The Northern Pastoral Scholarship was launched in 2018 by the Australian Agricultural Company (AACo), Consolidated Pastoral Company (CPC), Elders and S. Kidman & Co.
Recognising the need to foster the Northern Australian pastoral sector, these four iconic agricultural companies joined forces to create the scholarship with the aim of enabling recipients to become leaders in their field.
S. Kidman & Co: www.kidman.com.au
2024 Nuffield Scholar
Scholar to develop rapid blood testing for cattle, improve herd resilience
With a passion for cattle and healthcare, scholarship recipient Kylie Braes will seek to utilise her background in remote medicine to study a new and emerging, mobile, cost-effective blood testing technology for cattle as a 2024 Nuffield Scholar. Kylie wants to contribute to the Australian agriculture industry and says on-farm blood testing could enable quick fertility analysis, disease management, nutritional analysis, as well as improved carcass yields, conception rates and genetic selection.
Kylie has received the Northern Pastoral Scholarship, supported by the Australian Agricultural Company (AACo), Consolidated Pastoral Company (CPC), Elders and S. Kidman & Co.
Working across her family's three cattle stations, as well as privately as a rural contractor, Kylie is aware of the challenges faced by farmers.
"Having accurate objective scientific data at producers' fingertips helps leverage management decisions of livestock, and improve sustainability in the Australian agriculture industry," Kylie says.
"With the opportunity to have rapid on-site blood assays done on cattle we could in turn produce better beef, be more competitive within the world market, improve investor confidence, reduce our carbon footprint and have healthier bovine. There's even potential down the track for the results of this blood testing to be used in an app correlated along with soil, grass, carbon sequestration, stocking rates, water testing and other data from each paddock, to help with recording optimal management and monitoring, as we move towards our net zero plan for the cattle industry."
Kylie says this type of testing offers a way of looking at the stock in their ecosystem and seeing what's being absorbed by their digestive system and identifying nutrient deficiencies.
Kylie plans to travel to Brazil, the US, Canada, Japan, Germany, Spain, Mongolia, China and within Australia – countries that supply phosphorus, grow beef, and are using or developing advancing medical technologies. She says the research could help with leveraging livestock husbandry and management practices for Australian producers.
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