MUNDUBBERA'S Kara Knudsen will tonight be awarded the prestigious Nuffield Scholarship.
Mrs Knudsen is planning to investigate large-scale artificial insemination techniques for northern cattle herds.
Along with her husband Darcy, Mrs Knudsen runs 1500 Santa Gertrudis breeders on about 7300 hectares at Mundubbera and has a further 33,000ha of Mitchell/Downs country, with up to 4000 head run mostly as a trading operation.
If we could multiply superior genetics quickly and at a low cost, the northern beef industry will again have a promising future.
Slow genetic progress in many northern cattle herds has prompted Mrs Knudsen to study AI on the large scale needed in the region.
"If the industry is going to survive, then genetic improvements and better reproductive performance has shown to be a dominating factor in farm profitability," she said.
"If we could multiply superior genetics quickly and at a low cost, the northern beef industry will again have a promising future."
She is hoping to particularly focus on fixed time AI, embryo transfer and ultrasound techniques and services that can be replicated on a large scale.
"I am particularly interested in the work of Gabriel Bo in Argentina and farms in Brazil, where they have overcome many of the problems associated with AI on a large scale and are reaping the benefit of accelerated genetic progression," Mrs Knudsen said.
While she is currently successfully using fixed-time AI in her own heifers and cows, she hopes to use the Nuffield scholarship to increase the uptake of this technology in the northern beef herd.
"I will be seeking answers to problems which inhibit the use of it here in Australia, by visiting countries where these technologies are now widely used," Mrs Knudsen said.
"In Brazil and Argentina the scale of operation is massive, so to see the equipment, yards and setup used to handle this would be invaluable, and a Nuffield scholarship will provide me with a network of colleagues that I can collaborate with to find solutions."
Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.