Who's Who

International speaker to highlight diversity in red dairy breeds

A visiting European expert will highlight research into diversity in red dairy breeds and how Australians could benefit when he speaks at a major Australian conference in March 2019.

At the International Red Dairy Breed Federation conference, Professor Georg Thaller from Kiel University, Germany will outline the European ReDiverse project which highlights the biodiversity within and between European red dairy breeds.

Georg Thaller
Georg Thaller

The conference from March 22-29 2019 is being hosted by the Australian Red Dairy Breeds and will centre on Mount Gambier in South Australia while an adjoining tour will take delegates from Adelaide to Melbourne.

ReDiverse seeks to develop collaborative and integrated breeding and management practises to maximise the potential of red dairy genetics and according to conference organiser Kylie Boston said this could become a global effort.

“Professor Thaller’s talk fits well with our conference theme about bringing red breeds together,” Ms Boston said.

Red dairy breeds across Europe are well known for superior functional characteristics and they represent a unique source of genetic diversity. ReDiverse will generate knowledge and concepts that will be disseminated to lead-users such as the breeding and dairy industry, the food sector, farmer cooperatives and farmers.

Professor Thaller, who will present at the conference on March 26 2019 in Mount Gambier, became Professor of Animal Breeding in 2005 at the Christian-Albrechts-University and now plays a lead role in the ReDiverse project at Kiel University.

During the tour on March 23 2019, veterinarian and dairy farmer Philip Hentschke will show and explain “bones in the bag” at Rydges Pit Lane Hotel at Tailem Bend.

Using examples from a bag of dairy bones, Dr Hentschke will focus on the functional and skeletal structure of dairy cows.

Mr Hentschke is a vet and worked in practice for five years. He had a dairy farm at Invergordon in Victoria for 11 years, and a Jersey stud Homelands. He has also shared his knowledge while lecturing at Roseworthy Campus of University of Adelaide for 16 years and was a classifier for Holstein Australia for five years.

Mr Hentschke is currently assisting a friend with a boutique dairy operation in the Barossa Valley and plans to start dairy consulting work with other interstate vets.

The conference is being held in Australia for the first time since 2000 and is an opportunity for red cattle groups to work together. For more information and to register please contact Ms Boston before February 1 2019 on 0407 231547 or email kylie.smc@bigpond.com.