farms using AI. In 2021, there was no up-to-date recognised industry endorsed national training program to adequately develop capability in AI in Australia contributing to a long-standing shortage of AI technicians. Dairy Australia and NHIA, in partnership with six RTOs and several industry experts set out to address the shortage of AI technicians and the setup of a recognised industry endorsed course. Hear from Sara Merckel (NHIA) and April Browne (DA) about this successful collaboration.
Session 10 | Adam Daniel | Nu-Genes | Panel about people in dairy
Nu-Genes are known for recruitment and training. The panel will discuss Nu-Genes’ business model, their customer service and what they do differently?
• Monique Bryant • Mark Walpole
Session 11 | Dr. Amy Jackson | University of Nottingham | A glimpse into the future
What changing societal and policy pressures is the UK dairy sector facing – and what are the options to address these challenges? Dr. Amy Jackson will combine research and practice to examine how UK dairy farmers could secure a more sustainable future. [online]
Welcome to Day 2
Conference Master of Ceremonies and DataGene Chairman Graeme Gillan will oversee the morning recovery plans following the celebratory Herd’23 dinner and introduce Day 2.
Session 1 | Jamie Zimmerman | Consultant | We measure it, so you can manage it
Jamie Zimmerman will discuss how tools and solutions help farmers make informed decisions. Jamie will discuss how farmers can succeed by measuring all components on the farm, from cow and crop production to feed, soil, and water analysis. [online]
Session 2 | Prof. Christine Baes | University of Guelph | What is the future of genetic evaluation?
What is on the horizon for Canadian farmers? What can we learn and how do we collaborate? [online]
Session 3 | Dr. Nollaig Heffernan | Independent Management Consultant | How do we become a better employer?
Nollaig discusses how to become an employer of choice. [online]
Session 4 | Dr. Rob Bonanno | PRODairy | How to work synergistically to improve dairy farm performance
Rob’s presentation will focus on just a few examples of how proactive health care can incorporate a team approach and how such partnerships will provide a “triple win” where the farmer and their herd, the herd improvement industry and the PRODairy business all can flourish as a result.
Session 5 | Dr. Matthew Shaffer | DataGene | After 40 years of ABVs, what’s next in herd improvement?
The herd improvement space has changed dramatically in the last 40 years, and Matthew will explore what is on the horizon in genetics, data and herd testing for the next 40.
Session 6 | Dr. Jacques Barnard | Vetoquinol | What is new with synchrony programs?
Jacques from Vetoquinol in New Zealand will discuss the use of synchrony programs in pasture based dairy herds – what’s new?
Session 7 | Dr. Sarah Bolton | Greenham | A piece of the puzzle: dairy beef
Finding the opportunity in the challenge: from her perspective as a researcher and now as the manager of a
developing dairy beef supply chain, Sarah will explore how supply chains can work together to implement socially and economically sustainable pathways for surplus calves, from breeding decisions through to the finished product.
On the couch with:
• Brad Gilchrist – Semex • Jess Loughland – Greenham • Cameron Renshaw – Fulton Market Group
Session 8 | Anthony Shelly | Genetics Australia | Semen market survey
Anthony Shelly will discuss the impact of the semen market survey with panel members.
• Paul Douglas – STgenetics • Rob Derksen – Genetics Australia • Chris McIlroy – Agri-Gene
Session 9 | Ben James | Aurora Dairies Pty Ltd | People, Safety and Culture
How does the dairy industry adapt to life after COVID, and how do we attract and retain staff? What does Aurora Dairies need and expect from our industry to make this happen?
The Herd’23 close
Conference Master of Ceremonies and DataGene Chairman Graeme Gillan will officially close Herd’23, followed by lunch.