Two Cooperative Research Centres that have their headquarters at the University of New England have received Awards for Excellence in Innovation during the Cooperative Research Centres Association’s annual conference in Canberra in late May.
The Poultry CRC won its award for education, training and outreach – for Poultry Hub, an interactive online educational resource. Poultry Hub is being developed to support the transfer of information from R&D into industry as well as supporting the education and training aims of the CRC.
The Sheep CRC’s Precision Sheep Management (PSM) initiative received an award for innovation in science and technology. Accepting the award on behalf of the CRC, its Chief Executive Officer, Professor James Rowe, described the PSM as follows:
Essentially, Precision Sheep Management is a package of tools for graziers to move the management of their sheep from a mob to an individual basis. Historically, shepherds looked after the whole flock. Over time, that moved to farmers dividing sheep up into groups based on age, sex, type or breed, and managing these as mobs.
Now, with affordable and robust technology, we can monitor and manage each and every animal in the mob according to its needs and merits, as well as the farmer and the market’s needs. It’s a whole new approach to livestock management, and it’s driving productivity improvement.