Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 

DairyNZ’s research head retires

DairyNZ’s research head retires


DairyNZ chief scientist Dr Eric Hillerton has announced he will leave his post at the industry body later this year, having decided to semi-retire.

Dr Hillerton says one of the most rewarding parts of being a scientist with DairyNZ is the direct involvement with dairy farmers, understanding the real problems on farms and helping develop solutions and new technologies.

“Much of the value of that science lies in taking research and knowledge directly to farmers, and testing how to apply and transfer innovative technologies and solutions,” says Dr Hillerton.

He says there have been many highlights during his time with DairyNZ.

“I am especially proud of the quality of the scientific research at DairyNZ, which has become outstanding. We now have top scientists here who are truly world-leading,” says Dr Hillerton. “An example is our work identifying genetics involved in feed conversion efficiency by dairy cows.

“That work was recently awarded gold status by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, and won a Kudos award (Hamilton Science Excellence Awards) late last year.

“Now the science team and others, including New Zealand Animal Evaluation Limited (NZAEL) and Livestock Improvement (LIC), are putting a lot of effort into getting the research findings rolled out to all New Zealand dairy farmers through better bulls,” says Dr Hillerton.

“Various other projects are also likely to produce real benefits in the future, including growing more feed, improving fertility through better uterine health and finding natural resistance to mastitis.”

DairyNZ chief executive Tim Mackle says Dr Hillerton has made a great contribution to the New Zealand dairy industry over the past seven years.

“Eric has driven a significant improvement in science quality and output, and his relentless focus has had real benefits for farmers,” says Dr Mackle. “Farmers can have more confidence in adopting science-based recommendations, thanks to the quality of science and the resulting publications.”

Dr Hillerton has also been heavily involved with universities, the Royal Society of New Zealand and many others, helping ensure a ‘pipeline’ of new young dairy scientists. “It’s vital we encourage, train and mentor the next generation of researchers to replace the older guys who are moving into retirement.”

Dr Hillerton joined Dexcel (now DairyNZ) in 2006 from the Institute for Animal Health in the United Kingdom (UK). His early research career was spent at the University of Reading and the National Institute for Research in Dairying.

He is the New Zealand member of the International Dairy Federation standing committees on animal health and welfare, and farm management; and a past-president of the international National Mastitis Council. Previously, he was an advisor to the UK Government.

Dr Hillerton plans to semi-retire in July but will continue to contribute to New Zealand dairy farming through various projects.

“The chief scientist role is a key position for DairyNZ, given that significant levy funding goes on research and development as a part of driving our industry’s strategy and future. We’ll be approaching this recruitment with a great deal of effort,” says Dr Mackle.

-ENDS-

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Reserve Bank: RBNZ To Implement $30bn Large Scale Asset Purchase Programme Of NZ Govt Bonds

The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) has decided to implement a Large Scale Asset Purchase programme (LSAP) of New Zealand government bonds. The negative economic implications of the coronavirus outbreak have continued to intensify. The Committee ... More>>

ALSO:

Elevate NZ: Venture Fund To Lift Productivity

The Government’s new $300 million venture capital fund - announced in last year’s Budget – is now open for business as the Elevate NZ Venture Fund. Finance Minister Grant Robertson says lifting New Zealand's productivity requires well-functioning ... More>>

ALSO:


COVID-19: Case Confirmed In NZ – Expert Reaction

After spreading across the globe for months, the first case of COVID-19 has been reported in New Zealand. The Ministry of Health says the risk of a community outbreak is low, due to their preparedness and the high awareness of the disease. The Science ... More>>

ALSO:

Agriculture: New Legislation To Boost Organics

New organics legislation will boost consumer confidence and help grow an innovative sector, says Food Safety Minister Damien O’Connor. “The Organics Product Bill, introduced to Parliament this week, aims to increase consumer confidence when purchasing ... More>>

ALSO:

Biodiversity Policy: Misinformation Circulating

Forest & Bird is concerned at misinformation circulating regarding a policy statement aimed at protecting New Zealand’s unique biodiversity. The National Policy Statement for Indigenous Biodiversity is being consulted on by the ... More>>

ALSO: