Dairy scientists to gain insight

A South East South Australian dairy consultant is one of four up-and-coming scientists set to travel to the United States to attend one of the world’s biggest dairy science conferences.

Mikaela Baker, Beachport, who works as a farm productivity consultant with Total Result Ag Consulting, received one of Dairy Australia’s dairy science travel grants.

She will attend the 2018 American Dairy Science Association annual meeting in Knoxville, Tennessee, next month to hear more about the latest industry research and innovation.

Ms Baker grew up in Mansfield, Vic, and studied a Bachelor of Agricultural Science at Charles Sturt University. She is particularly interested in ruminant nutrition, calf and heifer rearing and dry cow management.

  “To be able to go to the US and see what is happening at the very cutting edge of what I do is a dream come true and I’m looking forward to meeting the leaders in my field and picking their brains,” she said.

“There is so much happening in dairy science all across the world and I feel so honoured to be entrusted with bringing that back and putting it to work in our dairy industry.”

Dairy Australia program leader Peter Johnson said the grants program was designed to ensure Australia retained a presence at the cutting edge of dairy science.

“Australian researchers are responsible for some amazing work but for our industry to keep pace internationally we need to continually be exposed to the latest thinking from around the world,” he said.

The grants are open to applicants who are either early career scientists working in dairy or PhD students researching animal health, animal welfare or genetics and who have a background working in dairy.

Ms Baker will be joined by veterinarians Tim Luke, Warragul, Vic, Cassandra MacDonald, Bega, NSW, and Daniel Espinosa, Trafalgar, Vic.

“These are all people who are either from dairy backgrounds or have an enormous passion for the industry so this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for them to network with the scientists at the very top of their field,” Mr Johnson said.

Recipients are required to prepare a report on what they learnt and present at Dairy Australia events upon their return.