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Beyond the Bale : December 2012
28 ON-FARM December 2012 BEYOND THE BALE AWI 2013 Matthew Ipsen, from Wareek in Victoria, has been awarded the prestigious 2013 Nuffield Scholarship supported by AWI. He will use his scholarship to investigate world's best practice in sheep reproduction and lamb survival. Mr Ipsen is a director of a private agricultural company with his parents and together they own and operate an 820ha property in central Victoria, consisting of 3000 sheep and 400ha of crop. The major enterprise is wool production along with sheep meat, hay and cereals. They also own and manage a Merino sheep stud and contract harvest business. As well as working on the farm, Mr Ipsen runs a small business in sheep artificial insemination (AI) and pregnancy scanning. It is this business mix that has prompted Mr Ipsen to focus on the reproductive performance of sheep through his Nuffield scholarship. "Australian lamb marking percentages have barely increased in the past 30 years, creating opportunities for producers to improve profitability, put greater selection pressure on reproductive and production rates, as well as counter animal ethical issues by improving the survivability of lambs," he explains. Mr Ipsen hopes to improve the survivability of lambs, and in particular twin-born lambs, in the first 48 hours of life. "I am hoping by studying intensive housing of sheep and different feeding systems, both indoors and paddock systems, I may be able to improve the health of pregnant ewes allowing them to birth without difficulties. "I am also looking to gain an understanding of how Australian producers can improve on current conception rates and build on management systems that will allow for increases in litter size," he says. Mr Ipsen is planning on visiting New Zealand, Europe, the USA and South Africa to conduct his research. "Australian Wool Innovation is proud to continue its partnership with Nuffield Australia through a wool scholarship. Matthew has shown commitment to the wool industry and undertaking a Nuffield Scholarship is the natural next step for him," says Dr Jane Littlejohn, Head of On-Farm RD&E. "His study topic is very relevant and will no doubt enable him to compare best practice from around the world," she concluded. Nuffield Australia is an organisation which provides an opportunity to Australian farmers to travel overseas on an agricultural research scholarship. It is a 16-week program consisting of both group and individual travel. More information: Nuffield Australia Farming Scholars website: www.nuffield.com.au Matthew Ipsen: email@example.com Nuffield scholar RECENT AWI NUFFIELD WOOLGROWER SCHOLARS Recent AWI Nuffield woolgrower scholars and their study areas or report titles are: • 2012 -- James Walker, Longreach, Queensland. James is currently studying if the multiple reproductive cycle trait of ewes can be capitalised to speed up the lamb-to-lamb interval using real-time, remote weight and health management. • 2011 -- James Robertson, Renmark, South Australia. James studied animal nutrition, focussing on weaning and feedlotting. • 2009 -- David Cussons, Kojunup, Western Australia. Report: "Talking agriculture - a study of communication techniques and approaches to crisis communication". • 2008 -- Ben Ranford, Cleve, South Australia. Report: "The role of farmer collaboration in creating supply solutions". • 2007 -- James Walker, Carrick, Tasmania. Report: "Wool and sheep production in the global market". • 2007 -- Andrew Bouffler, Lockhart, NSW. Report: "How to fully utilise and rapidly improve the Australian maternal ewe flock (including Merinos) to ensure continuity of supply into our valuable meat and wool markets". More information: The reports are available on the Nuffield International Farming Scholars website www.nuffieldinternational.org FAST FACTS l Matthew Ipsen, from Wareek in Victoria, has been awarded a 2013 Nuffield Scholarship supported by AWI to investigate world's best practice in sheep reproduction and lamb survival adjustments for various sized sheep. l Mr Ipsen hopes his studies will help improve and the survivability of lambs, and in particular twin-born lambs, in the first 48 hours of life. l He is also looking to gain an understanding of how Australian producers can improve on current conception rates and build on management systems that will allow for increases in litter size. Woolgrower Matthew Ipsen from Wareek in Victoria has been awarded a 2013 Nuffield Scholarship supported by AWI. PHOTO: Lachy Steed, Maryborough Advertiser