CIEL | Blog: CIEL Insights Webinar: Dairy Member showcase

Katie Davies
World Fisheries and Aquaculture 2022

CIEL invited some of the brightest minds from the dairy sector to join a virtual event Dairy Member Showcase. We brought together dairy experts from across the supply chain including Mootral, Antler Bio, Concept Dairy and Lallemand Animal Nutrition.

Together, we took the opportunity to learn about the emerging technologies, services and capabilities to bring impact to the dairy sector. Here are the key takeaways from the event:

Acting on methane

Biotech company Mootral is a British-Swiss company that is focused on Neautralising cows emissions working to ensure agriculture is restorative not debilitative. They are developing a food supplement to reduce methane emissions from ruminant animals with focus also on antibiotic reduction and sustainable livelihoods for farmers.

Thomas Hafner, Founder and CEO, explained Mootral’s capabilities from state-of-the-art labs in south Wales, 20> in house scientist and a farmer first design policy ensuring improved economics. Extensive screening of natural compounds and hydrogen sinks, small molecules, macro microalgae and microbes has been carried out to find solutions for enteric methane emissions. The company aims to create a clear roadmap to almost complete mitigation of methane emissions.

Gene expression and its importance

Antler Bio’s goal is to improve productivity, efficiency, and sustainability through epigenomics, which is the study of how behavior and environment can cause changes that affect the way genes function.

Andrew Lessey, the Chief Operating Officer, explained that the company is conducting research to identify the best expression of genes that can enhance the performance of the herd. This is done through blood testing to measure, improve, and validate the benchmark. The goal is to improve the performance and efficiency of the herd, support precision farming, promote animal health and welfare, conduct synergistic genetic testing, and carry out species-agnostic testing. The company is also working towards optimising the nutritional quality of milk, recruiting data-driven farms through their early adopter program, and optimizing gene expression in calves and heifers.

Helping farmers take control of milk price

At Concept Dairy, the aim is to create and implement a solution that promotes economic stability for dairy farmers.

Jacquiline Fitzgerald, who co-founded Concept Dairy, emphasises the need to equip the sector with knowledge, confidence, and technology that will help farmers make informed decisions regarding milk prices. This will contribute to a socially, environmentally, and economically sustainable future. Concept Dairy has received multiple awards for their Price Locking app, which allows dairy farmers to lock in their milk price. If the milk prices drop, the price of their milk is protected, but if the prices go up, they will receive the price increase. The app provides farmers with current and live market information on milk prices, so they can stay informed about the value of milk each day.

Yeast and bacteria to optimise livestock performance

Lallemand Animal Nutrition specialises in researching and developing yeast and bacteria to improve animal health and well-being.

The company’s Product Manager, Lientjie Colahan, has discussed the benefits of live yeasts, a completely natural product that has been scientifically demonstrated to improve feed quality, enhance nutritional performance, and increase on-farm profitability. Also, the company is conducting research trials on methane inhibitors and exploring the use of natural microbial solutions, such as microbes, instead of disinfectants for animals surrounding the farm.

Guests had the opportunity to engage with the panel of experts through an interactive Q&A session. The panel was made up of David Howard from Wynstay, Chris Manly from Müller UK & Ireland, and Jamie Mc Coy from AHDB.

Questions included ‘who should foot the cost for methane inhibitors’ and their role in carbon calculators. There was further discussion of milk price volatility and its social impact on the dairy industry, genomics return on investment, products positive impacts on farmer workload and welfare.

If you missed the webinar or would like to watch in full, you can view the full recording here.

World Fisheries and Aquaculture 2022
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Katie Davies, Business Development officer

As Business Development Officer, Katie will focus on supporting current CIEL Members and identifying opportunities for potential new Members. Katie has a passion for animal health and welfare, having graduated from Harper Adamas University with a veterinary nursing degree.  Wanting to pursue these topics further in the livestock sector, Katie took on the role of Dairy Knowledge Exchange Manager with AHDB on the HerdAdvance program, working with farmers across Wales on topics such as fertility, lameness, and disease control. This experience along with working on her home farm dairy beef enterprise, allows Katie to bring a practical view to her role and the CIEL team.

Growing up on the family livestock farm, Phil is an Agricultural Economics graduate from the University of Reading and has wealth of knowledge in the agrifood sector. 
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