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Sarah Bolton – 2018 Nuffield Scholar

Sarah Bolton from Southgate in New South Wales receives a Nuffield Scholarship supported by Dairy Australia and the Australian Dairy Conference. Sarah will research how best to rear dairy calves so as to integrate successfully into the beef supply chain.

Every year, approximately 350,000 young ‘bobby’ calves leave Australian dairy farms to be sold for meat, skins or other uses.  Interest has grown within Australia’s dairy beef industry in opportunities to grow out a larger percentage of bobby calves for beef. Sarah believes this move would help address negative industry perceptions, as well as contribute to diversification of farm outputs.

Sarah plans to study ways in which other countries operate dairy beef systems from calf rearing through to the finished animal, focusing on preventative health, welfare and nutrition.

Sarah is co-manager of Big River Dairy, 150 hectares on the bank of the Clarence River which runs a 300 cow herd of Jerseys, Holsteins and their crosses on a 36 bail rotary. She and her partner also operate their own beef farm next door.

Along with helping to manage both farms, Sarah works full-time for the NSW Government as the local District Veterinarian. Sarah said there is a push from the beef industry to improve the bobby calves value chain.

“With the broader livestock industry coming under increasingly high levels of scrutiny from the general public, it is vital that we continue to find practical, achievable ways to satisfy community expectations, prioritise the care of our animals and provide new market opportunities for producers,” Sarah said.

For her research tour, Sarah will visit dairy farms in New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Europe, the US and Canada.

Phone: 0427 049 664

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