A new research initiative has been launched by the UK’s
leading native terminal sire Society, in its bid to drive
down flock costs, it was announced at the Society’s premier
sale, on Saturday 21st July in Edinburgh.
Stephanie Matheson is welcomed to the Society by chairman, Jim Fleming.
For most sheep enterprises the biggest associated cost is labour – as
a result the Suffolk Sheep Society has entered into a three year
contract as co-sponsors of a CASE student at the SAC, with the
project being funded by BBSRC and Genesis Faraday.
Chairman of Council, Jim Fleming, says he is delighted with this
latest development: “The Society’s Council believes
it is essential, both for our own members and for our commercial
customers to be able to reduce costs of their sheep enterprises.
To this end we will be looking into a number of functional traits
associated with sheep production, including lambing ease and lamb
Already data from more than 5,000 sheep has been collected for
these traits which have been recorded by Suffolk breeders over
the past two years. The information gained to date will form the
foundation data of the research to be carried out over the next
Mr Fleming continues: The Suffolk Sheep Society’s recent
adoption of the New Zealand “cold tolerance” Gene Marker
Test, as provided by Lincoln University will ensure that this project
uses not only existing knowledge to develop EBVs for functional
traits, but also the latest scientific technology available.”
Stephanie Matheson will be carrying out the research and collecting
data as CASE student appointed to the Society, and will use the
research as a vehicle for her PhD studies: A graduate of Glasgow
and more recently Newcastle, she will work under the supervision
of SAC’s animal behaviour team led by Dr Cathy Dwyer.
Stephanie’s qualifications include a Masters by Research
in Biology and BSc (Hons) in Zoology. Stephanie originates from
the Highlands and is currently a research assistant at Newcastle
University, she will commence her work with the Society on October
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