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One Bachelor of Agricultural Science (BAgrSc) - 120 Tertiary Level Tourism Qualifications. “so lets get this right – tourism is about going to look at things, saying yeah that looks different and then staying in a nice hotel with clean sheets” Associate Professor Jon Hickford

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one bachelor of agricultural science bagrsc 120 tertiary level tourism qualifications

One Bachelor of Agricultural Science (BAgrSc) - 120 Tertiary Level Tourism Qualifications

“so lets get this right – tourism is about going to look at things, saying yeah that looks different and then staying in a nice hotel with clean sheets”

Associate Professor Jon Hickford

President of the NZ Institute of Agricultural and Horticultural Science

slide2

So only stupid “farm-boys” who can’t succeed in real subjects and won’t be much good for anything other than wondering around in a pair of gumboots drinking beer should come to Lincoln?

Correct?

slide3
No!!
  • The Lincoln University Bachelor of Agricultural Science Degree is a 4 year professional degree with an additional 39 weeks of practical work in a variety of leading agribusinesses and it is “research-lead”
  • There are over 80 career agricultural scientists many with international reputations who contribute to this degree programme.
what is an international reputation
What is an international reputation?

Forrest R, Itenge-Mweza T, McKenzie G, Zhou H, Frampton C, Hickford JG. Polymorphism of the ovine beta-adrenergic receptor gene (ADRB3) and its association with wool mean staple strength and yield. Animal Genetics. 2009 Jun 15. [In Press].

Zhou H, Lottner S, Ganter M, Hickford JG. Identification of two new Dichelobacter nodosus strains in Germany. The Veterinary Journal. 2009 Mar 12 [In Press].

Ennen S, Hamann H, Distl O, J. Hickford JG, Zhou H, Ganter M. A field trial to control ovine footrot via vaccination and genetic markers. Small Ruminant Research 86: 22–25. 2009.

Kunhareang S, Zhou H, Hickford JG. Novel sequence of the porcine IGHA gene. Molecular Immunology 47(2-3): 147-8. 2009.

Zhou H, Ennen S, Ganter M, Hickford JG. Isolation of new anaerobic bacteria from sheep hooves infected with footrot. Veterinary Microbiology 139(3-4): 414-6. 2009.

Yang G, Zhou H, Hu J, Luo Y, Hickford JG. Extensive diversity of the ADRB3 gene in Chinese sheep identified by PCR-SSCP. Biochemical Genetics 47(7-8): 498-502. 2009.

Hickford JG, Forrest RH, Zhou H. Association between a g.+6723G-A SNP in the myostatin gene (MSTN) and carcass traits in New Zealand Texel sheep. Journal of Animal Science 87(6): 1853. 2009.

Bennett G, Hickford JG, Zhou H, Laporte J, Gibbs J. Detection of Fusobacterium necrophorum and Dichelobacter nodosus in lame cattle on dairy farms in New Zealand. Research in Veterinary Science 87(3): 413-5. 2009.

Bennett G, van Loenen A, Zhou H, Sedcole R, Hickford JG. The detection of Dichelobacter nodosus and Fusobacterium necrophorum from footrot lesions in New Zealand goats. Anaerobe 15(4): 177. 2009.

so what research is done in agriculture
So what research is done in agriculture?
  • Lamb Cold-Tolerance Research
slide6

Number of Lambs Born = 28.9 million

(Meat & Wool Economic Service of N.Z., 2001)

15% of all lambs born die before weaning  15%

(McCutcheon et al. 1981, Everett-Hinks et al. 2009)

= 4.335 million dead lambs

15% of all dead lambs die of cold exposure x 15%

(Gumbrell & Saville, 1986)

= 650 250 dead lambs due to cold exposure

Average price of a lamb  $80

Cost of neonatal lamb mortality due to cold exposure in N.Z. per annum

= $52 million per annum

slide8
The Beta-3 Adrenergic Receptor Gene (B3AR or ADRB3)
  • Variation linked with cold survival, birth weight, growth weight to weaning and carcass fat (Forrest et al. 2003) – but in small numbers of lambs only.

So we did a BIG study!

cause of death diagnosis
Cause of Death Diagnosis
  • Dead lambs were classified as having died from starvation-mis-mothering - exposure (SME) if they died within four days of birth and no other cause of death was obvious, such as a swollen head (dystocia), membranes over the nose (suffocation), unbroken feet membranes (stillborn) or birth defects.
  • Birth weight and the climate variables at birth were also recorded.
birthweight vs lamb death literature
Birthweight vs. Lamb Death (Literature)

Includes lambs assisted & surviving

Figure from Scales et al. 1986 (single lambs only)

trial design
Trial Design
  • 23 leading breeders – producing approximately 12 000 lambs p.a. (Breeds: Corriedale, Suffolk, Poll Dorset, Merino, Polwarth, Dorset Down, Hampshire, Coopworth)
  • Spread geographically from Gore to Blenheim
  • Lambed from July to November
results
Results

Overall - two alleles of ADRB3 were associated with increased risk of cold death

- two alleles of ADRB3 associated with decreased risk of cold death

slide14
- e.g.

Bad allele C – over 9% of lambs carrying that allele (n=4398) died of SME in the study

Good allele E – 5.5% of lambs carrying that allele (n= 4082) died of SME in this study

  • A potentially valuable gene marker!
the added bonus
The added bonus
  • Further analysis suggests that the variation in the Beta-3 adrenergic receptor gene is an even better predictor of total mortality and not just cold-related death
  • This was an unexpected but good outcome and we are currently trying to ascertain why it is the case
e g merino specific results total mortality more than 10 deaths
e.g. Merino Specific Results – Total Mortality – more than 10% deaths
  • n = 2926
  • 0.05 < P ≤ 0.10
  • **0.01 < P ≤ 0.05
  • ***0.001 < P ≤ 0.01
  • **** P ≤ 0.001
the cold tolerance gene marker test a commercial business within the university
The Cold-Tolerance Gene-Marker Test – a commercial business within the University
  • Approximately 15 000 rams tested to date at $33 plus GST each ($495k gross)
  • Used in 5 countries (NZ, Aus. Canada, Greece and Chile)
  • Growing!
future plans
Future Plans
  • Further alleles to investigate
  • Further relationships with fat deposition and growth rate to be investigated
acknowledgements
Acknowledgements
  • Dr Rachel Forrest
  • Mr John Bates
  • The Sheep Farmers of NZ
  • Merino Inc
  • Mid Micron Wools of NZ
  • RomneyNZ
  • Dr Huitong Zhou, Freeman Fang, Yang Guo, Chris Frampton.