Theme 1: Genetics

Theme 1: Genetics

The genetic pillar sets in place the necessary data, tools and know-how for breeding a more efficient and productive cattle herd. The dual focus will be on reducing daily animal methane emissions coupled with reducing the number of days the animal will produce methane – the former is based on measuring individual animal daily methane emissions across an animal’s life while the latter strives to shorten age at slaughter. This improved environmental hoofprint will be achieved without impacting other animal-level productivity and quality measures. Benefits from breeding are cumulative and permanent and boast an almost complete adoption rate.

Programme Lead

Prof. Donagh Berry

Prof. Donagh Berry is Principal Investigator in quantitative genetics at Teagasc, Moorepark and holds professor appointments in University College Cork, Ireland as well as SRUC, UK. He is Director of the €40m VistaMilk SFI Research Centre which, with its >200 scientists, aims to be an agent of growth for the Irish dairy industry propelling Ireland into pole position in fundamental and translational research for precision pasture-based dairying. Following his bachelor degree in Agricultural Science at University College Dublin in 2000, he undertook a PhD in dairy cattle genetics in collaboration with Wageningen University, the Netherlands. He later completed a part-time MSc in Bioinformatics and Systems Biology at University College Cork, Ireland. He is responsible for the research on genetics in dairy cattle in Ireland and the development and implementation of national genomic evaluations in dairy cattle, beef cattle and sheep in Ireland. His main interests are in the derivation of breeding goals, genetic and genomic evaluations, decision support tools and breeding programs.