Last weekend Tom Gubbins featured as a guest speaker at the Upper Murray Beef Producers Forum.
Alongside a number of other industry experts, Tom shared his knowledge on the complexities of genomics and the value of investment into a standardised genomic database for the beef industry.
2023 Upper Murray Beef Producers Forum.
The Australian beef cattle genetics pipeline might have the best scientific and governance protocols of any system of its kind in the world, but it is in urgent need of a restructure.
A restructure which is in the best commercial interests of people to collect the crucial date – and that’s a lot crucial data – which enables genomics to work to further improve EBVs.
And after decades of work the time is right to leverage this advantage and move our industry towards a single, socialised national database, managed by the industry, for the industry, and incorporating multibreed EBVs.
EBVs which will be ready within the next two years and which judge the end product on its performance, not the colour in which it was initially wrapped.
This will give us the capability of combining the NLIS and MSA into one single virtual database – and that alone will give Australian cattle breeders an unparalleled competitive advantage over their international competitors.
But without this industry-wide data collection, in its place we will need to set up expensive, levy-funded beef information hubs to maintain the accuracy of the quantitative genotypes (EBVs).
Genomics only works with data, data and data, so in order to leverage the advantages we already have, and which are coming, we need to make decisions for the good of the whole industry, we need to make fundamental structural changes to the commercialisation of the beef genetics pipeline.
Now is the time for us to move forwards – the time and money you spend on genomics is not a cost, it is an investment.