Back to Research & Development

Subscribe to R&D Round-Up newsletter

Stay informed with a short, sharp monthly summary of MLA’s latest research reports.

Sign up

Genetics & breeding

MLA invests up to $5 million a year in livestock genetics R&D to facilitate increased genetic gain and adoption with the aim of boosting profitability throughout cattle, sheep and goat value chains.

These investments underpin the development of BREEDPLAN for the beef industry, LAMBPLAN and MERINOSELECT for the sheep industry, and KIDPLAN for the goat industry.

The focus of current genetics and genomics R&D includes:

  • Development of genomic technologies and integration to enhance the accuracy of breeding values
  • Development of new traits, particularly those that are difficult to measure in seedstock businesses, such as eating quality and feed efficiency
  • Development of resource flocks and herds to enable development of new breeding values and to underpin calibration of genomic tests
  • Improving reproduction breeding values
  • Support of extension activities and the people who deliver them to improve industry use of genetic information

BREEDPLAN and OVIS governance structures

MLA commissioned an analysis of the return on investment for the sheep and beef genetics and genomics program by MLA and co-investors over the period from 2001/02 to 2011/12. The subsequent report revealed the economic value of benefits realised (or expected) by seedstock and meat producers was estimated at $2.88 billion for the sheepmeat industry and $2.3 billion for the southern beef industry.

MLA, UNE and NSW DPI as the BREEDPLAN and OVIS Owners, have been working towards updating the existing governance structures.

The new structure has now been settled on. In recognition of the fact that governance processes have been working well for Sheep Genetics the updated structure largely follows the sheep model.

The new structure includes the following additions and changes to the existing committees;

  • A new BREEDPLAN Executive Committee representing each of the Owners and Licensee
  • A combined BREEDPLAN & Sheep Genetics Technical Committee comprising of MLA, Licensee, AGBU, external technical specialists/geneticists and breeder representatives
  • A new BREEDPLAN Advisory Committee comprising of both breeder and breed society representation.
  • Continuation of the Sheep Genetics Executive Committee and Sheep Genetics Advisory Committee

The updated and new BREEDPLAN governance Terms of References for the new committees (BREEDPLAN & Sheep Genetics Technical committee and BREEDPLAN Advisory committee) is available below.

We are now calling for Expressions of Interest from individuals who meet the beef representative criteria for both committees. You can find further detail on the EOI calls by clicking on below hyperlinks.

Applicants to either committee should submit both a cover letter and CV to Hamish Chandler by the close of business on the 22 November 2019.