Consistent with this approach, Angus Australia has greatly increased its involvement in recent years in research and development (R&D) activities.
The increased involvement in R&D represents a large transition from traditional breed society activities, and is consistent with Angus Australia’s vision of being a member-based, not-for-profit, innovation company servicing seedstock and commercial producers of Angus and Angus-influenced cattle.
“Angus Australia is now extremely pro-active in seeking R&D opportunities that will be to the benefit of members” Angus Australia’s Strategic Projects Manager, Mr Christian Duff, said
“With the end of the Beef Cooperative Research Centre (Beef CRC) in 2012, there have been some large changes to R&D investment in beef technologies”.
“Angus Australia has identified a need for increased R&D investment to ensure members remain at the forefront of the latest genetic and breeding technologies”, he said
Angus Australia’s most significant investment in R&D is the Angus Sire Benchmarking Program (ASBP).
With planning now underway for the eighth cohort, the ASBP is a young sire program that involves joining approximately 40 sires a year to 2000 Angus females to produce 25 progeny per sire using fixed time artificial insemination.
The ASBP aims to a) generate progeny test data on modern Angus bulls, particularly for hard to measure traits such as feed efficiency, abattoir carcase measurements, meat quality attributes and female reproduction; b) generate data for the validation and refinement of Angus BREEDPLAN; and c) build a comprehensive phenotype and genotype database on Australian Angus animals for genomic technology validation, research and development.
“While the Angus Sire Benchmarking Program was the most visible of Angus Australia’s R&D activities, Angus Australia also had increasing involvement in a myriad of other applied and strategic R&D initiatives relating the breeding and genetic technologies”, Mr Duff explained.
“A key component of Angus Australia’s investment in R&D is forming collaborative partnerships with private and government organisations, both within Australia and internationally”.
“Over recent years, Angus Australia has established valued partnerships with organisations such as Meat & Livestock Australia, the University of New England, the University of Illinois, the University of Missouri, CSIRO, NSW Department of Primary Industries, Zoetis Animal Genetics, Rangers Valley Feedlot and Vetoquinol”.
“This is additional to Angus Australia’s ongoing collaboration with the Animal Genetics & Breeding Unit (AGBU) and the Agricultural Business Research Institute (ABRI) with regards to the development and delivery of the Angus BREEDPLAN genetic evaluation”.