A vision to deliver consistent and viable markets for male dairy calves will see NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) dairy development officer, Peter Havrlant, embark on an ambitious project as part of his 2016 Churchill Fellowship.
In congratulating Mr Havrlant on his award, NSW DPI livestock systems group leader, Dougal Gordon, said Mr Havrlant is committed to improving economic and welfare outcomes for farmers and calves.
“NSW DPI strongly supports our local dairy industry and Peter will use the Fellowship to travel overseas to meet with stakeholders, examine commercial systems and investigate world’s best practice approaches, which Australian farmers could adopt,” Mr Gordon said.
Mr Havrlant said he aimed to boost economic opportunities and improve consumer perceptions towards Australia’s vitally important dairy industry.
“In other countries we have seen increasing values in growing out dairy calves as vealers, steers or bulls, as opposed to young calves with little value generated for the dairy farmer and processing industry,” Mr Havrlant said.
“With recent highs in cattle prices there have been some positive changes and now we need to ensure we have viable market options for these calves that are sustainable into the future.
“Australia could potentially gain advantages from an often overlooked part of the dairy herd and it is something I’m committed to improve.”
Mr Havrlant has been awarded the Jack Green Churchill Fellowship to identify production systems and carcass specifications to maximise the value of male dairy calves.
In 2017 he will be investigating dairy calf production systems in the United States, United Kingdom, Ireland, Netherlands and New Zealand.
The Winston Churchill Memorial Trust was established in 1965 to honour the memory of Sir Winston Churchill and fulfil his wish to offer people from all walks of life the opportunity to travel overseas to gain new knowledge and insights.
This year 106 people were awarded Churchill Fellowships, worth more than $2.7 million, to fully fund travel study tours for up to 8 weeks.