Genetics innovation claims double-gold at Beef + Lamb Sheep Awards
Focus Genetics have claimed both terminal genetics award categories at the 2017 Beef+Lamb New Zealand Sheep Industry Awards firmly establishing the Hawke’s Bay based company as New Zealand’s leading sheep breeder.
The Waikite FocusPrime™ took out the Terminal Worth category, while the Rosebank FocusPrime™ claimed top honours in the Terminal Trait Leader for Lamb Growth category.
Focus Genetics chief executive Gavin Foulsham said the awards were well deserved recognition for Waikite farm manager Peter Strawbridge and Rosebank farm owners Barry and Julie Crawford and a big endorsement of the breeding programmes Focus Genetics has developed with its breeding partners over a number of years.
“These awards recognise excellence in high lamb survival rates whilst consistently producing high growth, high meat yielding lamb.
“With our breeding partners we are operating at the the leading edge of where the sheep breeding sector need to be in order to be sustainable and profitable long-term – combining the best genetic development in New Zealand with excellent on-farm practice, stock and feed management.
Mr Foulsham said both Waikite and Rosebank have always had an open mind to the gains that technology can offer which had literally ‘bred’ success.
“They’ve left us to worry about the science so they can really concentrate on the farm, and it’s that combination of science and hard work on the farm that has allowed the genetics to fully express themselves.”
Mr Foulsham said the work Focus Genetics had been leading in genetic gain had been a decade in the making.
‘We want to drive long-term, sustainable profitability in the New Zealand red meat sector by developing superior genetics. We see huge potential for the farming sector from this work that will benefit New Zealand as a whole, but especially those in the supply chain.
“Seeing excellent stock leave the farms we are working with is hugely satisfying, and now national recognition proves we are leading the sector with our approach.”