Executives appointed to new genetics entity

Beef and Lamb New Zealand has appointed a chairman and general manager to run the new entity Beef and Lamb New Zealand Genetics.

Former Landcorp chief executive and Massey University chancellor Chris Kelly will chair the Beef and Lamb New Zealand Genetics Board and Graham Alder, the former genetics business manager of Zoetis, has been appointed general manager of Beef and Lamb New Zealand Genetics.

The appointments follow the successful vote at the Beef and Lamb New Zealand annual meeting to combine the organisation's current genetics investments.

This means Sheep Improvement Ltd (the national sheep genetic dataset), the Beef and Lamb New Zealand Central Progeny Test and Ovita, with added investment in beef genetics, come together with government funds to create the new entity Beef and Lamb New Zealand Genetics.

Beef and Lamb New Zealand will continue its annual investment of $2.9 million a year for the next five years. The Government's contribution is $3 million a year over the period.

Beef and Lamb New Zealand chief executive Scott Champion said it was an exciting time as the work planned would be speeding up genetics gains to match market requirements and deliver more profitable sheep and cattle.

''Investment will be made in a range of research and of particular focus will be finding the traits that thrive on hill country as increasingly this is where New Zealand sheep and beef production is based as flatter land changes to dairy,'' Dr Champion said.

There were estimated genetic gains of $742 million for the sector over the next 20 years and this should be a confidence booster for sheep and beef farmers nationwide, he said.