Deputy Prime Minister congratulates AGBU on 40 years of R&D

Posted by | May 02, 2016 | Community, News, Research, Staff, Students | No Comments

Date: 2 May 2016

 

The Animal Genetics and Breeding Unit has been praised by the Deputy Prime Minister the Hon Barnaby Joyce MP, for 40 years of success in improving the Australian agricultural sector through research and development focussed on genetic improvement of livestock and other species.

The Animal Genetics and Breeding Unit (AGBU) was established in 1976 as a joint venture between the University of New England and the NSW Department of Agriculture (now NSW DPI).

Barnaby Joyce MP congratulates Dr Rob Banks and AGBU, flanked by Prof Heiko Daniel and Michael Bullen

Barnaby Joyce MP congratulates Dr Rob Banks and AGBU, flanked by Prof Heiko Daniel and Michael Bullen

Over the four decades since, AGBU has developed a number of software systems used by a range of industries to identify and select the animals with the best genes.

“AGBU continues to collect growth and performance data on millions of sheep and cows, which we analyse, and turn into valuable information for farmers and industry,” the Director of AGBU Professor Rob Banks said.

He added that these products represent a massive return on investment for the national agricultural sector and the consumer.

Prof Rob Banks, director of the Animal Genetics and Breeding Unit

Prof Rob Banks, director of the Animal Genetics and Breeding Unit

“Since the beginning of the sheep and beef improvement programs in 1985 up until 2010, the net present value of these programs has been over $10 billion, growing at $40 million year-on-year.

“An independent study also showed that genetics improvements had brought an extra $4 million to the farms of the New England region in terms of productivity dividends,” Prof Rob Banks said.

“Genetic improvement is essential for any industry to match the cost-price squeeze, and AGBU R&D and outcomes are helping a number of industries achieve that”.

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For more information or for interview, contact Rob Banks on rbanks@une.edu.au or 6773 2425.