Little did we know that this year would be like no other and that we as a club would have to embrace both change and technology, and as such the BCBC committee made the decision to organise a ‘Virtual’ conference for 2021. We are excited by the new opportunities that a virtual conference provides by giving us access to speakers and a wider audience from around the world, allowing us to inspire even more cattle breeders.
We are delighted to announce our programme for January, with a fantastic mix of speakers from home and abroad, here our just a few of our keynote speakers....
We will visit a warmer climate and hear from three farmer speakers 'down under' with an update from Tom Gubbins of Te Mania Angus on the importance of using data, then hear about Steve Binnie's Wagyu beef business and the findings of Rebecca Burnham's Australian Nuffield Scholarship on optimising beef selection.
Professor Frank Mitloehner from the University of California will explain how by Rethinking Methane we can show how animal agriculture is on the path to climate neutrality and Dr Alison Van Eenennaam, also from the University of California, will update on genome editing approaches to augment cattle breeding programs.
Professor Albert De Vries from the University of Florida will explain his findings as to why extending the average number of lactations to five is worthwhile, and Ryan Starkenburg of ABS Global will look at building on past foundations to create the profitable cow of the future.
Closer to home we will look at the future trends and demands of the market place and the impact Covid-19 has had on these with AHDB's Steven Evans and Susie Stannard. Peter and Johnny Alvis of Lye Cross Farm, will give us an insight into how understanding your customers needs is key to a successful operation and Peter Hynes will focus on maximising genetic gain within his dairy herd in Co. Cork.
The conference finale will be a Live Q&A Panel Session in the evening ‘The next generation – do you dare to dream?’ Hear from and speak with three, young inspiring individuals, Ruari Martin, Harriet Wilson and Keith Gue who are leading the way in agriculture and are enthusiastic about the future of our industry. Feel free to send your questions through to the secretary in advance for what will be an inspiring, informative evening to finish the conference.
"As an industry we can sometimes be a little hesitant to embrace both change and new technology so with this in mind I decided on a theme for the conference of ‘learn from the past to focus on the future' says Clive Brown, the 2021 Conference Chairman, "As a bovine sector, we have many challenges but also many opportunities. With a growing global population and affluence comes the desire to consume increasing amounts of protein as well as having higher quality aspirations. However, we also face increasing pressure from challenges to the industry on environmental and dietary health grounds – the challenge is how can we produce more from less, while minimising environmental impact and protecting consumers? This has to be addressed, whilst improving quality and value for an ever more demanding consumer, and we ignore this at our peril."
"We have seen over many years how cattle breeding has greatly benefitted from the appliance of science, new technologies, and innovation. In this ‘new era’ I have no doubt that science and innovation will never have been more important for farmers, both now and for generations to come. New thinking, and strengthening the ability to innovate, will provide the advances and improvements that will increase efficiencies and produce populations of animals that can respond to the demands of a changing market place. By the nature of cattle breeding new science adopted today may take years to deliver its full reward. So we have to ask ourselves what science, new technology and innovation can also add value to beef and dairy production in the short and medium term? Also, how do we engage young people, encourage their passion for agriculture and secure their future?"
"I very much hope that you enjoy the programme and the people, and log out of the 2021 BCBC conference informed, full of ideas, and with the energy and vision to embrace practical innovation and add value to every level of our great beef and dairy industries" concludes Clive