< Speaker: Jude L. Capper (PhD, DSc (h.s.) ARAgS): What role do genetics play in improving sustainability?
Prof. Jude Capper

The cattle industry has made huge gains in breeding and genetics over the past 70 years, from Sir John Hammond’s revolutionary work, including pioneering studies on artificial insemination, to the genomic tools and evaluations available today. In her keynote speech to the BCBC Conference 2022, Prof Jude Capper will consider how far these gains have brought us in terms of improving sustainability, and the challenges and opportunities we face in the future.

Jude has two main roles: ABP Chair and Professor of sustainable beef and sheep systems at Harper Adams University in Shropshire, UK; and independent livestock sustainability consultant based in Oxfordshire, UK.

In recent years she has developed a large social media presence which she uses to de-bunk myths relating to livestock production and sustainability.

Jude also conducts cutting edge research into how the sustainability of livestock production systems can be modelled to give us an insight into the future. As part of this she explores the role of cattle breeding and genetics. Jude’s current research projects include looking at on-farm greenhouse gas emissions from UK beef production; climate footprints of smallholder farming; the impacts of livestock health and welfare on system sustainability; and technology use in South American beef production.

In recognition of her research and contribution to the industry Jude was awarded both an honorary doctorate by Harper Adams University, and the Sir John Hammond Award by the British Society of Animal Science and British Cattle Breeders Club in 2021.

She also sits on the National Beef Association board; is Chair of the Route Panel for Agriculture, Environment and Animal Care and Vice-Chair of the Green Apprenticeships Advisory Panel at the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education.