The AgriSearch ‘Research and Innovation Needs Conference’ is set to facilitate discussions on the “unprecedented challenges” faced by the ruminant livestock sector.

The conference will be held in the Dunadry Hotel, Co. Antrim, on Tuesday, November 28 from 10:00a.m.

Chair of AgriSearch, Prof. Gerry Boyle, said the ruminant livestock sector is currently facing unprecedented challenges with a severe cost/price squeeze and the need to adapt to a changing climate.

“The sector must also play its part in mitigating the impact of livestock on the environment, whilst recognising that Northern Ireland’s beef, lamb and milk have one of the lowest C emission intensities per kg of product worldwide,” he said.

The conference aims to articulate the research and innovation needs of farmers and seek a response to those needs.

The responses are sought from the Agri-food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI), Queen’s University Belfast and Ulster University as well as the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA).

Boyle said AgriSearch wishes to obtain a department perspective on government priorities for the ruminant livestock sector.

Registration for the conference will open at 10:00a.m, with the conference scheduled to kick off shortly afterwards at 10:30a.m.

It will conclude with a buffet lunch at 1:00p.m and places can be booked via the AgriSearch website.

AgriSearch conference schedule

The Research and Innovation Needs Conference will begin with an introduction from Prof. Gerry Boyle.

This will then be followed by video and panel discussion with vice chair of AgriSearch, Ian McCluggage as panel moderator from 10:40a.m.

He will be joined by AgriSearch’s Jonathan Blair, David Thompson and Frank Turley until the panel’s completion at 11:30a.m.

Then there will be an academic and government response, including a panel discussion, from 11:30a.m until 12:45p.m.

This will feature Prof. Phil Jordan of Ulster University, Prof. Nigel Scollan of Queen’s University and Prof. Elizabeth Magowan of AFBI.

There will also be a representative from DAERA.

Following this, there will be a summary and conclusion from 12:45p.m – 1:00p.m by AgriSearch scientific consultant, Dr Sinclair Mayne and AgriSearch general manager, Jason Rankin.