Southern Beef Technology Services (SBTS) is a joint initiative of Meat and
Livestock Australia (MLA), the Agricultural Business Research Institute (ABRI)
and Breed Societies that run the majority of their cattle in Southern Australia.
SBTS provides the members of participating breed societies with technical support that enables them to maximise their understanding and use of the different genetic technologies that are available. For example, BREEDPLAN, BreedObject Selection Indexes, Internet Solutions, TakeStock and DNA based technologies.
The SBTS project commenced in March 2005 following a Strategic Planning workshop
conducted by the Australian Registered Cattle Breeders Association (ARCBA) in August 2004. At this workshop,
members of ARCBA identified the declining level of beef cattle technical services available
in southern Australia as a major area of concern. In particular, the retirement of Brian
Sundstrom (national coordinator of BREEDPLAN field services at the time), the reduction
in technical support offered by a number of the major Breed Societies and the decline in funding
for DPI beef extension highlighted the need for the development of an effective field support program.
In response, MLA, ABRI and 15 Breed Societies combined to develop SBTS.
In association with Tropical Beef Technology Services (TBTS), SBTS provides a truly national extension program for genetic technologies for the Australia seedstock beef industry.
SBTS delivers a range of services to the beef industry in Southern Australia.
These services include:
Technical Support: SBTS provides day to day technical support to beef producers in Southern Australia.
Workshops: Workshops are held routinely to give members
of the beef industry the opportunity for tuition in the application of the
different genetic technologies that are available. Regular webinar presentations are
also run to supplement the workshop program.
Property Visits: On property cosultation is available for producers with specific queries and needs. The property visits provide a valuable opportunity for beef producers to gain advice regarding issues that are relevant to their individual operation.
A range of other activities are also provided by SBTS such as technical notes, support material at major events and technical articles for BREEDPLAN publications.
Importantly, SBTS also acts as a valuable feedback mechanism to the BREEDPLAN development team in the Animal Genetics and Breeding Unit and the operational team in ABRI.