The Great Livestock Industry Day Out

The Great Livestock Industry Day Out
Preliminary Program

Where scientists ask farmers the ‘hard questions’

Hosted by WA Livestock Research Council in conjunction with the Australian Association of Animal Sciences (AAAS) and MLA.


Friday 11th February 2022

Program times are listed in AWST. To convert program times to your timezone, CLICK HERE

0815 Registration Open
Esplanade Hotel, Fremantle
0900 – 0915 Welcome and introductions
0915 – 0945

Keynote Address

Emeritus Prof Graeme Martin: The operating environment for livestock producers is changing, driven largely by market expectations to produce high quality meat with more and more specifications, calves and lambs that are the ideal size to survive and thrive (and that are not subjected to pain); whilst at the same time improving the land on which they are raised in order to sequester more carbon. It makes one wonder, have we reached ‘peak livestock? Or, can science really take us to the place our markets demand without compromising the profitability of the livestock producer?

0945 – 1100

Running un-mulesed ewes – trips, traps and opportunities

Dr Bronwyn Clarke interviews Brookton farmer Ashley Hobbs and asks the hard questions about the reality of transitioning to non-mulesing, in a year where flies are causing havoc. She is joined by geneticist Johan Greeff to consider the chemical resistance and genetics issues associated with the transition.

1100 – 1130 Morning Tea, brought to you by WAMMCO
1130 – 1230

What will the supply chain really do with DEXA?

WAMMCO’s new DEXA technology has the potential to accelerate selection for Lean Meat Yield – and maybe as a consequence, play havoc with Eating Quality – which would be a tragic consequence, especially as the market intelligence tells us the consumer will pay for guaranteed EQ. So, to guard against this trade-off, Prof Graham Gardner says it all comes back to what breeders will do with sire selection and performance recording; and how commercial producers use that information. Graham is joined by WAMMCO’s Rob Davidson and Ongerup producer Rivers Hyde, together with sheep reproduction scientist Dr Andrew Thompson to establish what needs to happen on farm to take full advantage of this new technology without serving us up a tough lamb chop.

1230 – 1330 LUNCH, brought to you by Craig Mostyn Group 
1330 – 1430

Does size matter? And, how big is the optimal breeding unit? And have EBVs driven a confusing set of behaviours in this quest?

Hosted by Emeritus Prof David Pethick

Cow size has been increasing – some say by 100-150kg since the 1970’s. This is associated with the drive for increased growth which is of course is very important for feed efficiency both at pasture and in the feedlot. How does a breed and the Industry handle this issue? Prof Wayne Pitchford, who ran the Beef CRC Maternal productivity program is joined by Nannup producer and lot feeder Matt Camarri – and draws on the technical expertise of Brad Walmsley from AGBU to determine if size really does matter.

1430 – 1530 The three biggest things we need to agree on about de-carbonising WA agriculture:

  1. If we want to understand our individual farm’s carbon footprint, who do we trust to do the calculations?
  2. Are ruminants really the biggest problem and what is the reality of addressing that on my farm? And;
  3. Given that WA soils are the sandiest in the country, what is the practical capacity to sequester carbon through our sand and relatively sparse vegetation?

Farm consultant Richard Brake teams up with the person who developed the first greenhouse gas accounting tool and whose expertise provided the science basis for the development of six carbon off-set methods in Australia, Prof Richard Eckard from University Melbourne. Here are the facts that help determine what you need to know and do as a farm business.

1530 – 1600 AFTERNOON TEA
1600 – 1700

Do synthetic fertilisers degenerate our soils?

UWA agronomist Dr Megan Ryan completed a PhD on crop nutrition in organic farming systems and has long-researched the role of the soil microbial community in crop nutrient uptake. Megan calls on the expertise of CSIRO’S Prof John Kirkegaard, DPIRD’s Sarah Collins and NZ soil scientist Doug Edmeades to draft the science from the emotion. She calls on her panel to provide the peer-reviewed science to confirm the practises that will ensure a healthy soil and effectively capture carbon in WA.

1700 – 1715 The MLA response: MLA’s David Beatty considers the conversation and provides the MLA response to the priority matters raised today.
1715 Event Close
1800 – 2200 AAASWA Dinner – Esplanade Hotel, Fremantle
This is a ticketed event, tickets can be purchased during registration. If you have any questions about the dinner, please email

Changes may occur due to circumstances beyond our control.  Please keep visiting this page for updates.

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