Dr Julie Everett-Hincks
Agresearch's decision to make Invermay-based senior
scientist Dr Julie Everett-Hincks redundant has been slammed as
''short-sighted'' and ''just ridiculous'' by a Southland sheep
''You'd wonder if they [AgResearch] have lost the plot,''
Russell Welsh said when contacted yesterday.
Dr Everett-Hincks, who has been heavily involved in a major
research programme on lamb survival, is understood to have
finished work at Invermay.
An email sent to staff said the position had been made
redundant due to a lack of demand for quantitative genetic
skills in innovative farm systems.
Mr Welsh, one of the farmers involved in the lamb survival
project, described Dr Everett-Hincks' redundancy as a
He hoped there would be ''such of furore'' over the loss of a
scientist of her calibre AgResearch would ''have a
When asked for comment, an AgResearch spokesman said, as a
rule, the agency did not comment on individual staff members.
Dr Everett-Hincks has an agricultural science degree from
Massey University, specialising in animal breeding and farm
management systems, a master's degree in animal breeding and
wool production, and a PhD in animal science, for which she
investigated lamb rearing performance in highly fecund sheep.
AgResearch approached her to join the team at Invermay in
In an interview with the Otago Daily Times in 2012, Dr
Everett-Hincks said she had her ''dream job'' and what she
enjoyed most was helping farmers.
Mr Welsh said Dr Everett-Hincks was ''one of the best people
we have had in the field of science''.
From a farming background, she had a ''lovely rapport'' with
farmers but she also had the science skills.
She was dedicated, passionate and enthusiastic about her
work, he said.
The sheep industry needed to be ''heading on the right
direction'' and there needed to be a focus on greater
survival which would improve profitability.
Former Invermay director Dr Jock Allison said one farmer he
spoke to had likened her redundancy to being ''a bit like
dumping Richie McCaw''.
Describing her as one of the most recognisable scientists in
the farming sector, Dr Allison said Dr Everett-Hincks was
widely respected by sheep farmers throughout the country.
She was highly competent and dealing with a significant
problem in the industry, which, if alleviated, offered
productivity and profitability advantages.
The redundancy was ''appalling'', he said.