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Award-winning cattle research could help to tackle climate change.



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T h e H o n . Tony B u r ke M P

Award-winning cattle research could help to tackle climate change

14 October 2008 DAFF08/139B

A scientist whose research could help to tackle climate change by reducing methane emissions in cattle has taken out the top award at the 2008 Australian Agricultural Industries Young Innovators and Scientists Awards.

Dr Nicholas Hudson will receive $20,000 from Meat & Livestock Australia and $30,000 as winner of the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Award, for his research into improving cattle feed efficiency.

Livestock with high feed efficiency produce less methane emissions, reduce the amount of grain diverted from human consumption and significantly reduce input costs for farmers.

“The Rudd Government is committed to investing in scientific research, such as Dr Hudson’s work, to help tackle climate change,” Mr Burke said.

“We also believe in fostering the talent of young Australians. These awards help to kick-start careers and can deliver long-term benefits to our rural communities.

“I congratulate Dr Hudson on his work and would encourage other young scientists to pursue research to help reduce the impact of climate change on our farming industries and secure vibrant industries for the future.”

Dr Hudson is a postdoctoral research scientist with CSIRO Livestock Industries and will use the award to expand his research into the genetic analysis of cattle, to better understand switches in metabolic efficiency.

“Reducing the feed intake of Australian cattle, without compromising the efficiency with which cattle convert feed into beef, would be a significant bonus for the beef industry in reducing production costs,” Dr Hudson said.

“Such improvements would clearly make Australian beef more globally competitive and help drive profits.”

Grants of up to $20,000 were also given to 14 young Australians aged between 18 and 35 years who work or study in the agriculture, fisheries, and forestry, food or natural resource industries.

Other winning projects ranged from improving pregnancy rates in dairy cows, to investigating salmon that can adapt to suboptimal temperatures and developing technologies to generate renewable energy from wine waste products.

Information on the winners of the 2008 Australian Agricultural Industries Young Innovators and Scientists Awards is available at www.daff.gov.au/scienceawards.

Sponsors are the Australian Government; Australian Animal Welfare Strategy; Australian Egg Corporation Limited; Australian Meat Processor Corporation; Australian Pork Limited; Dairy Australia; Forest and Wood Products Australia; Horticulture Australia Limited; Land & Water Australia; Meat & Livestock Australia and the Research and Development Corporations of Fisheries, Grains, Grape and Wine, Rural Industries and Sugar.