2018 Sheep Milk NZ Conference Embracing the Potential

Principal Sponsor:

March 12-13 Awapuni Function Centre, Palmerston North

|| Conference Registration ||  Participation ||

With the theme, ‘Embracing the Potential’,  the 2018 Sheep Milk NZ Conference on March 12-13  will  feature presentations  and engagement sessions with all the  key industry players, the latest sheep dairy research, extraordinary sheep milk foods and esteemed international and local speakers. Submissions for programme sessions close February 15. For Further details  email sheepmilknz@massey.ac.nz  or ring Craig on 021 672 199.

Conference Details (to date)

AGMARDT International Key Note Speaker 

Dave Thomas is the leading US sheep dairy scientist.  He helped found and for more than 20 years was  principal researcher at the University of Wisconsin’s specialist dairy sheep research station, The Spooner Institute.  During that time he ran experimental work on a huge range of topics. He will address the conference on his  work comparing East Friesian and Lacaune breeds for milk production and lactation traits including weaning systems, milk letdown, between milking interval. He will also dairy sheep health and milk quality challenges and general sheep dairy management.

Related Links: Listen to Dave talk about the Spooner Institute. Link to some of Dave’s sheep dairying publications

Conference Dinner Address  

‘Reflections on a Dairy Diversification Journey’

Richard Cookson  and Louise Cullen (Cookson Trust Farms, Te Aroha, Waikato) are formerly agriculture  research scientists (nitrate cycling , forestry and  climate change) who returned to their family’s farming operation in the early 2000s. They are currently joint managing directors of a business  that  supplies  Fonterra, Tatua and the Dairy Goat Cooperative  (and Louise is also on the Tatua board).   Their conference dinner address will reflect on the diversification of their multi-generational family business  as it has shifted focus toward creating greater value rather than increasing productivity.
Related links:  Richard Cookson on addressing  farmers’ mental  health (Radio NZ) and NZ Dairy

Conference Honorary Guest

 At the tender age of 24, Julie Brownlee, the 2018 SheepMilkNZ Conference Honorary Guest (picture left with fiancé Nathan) is one half of the partnership that powers Thorvald (the Nelson-based sheep milk producer). Prior to Thorvald she was the shed manager at Neudorf Valley Sheep Cheeses before it closed in 2014. However, when she and  Nelson businessman Dave Barratt started Thorvald on the same site, she had to started  from scratch, leasing land, building a  flock and re-equipping the milking shed. It was clear that for Thorvald’s  spreadsheets to work,  the factory needed milk all year round so Julie has started something no-one else in New Zealand is doing: milking 12 months of the year. That involves lambing and all its attendant hard work three times a year. Milking and the lambing beat are seven days a week, fifty-two weeks a year. It is major commitment, perhaps one that only a young person with a young person’s energy could take on. Julie Brownlee will open this year’s conference  (text from the Country Calendar episode). See Julie and Dave Barratt’s Country Calendar episode.

 Conference sessions

(1) Sheep milk consumers, products and markets ( each session includes multiple presentations and discussion opportunities)
(2) AgReseach; Year 4 of the MBIE-funded AgResearch Sheep Dairy Research Programme
(3) Product Processing and Technologies
(4)  farm operations
(5) dairy sheep breeding and genetics

Principal Sponsor:

Cornerstone Sponsors


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