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MacLoran Farm

MLA BredWell FedWell Beef workshop student perspective

By Kelly Will, BAgSc(2023), University of Adelaide and Ag Institute Australia – Student member.

On Friday 17th of November, I had the opportunity to attend MLA’s BredWell FedWell beef workshop at Bottlesford Murray Greys, Tungkillo. The workshop was facilitated by Jake Philips from Angus Australia. The focus was on breeding and feeding strategies to maximise profit for each of the 20 beef producers from across South Australia which attended. After the day each producer left with a customised breeding and feeding plan that they could apply to their current systems to maximise their production and make the most of the resources they are already utilising. Host Darren Koopman said “The workshop was a terrific forum for participants to discuss their production systems and challenge their thinking around breeding programs and feeding plans”.

The day consisted with a diverse range of topics delivered in an engaging way, encouraging participation and examples from the producers. There were several opportunities for practical activities throughout the day. One of the activities was an animal assessment of four Bottlesford Bulls that Darren provided. We ranked the bulls just on visual assessments, which proved to be tricky, the rankings were mixed across all the producers. Towards the end of the day when we’d learnt more and went through breeding values, we then ranked the animals again based on their breeding values alone and gave them an overall ranking. This resulted in less variation among all the producers, the differences in ranking was due to different profit drivers and objectives for each producer.

As a student at the University of Adelaide studying an Agriculture Science degree I found the workshop very beneficial to learn how to apply the knowledge I have gained from university. I also enjoyed observing Jake as he was facilitating the workshop and learning different techniques he used to engage with all attendees. Overall, I would highly recommend the workshop to anyone no matter the size of the production, you will gain many skills and be able to network and learn from other producers.

A big shout goes to the Angaston Agricultural Bureau who supported me with a “Student Workshop Bursary” to attend, take photos, write some media, and address them at one of their meetings at a later date, and local workshop sponsors; the Barossa Improved Grazing Group and Nutrien Ag Solutions Fawcett Livestock.

Published: 14 December 2023

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