Inspired to learn from the best
Mundubbera farmer to use scholarship to investigate AI
NUFFIELD scholar Kara Knudsen, of Mundubbera, was inspired by the energy at the prestigious scholarship presentation evening.
She said she planned to use the opportunities to learn, collaborate and bring new ideas and innovations back to Australia to improve northern cattle genetics.
Mrs Knudsen is supported by Meat and Livestock Australia and is planning on investigating large scale artificial insemination (AI) techniques.
“It was inspirational to be there with other Nuffield scholars,” Mrs Knudsen said.
“There were new scholars like me and previous scholarship winners.
“These people are problem solvers, leaders and innovators from all across the primary industry spectrum.
“I’m looking forward to the Contemporary Scholars Conference in Canada in March, because it will give me a global outlook.”
This outlook will be enhanced when she joins eight other Australian and New Zealand Nuffield scholars on a six-week world tour of innovative farms and enterprises.
After this she will work on her research project, which she will present at a national conference in late 2014.
“My private study will most likely include Brazil, Argentina, UK – Wales and Ireland, and southern USA.
“It’s great that the kids and Darcy can come with me for this part.”
Kara and her husband, Darcy, run 1500 santa gertrudis breeders on 18,000 acres at Mundubbera and have a further 82,000 acres of Mitchell / Downs country, with up to 4000 head run mostly as a trading operation.
The slow genetic progress in many northern cattle herds has prompted her to study AI on the large scale needed in the region.
“If the industry is going to survive, then genetic improvements and better reproductive performance has shown to be a dominating factor in farm profitability,” she said.
“If we could multiply superior genetics quickly and at a low cost, the northern beef industry will again have a promising future.”
She will focus on fixed time AI, embryo transfer (ET) and ultrasound techniques and services that can be replicated on a large scale.
While the Knudsens are currently successfully using fixed time AI in their own heifers and cows, Mrs Knudsen hopes to use the Nuffield Scholarship to increase the uptake of this technology in the northern beef herd.
Nuffield Australia is an or- ganisation that provides an opportunity to Australian farmers to travel overseas on an agricultural research scholarship. Readers can follow Mrs Knudsen on Twitter @knudsenkara or on her business Facebook page Knudsen Cattle.
■ What do you think about Kara’s success? Email us at email@example.com.
GREAT ACHIEVEMENT: Mundubbera’s Kara Knudsen is presented with her Nuffield scholarship by Nuffield Australia chair Terry Hehir (left) and also congratulated by Meat and Livestock Australia chair Rob Anderson.