AbacusBio managing director Neville Jopson has been
acknowledged for his contribution to New Zealand's sheep
Dr Jopson received the sheep industry science award at the
recent Beef and Lamb New Zealand Sheep Industry Awards in
His ability to provide sound advice from both a scientific
and commercial perspective was the critical reason for his
receiving the award, a citation said.
His involvement and leadership in animal production had been
instrumental in many of the sector's recent technological
Dr Jopson was involved in setting up and running the Central
Progeny Test and the recent addition of hill country sites.
He was also involved in establishing CT technology for sheep,
the Carwell gene and LoinMAX and the introduction of DXA
technology to measure meat yield.
His contribution to genetic improvement had been ''crucial''
to the red meat sector's ability to remain efficient.
Before joining AbacusBio in 2001, as a consulting scientist,
Dr Jopson worked at Invermay Research Centre.
He was appointed a director and shareholder of AbacusBio in
2006 and became managing director in 2010.
Andy Ramsden, of Wanaka, received the sheep industry
innovation award, in recognition of his input to increasing
the productivity of New Zealand sheep over the past 20 years.
As an early experimenter with composites, he was a driving
force behind the increased use of alternative genetics in
He joined the Absolom family and others to form Rissington
Breedline and later created Headwaters NZ, with the input of
several other southern farmers.
Steve Wyn-Harris, from Hawkes Bay, and Roger Marshall, from
Marton, received the award for an individual or business
making a significant contribution to the New Zealand sheep
Taratahi Agricultural Training Centre at Masterton was named
sheep industry trainer of the year, while Mark and Rachel
Zino, and Sam and Keri Zino, from Hawarden, were named sheep
industry supplier of the year. Southern-based farmers made a
clean sweep of the top genetics-related awards.
Mount Linton Station, in Southland, won the terminal sire
award for lamb growth and meat yield and also the terminal
sire for lamb growth, both with its Suftex flock; the
Blackdale Coopworth stud at Riverton won the dual purpose
award for reproduction, lamb growth plus adult size and wool
production, and also dual purpose for wool; Focus Genetics,
Kepler Supreme (Landcorp Te Anau) won terminal sire for meat
yield, Nithdale Station, from Kaiwera, won dual purpose for
reproduction and dual purpose for internal parasite
resistance for its Nithdale Romney; Twin Farm (Gore) won dual
purpose for growth (lamb growth and adult size) with its
TEFRom; Focus Genetics, Waihora Romney (Landcorp Waihora,
Nightcaps) won dual purpose for facial eczema tolerance, and
Newhaven Perendales (North Otago) won dual purpose for meat