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Monday, 26 March 2001
Page: 25571

Mr St CLAIR (1:53 PM) —Last Thursday night I joined with Dr Hans Graser, Director of the Animal Genetics and Breeding Unit, in celebrating 25 years of this wonderful unit at the University of New England. The Animal Genetics and Breeding Unit was established in 1976 by the New South Wales state government Department of Agriculture and the University of New England to carry out research, development and training in the genetic improvement of livestock for the benefit of Australian agriculture. From a small beginning of two scientists, one extension specialist and one secretary, it has grown to a team of 20 scientists, postgraduate students and support staff. It has an excellent international reputation and, as a consequence, an active program for visiting scientists.

AGBU's achievements include the BreedObject software to calculate economic weights and selection indices tailored to individual requirements; BREEDPLAN, PIGBLUP and OVIS genetic evaluation systems, which have been widely adopted by beef, pig and sheep industries respectively; recognition as a leader in methods for the prediction of breeding values through these genetic evaluation systems; leadership of the beef cooperative research centre genetics program; new knowledge of the genetics of growth, carcass and fertility traits in beef, cattle and pigs; new methods for the estimation of genetic parameters; new methods for segregation analysis with and without genetic markers; and regular short courses for students and scientists in work related areas. (Time expired)