A 2015 commitment by the South Australian Government to invest half a million dollars with the Roseworthy, SA, head-quartered Cooperative Research Centre for High Integrity Australian Pork, has already paid substantial dividends for the state’s pork industry, according to Pork CRC CEO Roger Campbell.
The funding has supported five Pork CRC IPP (Industry Placement Program) appointments at $70,000 each and $150,000 was allocated to the internationally acclaimed Autism in Agriculture Project to help employ nine young autistic adults at SunPork Farms in SA.
“Our IPP, where we place Pork CRC supported graduates with industry, in particular with our participants, is a partnership where funding and training is shared,” Dr Campbell said.
“Business applies for the award and trains the graduates in the business of pork production, while employing them for a minimum of three years. Our job is to ensure the graduate remains involved in R&D and Pork CRC activities.
“Young people get a start in industry and industry benefits from their enthusiasm and injection of fresh ideas and knowledge, which is often very innovative.
“It’s been a truly game changing investment for Pork CRC and industry and we acknowledge the SA state government for recognising this and stepping in to further advance our IPP initiative,” he said.
Alice Weaver, whose PhD was supported by Pork CRC, was the first person to be awarded an IPP appointment under the SA Government’s funding to Pork CRC.
Dr Weaver is a technical officer at the Braun family’s ‘Myora Farm’ at Mt Gambier, SA, where she is responsible for the piggery’s research and development activities.
Veterinarian Sarah Medhurst is working at SunPork Farms South, where Tanya Nowland is also spending time as part of her IPP with SARDI.
Ms Medhurst has been involved in R&D projects at SunPork and has increased her knowledge of pig production through involvement in production and marketing meetings, data analysis of large pig herds.
Ms Nowland, as part of her IPP with SARDI, has been trained in farrowing house operations through her time with SunPork Farms.
According to her IPP supervisor, Cameron Ralph of SARDI, the IPP has strengthened the relationship between the two organisations.
“At SARDI we’ve focused on experimental design and execution of research plans, while at SunPork Tanya has been mentored in pig production,” Dr Ralph explained.
Haylee Clifford and Nishchal Sharma are working with livestock nutrition companies, Lienert Australia and ACE Livestock Consulting, respectively.
Ms Clifford said Lienert Australia and her mentors had been very supportive during the huge learning curve since she commenced her industry placement.
“I have had the opportunity to learn a great deal about feed and premix formulation and how the company operates and now I look forward to future opportunities and experiences with the program,” she said.
Rohan Wundke, Ms Clifford’s supervisor at Lienert, said she had already enjoyed many opportunities as part of her IPP and Lienert was now considering involving her in a sow feed intake project to increase her pig industry knowledge and interaction.
Dr Sharma said that as a recent graduate, his time at ACE would help him work more effectively in the future.
His IPP supervisor and ACE principal, Tony Edwards, reported that Dr Sharma was making good progress to becoming a competent nutritionist.
More from Pork CRC.
Top image: After addressing the 2017 South Australian Pig Industry Day, Pork CRC CEO Dr Roger Campbell (right) caught up with Dr Nishchal Sharma, trainee nutritionist employed by ACE Livestock Consulting under the Pork CRC’s SA Government supported Industry Placement Program.