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Sheep Breeders and Industry Pause to Celebrate Excellence

THURSDAY 15 AUGUST 2013

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Sheep Breeders and Industry Pause to Celebrate Excellence

New Zealand’s top-performing ram breeders have been celebrated at the second annual Beef + Lamb New Zealand (B+LNZ) Sheep Industry Awards.

More than 300 people attended a dinner in Invercargill last night, where 10 genetics-based awards and five sector excellence awards were presented. Results of the genetics-based awards were calculated based on ram breeders’ performance in SIL-ACE (Advanced Central Evaluation) – the large-scale, across flock and breed genetic evaluation of more than 300 ram breeding flocks.

The Blackdale Sheep Industry Supplier of the Year Award was presented to Hugh and Judy Akers of Broadlands Station, suppliers to ANZCO. Dr George Davis is recipient of the Silver Fern Farms Sheep Industry Science Award. The AgITO Sheep Industry Trainer of the Year Award goes to Kevin Smith of Middlemarch, while Animal Breeding Trust general manager Clare Callow was presented with the Allflex Individual or Business Making a Significant Contribution to the New Zealand Sheep Industry Award. Finally, Alliance Group Limited takes home the B+LNZ Sheep Industry Innovation Award for 2013.

Within the genetics-based categories, two gold awards were presented. George and Kathryn Smith of Tamlet stud receive the Alliance Group Limited Terminal Sire Overall Award for their Texel stud, near Wyndham. While the Telford – A Division of Lincoln University Dual Purpose Overall Award goes north, to Edward Dinger and his Cambridge-based MNCC Coopworth stud.
B+LNZ Chairman Mike Petersen says it is great to see the sector embrace the awards so enthusiastically. “Last year’s awards were the result of a great idea from within the Southern South Island Farmer Council. We thought it was important to carry on celebrating the outstanding progress by breeders and commercial farmers in pursuit of sector excellence in the sheep industry. 

“However, we didn’t predict just how popular the awards would be. The awards have been calculated using the results from B+LNZ’s SIL-ACE evaluation. SIL-ACE is all about breeding for profitable traits and this work is the envy of sheep breeders around the world. It is fantastic to see so many of our top breeders jostling for these awards.”

Judging of the genetics-based awards was simplified this year and made on the basis of individual animals with the highest rating or index. For each of the 10 categories, the top three rams were identified using results from the SIL-ACE evaluation and SIL standard indexes. Animals had to be in the top 25% for a “basket of industry valued traits” and have a top ranking for the highlighted trait, as well as minimum levels of accuracy for these ratings. The awards were presented to the breeders of these animals. 

GENETICS-BASED AWARDS – FULL RESULTS

GOLD AWARD: Alliance Group Limited Terminal Sire Overall

Recipient         Tamlet, Texel – George and Kathryn Smith
The Terminal Sire Overall Award takes into account genetic performance for lamb growth and meat yield. George and Kathryn Smith’s Tamlet stud, near Wyndham, is made up of 300 recorded Texel ewes, as well as 500 recorded Coopworth and 500 Romney ewes. Their Texel stud has two lines – terminal sire and dual purpose – and Tamlet sires feature regularly in the top band of the Texel Dual Purpose list. Smiths are actively involved in the Central Progeny Test.

Second            Mount Linton, Suftex  – Hamish Bielski
Third                 Kepler Farm, Lamb Supreme – Focus Genetics

GOLD AWARD: Telford – A Division of Lincoln University Dual Purpose Overall

Recipient         MNCC, Coopworth – Edward Dinger
The Dual Purpose Overall Award takes into account genetic performance for reproduction, lamb growth, adult size and wool. Edward Dinger’s MNCC Coopworth Stud is based in Cambridge. Edward has owned the stud since 1983 and was its flock master for the previous eight years. MNCC runs 300 performance recorded ewes and aims to breed highly productive sheep suitable for the warmer regions of New Zealand. Reflecting this, MNCC has selected for facial eczema tolerance since 1984.

Second            Blackdale, Coopworth – Peter and Marion Black
Third                 Waihora, Romney – Focus Genetics

SIL-ACE Terminal Sire for Lamb Growth

Recipient         Mount Linton, Suftex – Hamish Bielski
Finalists            Kepler Farm, Lamb Supreme – Focus Genetics
Waikite Texel, Texel – Focus Genetics

SIL-ACE Terminal Sire for Meat Yield

Recipient         Kepler Farm, Lamb Supreme – Focus Genetics
Finalists            Glengarry, Poll Dorset – Ross and Ben Pratt
Tamlet, Texel – George and Kathryn Smith

SIL-ACE Dual Purpose for Reproduction

Recipient         Nithdale, Romney – Andrew and Heather Tripp
Finalists            Hinenui, Coopworth – Brett and Lucy Teutenberg
MNCC, Coopworth – Edward Dinger

SIL-ACE Dual Purpose for Growth (Lamb Growth and Adult Size)

Recipient         Twin Farm, TEFRom – Russell and Pam Welsh
Finalists            MNCC, Coopworth – Edward Dinger
Waihora, Romney – Focus Genetics

SIL-ACE Dual Purpose for Wool

Recipient         Blackdale, Coopworth – Peter and Marion Black
Finalists            Nikau, Coopworth – Emily Welch, Sam Welch & Kate Broadbent
Tamlet, Composite – George and Kathryn Smith

SIL-ACE Dual Purpose for Meat Yield

Recipient         Orari Gorge Romneys, Romney – Robert Peacock
Finalists            Rosemains, Perendale – Howie Gardner
Waihora, Romney – Focus Genetics

SIL-ACE Dual Purpose for Internal Parasite Resistance

Recipient         Nithdale, Romney – Andrew and Heather Tripp
Finalists            ARDG – Makino, Romney – Ross and Gilly Alexander
Hinerua, Perendale – Peter Christie

SIL-ACE Dual Purpose for Facial Eczema Tolerance

Recipient         ARDG – Makino, Romney – Ross and Gilly Alexander
Finalists            Marlow, Coopworth – Steve Wyn-Harris
Waihora, Romney – Focus Genetics

INDUSTRY AWARDS – BACKGROUND BIOS AND FINALISTS

Blackdale Sheep Industry Supplier of the Year

Recipient         Broadlands Station Hugh and Judy Akers – supplying ANZCO
Broadlands Station has been a consistently high performing supplier to ANZCO for some time. The station was the inaugural national winner of the Waitrose Supplier of the Year award and has twice featured in the top five suppliers for the North Island during the past seven seasons. Broadlands Station’s contract hit rate was 90.4% and 92.2% for 2011/12 and 2010/11, respectively. It consistently demonstrates a committed focus to meeting market requirements, through on-farm best practice.

Finalists            Bill and Sue Garland – supplying Te Kuiti Meat Processors
Brent and Bernadette Hodgkinson – supplying Alliance
Horizon Farming Ltd – supplying Progressive Meats
Barry and Julie Crawford – supplying Silver Fern Farms

Silver Fern Farms Sheep Industry Science Award

Recipient         Dr George Davis
New Zealand has a significant international profile in sheep genomics research and this award acknowledges the contribution of Dr George Davis to that profile. George was a pioneer in the field of new technologies that saw animals selected using laboratory-based genetics diagnosis. He discovered the Inverdale X-linked fecundity gene and has contributed more than anyone else to the breeding, international supply and pioneering research on the Booroola fecundity gene. George has more than 100 scientific papers to his name and has guided many eager young scientists through their early careers.

Finalists            Drs Chris Morris and Neale Towers
Dr Neville Jopson

AGITO Sheep Industry Trainer of the Year

Recipient         Kevin Smith
Based in Middlemarch, Kevin Smith manages three properties for corporate Greenfields Rural. For the past 17 years, Kevin has employed a steady stream of graduates from Telford, Lincoln University and AgITO programmes. He has trained more than 30 young people as shepherds, giving them critical time with their “feet in boots”. Many of the young people arrive with limited skills, but invariably leave a year or two later, confident in pursuing the next phase of their career. Some are now successful head shepherds and 2ICs within large operations.

Finalists            Telford – A Division of Lincoln University
Waipaoa Station Farm Cadet Training Trust

Allflex Individual or Business Making a Significant Contribution to the New Zealand Sheep Industry

Recipient         Clare Callow
New Zealand Animal Breeding Trust general manager Clare Callow has given a working lifetime of dedicated service to the sector through her development and delivery of performance recording programmes for sheep breeders. She also runs her own SIL recording bureau and is New Zealand Texel Society across-flock manager. Clare consistently delivers fast, accurate and meaningful performance data – and operates with a level of passion that has not waned over the course of her career.

Finalists            RJ Alexander & Co
Dr Geoff Nicoll
AbacusBio

Beef + Lamb New Zealand Sheep Industry Innovation Award

Recipient         Alliance Group Ltd
Alliance Group has a long history of building on incremental innovations at every level of the value chain. Eleven years ago, the company initiated the Central Progeny Test (CPT). Today, the test supports the powerful across-breed comparison SIL-ACE and is recognised as making a significant contribution to the industry’s huge genetic gains during the past decade. Alliance Group introduced “Market Choice” in 2002 – an industry-first carcase quality-based payment system – and the associated 2-D imaging system, VIAScan. More recently, it co-developed an environmental and farm performance benchmarking product, “Hoofprint”.

Finalists            Chris and Jo Johns
Marcus Taylor and Leanne Broadhurst

ENDS

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