Small Farms

First for SA Pork CRC Industry Placement Program

Alice Weaver, whose PhD was supported by the CRC For High Integrity Australian Pork, is the first person to be awarded an Industry Placement Program appointment under the South Australian Government’s $500,000 funding to the Pork CRC.

Dr Weaver officially commences as a Technical Officer at Jeff Braun’s ‘Myora Farm’ at Mt Gambier, SA, on August 3 and will be responsible for the implementation and coordination of the piggery’s research and development activities.

Pork CRC CEO Dr Roger Campbell said the SA Government funding was a welcome boost to Pork CRC’s existing successful Industry Placement Program (IPP), where it placed supported graduates with industry, in particular with its participants.

Graduates are then trained in the business of pork production and remain active in research and Pork CRC activities.

“It is a partnership where funding and training is shared, young people get a start in industry and industry benefits from their enthusiasm and injection of fresh ideas and knowledge, which is often cutting edge science.

“It’s a win-win for everyone and we thank the SA state government and its Minister for Science and Information Economy, Hon Kyam Maher, for recognising this and stepping in to further fund and advance the initiative,” Dr Campbell said.

Pork CRC has supported six IPPs to date and the new funds will help enhance the competiveness of the SA pork industry and provide significant opportunities for graduate and postgraduate students to contribute to what is a vibrant industry.

Pork CRC IPP recipients and their IPP employers, so far, include Dr Rebecca Athorn, Rivalea Australia, Tracey Muller, CHM/SunPork, Dr David Lines, APFG/SunPork Farms, Claire Payne, Craig Mostyn Group and Vanessa Morris, Chris Richards Group and Anthony Martyniuk, SunPork SA.

Dr Weaver’s Pork CRC supported PhD at University of Adelaide, ‘The induction of a fertile oestrus in lactating sows and the subsequent effect mating in lactation has on oocyte quality and embryo survival’, has developed further understanding of sow reproductive potential. Addressing commercial cost, benefit, risks and bottom line gain will be ongoing for the industry.

Myora Principal and owner Jeff Braun has had a lifelong interest in pig genetics.

According to Mr Braun, the business of pig farming was entirely dependent on having healthy, happy animals, cared for by well trained, skilled staff.

“This is where someone so highly skilled and scientifically qualified as Alice will make a real difference.

“I applaud Pork CRC and South Australian Government for joining forces to  make more Industry Placement Program positions available to such talented young people,” he said.

Dr Weaver said she had already enjoyed working at Myora and is excited about the opportunity to implement her knowledge and research skills in a commercial environment.

“The IPP award, gives both parties more certainty, with a minimum three year contract appointment and the opportunity to make a real difference in a commercial operation while gaining on-the-job practical experience,” she said.

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