The SBTS project commenced in 2005 following a Strategic Planning workshop conducted by the Australian Registered Cattle Breeders Association (ARCBA). 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 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, Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA), the Agricultural Business Research Institute (ABRI) and fifteen breed societies combined to develop SBTS.
Today, the SBTS project is into its third phase (2016 to 2021) with the continued support of MLA, ABRI and the fourteen breed societies listed below. The primary aim of the SBTS project is to provide the Southern Australian Beef Industry with innovative extension services and technical support to maximise understanding and use of the different genetic technologies that are available. Specifically, the SBTS objectives are:
- To facilitate a 50% increase in genetic progress.
- Undertake a range of broad and targeted extension initiatives with a focus on the application of genetic improvement technologies for Southern Australia.
- Provide technical support to assist the implementation of new, and increase the uptake of existing, genetic improvement technologies in Southern Australian seedstock herds and associated breed societies.
- Build capacity in extension and support of genetic improvement technologies, primarily in the use of the BREEDPLAN products in the commercial breeding sector.
- Facilitate structured collaboration with relevant industry bodies on extension initiatives and messages related to genetic improvement technologies.
The stakeholders in the SBTS project are: