Red dairy cattle breeders, breed organisations and genetics company representatives from around the world are to converge on Mount Gambier for a global event designed to bring red cattle breeds together.
The International Red Dairy Breed Federation conference and tour is being hosted from March 22-29 by the Australian Red Dairy Breed group. The event is held every three years and is in Australia for the first time since 2000.
More than 100 people are expected to attend, with registrations already confirmed from the United States, New Zealand, and Sweden, with strong interest emerging from Germany and Denmark. Most dairy areas from Australia will be represented.
Tours will take delegates on trips to locations between Adelaide and Melbourne.
Organising committee chairman Graeme Hamilton said it was an opportunity for red cattle groups to work together to improve communication between the various Red Breeds.
“Red dairy breeds fall under many different names across the world and the conference is an opportunity to bring these many groups together to talk about how to enhance red dairy cattle and their promotion,” Mr Hamilton said.
“Working together and pooling ideas and resources is the best way to achieve success,” he said. “You learn by listening to top speakers and visiting farms, but the great thing about the conference is building networks and friendships.”
Mr Hamilton said red dairy cattle were generally of medium stature, were efficient producers of milk solids and excelling in health traits such as mastitis resistance, fertility, calving ease and disease resistance.
The tours begins in Adelaide on March 22 and will involve visits to herds and tourist attractions in central South Australia, the Mount Gambier region, south-west Victoria and Geelong.
Delegates will also visit Genetics Australia’s property at Bacchus Marsh.
At the official conference day on Tuesday, March 26 at Mount Gambier, Australian and international speakers will provide updates from around the world on present and future breeding aspects of the red breeds.
New information will be available on traits for feed efficiency and heat tolerance, and there will be a focus on managing breed diversity.