Global experts provide thought leadership

March 22 2017

Reinforcing a commitment to championing thought leadership, the Gardiner Dairy Foundation is hosting two world - leading animal science and research experts this week to provide compelling insights for the Australian dairy industry.

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Reinforcing a commitment to championing thought leadership, the Gardiner Dairy Foundation is hosting two world - leading animal science and research experts this week to provide compelling insights for the Australian dairy industry.

Delegates at the Herd 17 conference in Bendigo were yesterday treated to the insights of multi-award winning science communications expert, Alison Van Eenennaam, who simplified how complex science can assist productivity and profitability in the Australian dairy industry.

Today, multi-published and award-winning genetics research professor, Donagh Berry will take to the stage to highlight breakthroughs in relation to his work at Teagasc Animal & Grassland Research and Innovation Centre in Ireland and how to ‘forge a path as a young researcher in a tough world’.

At the culmination of the Herd 17 conference, Alison and Donagh will join the Gardiner Dairy Foundation on Friday, 24 March as part of the International Strategic Steering Committee to regroup on the key milestones achieved in its flagship $3.3 million herd improvement project, ImProving Herds.

Chief Executive Officer of the Gardiner Dairy Foundation, Mary Harney, said that she is thrilled that the Gardiner Dairy Foundation will be hosting influential players in the global dairy industry.

“Investing in a vibrant dairy future is the Gardiner Dairy Foundation’s primary objective and thought leadership plays an integral role in bringing this vision to life.

We look forward to hearing from global experts, Donagh and Alison and sharing insights into the progress our leading Australian research team is making with the ImProving Herds project,said Ms Harney.

The Herd 17 conference is taking place in Bendigo from Wednesday, 22 March until Thursday, 23 March and Alison Van Eenennaam and Donagh Berry are available for media opportunities before, during and after the event.


For media enquiries, please contact Wrights PR on behalf of the Gardiner Dairy Foundation: Kate Dwight, Account Executive on 0405 270 910 or at


About the Gardiner Dairy Foundation

The Gardiner Dairy Foundation is an independent investor in projects that have significant impact for the Victorian dairy industry supply chain and wider community. Since 2000, the Gardiner Dairy Foundation has made more than $60 million in cash contributions to over 730 projects for the dairy industry. With partner co-funding, this represents a $165 million contribution across the dairy value chain. For more information about the Gardiner Dairy Foundation, visit

About ImProving Herds

ImProving Herds is a three-year, $3.3 million animal performance project funded by the Gardiner Dairy Foundation, which brings together a world-class team of animal genomics experts in a significant collaboration of the dairy industry. The project aims to make herd decisions easy for dairy farmers by demonstrating how to use data to improve herd performance and increase farm profitability. This week key project milestones will be discussed at Herd 17 by Project Lead, Ben Hayes and with the International Steering Committee before publicly releasing the paper next week.

About Alison Van Eenennaam, Ph.D

Alison Van Eenennaam is a Cooperative Extension Specialist in Animal Genomics and Biotechnology for the University of California- Davis and has a passion for educating people on the benefits of biotechnology.

Alison’s most recent work includes a ground-breaking project whereby gene-editing was utilised to breed hornless Holstein dairy cows, assisting farmers who would usually have to undergo the de-horning process. As a global presenter, Alison captivates audiences and has received a number of prestigious awards including the Borlaug Communication Award from the Council for Agricultural Science for her outstanding contributions to science and public policy.

About Donagh Berry, BSc, MSc, Ph.D

Dr Donagh Berry holds a BSc (Agricultural Sciences) from UCD, MSc in Bioinformatics and Systems Biology (UCC) and PhD (2003;UCD and Wageningen). After his PhD, Donagh joined Teagasc as a dairy and beef geneticist and is presently Principal Dairy and Beef Research Geneticist at Teagasc, Moorepark, Co. Cork, where he supervises a very active research program.

Multi-award winning and publishing research specialist, Donagh has written numerous scholarly articles in his expert field of dairy genetics and most recently has been undertaking work to double the average milk solids production of the Irish dairy industry. With a plethora of experience, Donagh holds additional roles including Visiting Professor for Livestock Computational Genomics and Adjunct Professor at the University College Cork, further cementing his position as a global agriculture leader.