Farmers are being urged to vote in favour of a genetics
investment proposal that will bring together New Zealand's
sheep and beef genetics in a new collaboration.
A successful vote would see the separate activities of Sheep
Improvement Ltd, the Beef and Lamb New Zealand Central
Progeny Test and Ovita, with added investment in beef
genetics, become a new entity called Beef and Lamb New
Total funding from government and industry sources would be
up to $8.8 million a year.
Farmers were asked to reaffirm their current annual
investment of $2.9 million, via Beef and Lamb New Zealand,
ahead of the organisation's annual meeting next Friday. Neil
Sanderson, an Angus New Zealand board member, representing
the southern South Island, and a member of the association's
breed development committee, was enthusiastic about the
collaboration, saying the only way the industry would move
forward was through science.
He believed it was a wonderful opportunity ''to fill in the
gaps'' in knowledge relating to profitability in the beef
industry, particularly in reproduction and fertility and also
meat and carcass aspects.
While Mr Sanderson felt the current level of performance
recording in the beef industry was quite good in the traits
that could be measured easily, insight was needed into those
traits that could not be measured, such as fertility,
longevity and adaptability and suitability for hill-country
Mr Sanderson believed the collaboration was a real
opportunity for New Zealand to ''take the lead in its own
destiny'', capitalising on the niche it had with its
grass-fed and grass-finished beef.
It was exciting to see some of the processing companies
offering significant premiums for recognising quality in the
beef industry, which was scientifically based, not just
That now needed to be linked in with genetics but finding and
identifying those genetics with the current measuring system
was not easy, he said.
Feedback from the programme needed to be utilised to try to
link that to genetics.
There were ''so many pluses'' from the collaboration and it
was a win-win for all involved, he said.