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Media profile. Tim Gubbins. 2014 Scholarship winner

Media profile. Tim Gubbins. 2014 Scholarship winner

Tim Gubbins, from Moyston in Victoria, has been awarded a prestigious Nuffield Scholarship, supported by Australian Wool Innovation. He received the award at the organisationʼs prestigious National Conference dinner last night (Thursday) at Crown Perth. Tim will study how to achieve the full potential of the Merino sheep breed.

Tim is livestock manager on a Western Districts property, with responsibility for a merino flock consisting of 5500 commercial ewes and 600 stud ewes, 4000 weaners and 2000 mixed-ag weathers. The operation also includes a merino stud and has a winter grazed area of approximately 1200 hectares, as well as an annual cropping program of around 3000 hectares. Tim would like to study the Merino breed with a focus on the period from conception through to weaning.

“I see lambing losses as the biggest issue in the area I am hoping to study. Not only are there production losses associated with this issue, it is also an animal welfare concern. I would like to explore the use of DNA markers and electronic identification to better understand genetic traits that could help with lamb survival and growth rates,” Tim says. His goal is to present his research in a way which is both easy to understand and implement.

“I would like to share and extend the outcomes of my studies through small presentations on a local level. I also hope to implement any new ideas or systems I may learn, as one of the best ways to demonstrate new knowledge is through working examples. I believe the wider industry stands to benefit from anyone who can improve the Merino’s ability to conceive and raise a lamb that has the ability to survive to weaning age,” Tim explains.

With an increased focus on education and training, Australian Wool Innovation is proud to continue a strong involvement with Nuffield Australia. The scholarship is a unique opportunity for a woolgrower to study a particular subject of interest to increase the knowledge and skills within the Australian wool industry.

Nuffield Australia is an organisation providing opportunities to Australian farmers to travel overseas on an agricultural research scholarship. It is a 16-week program consisting of both group and individual travel. In March 2014 we will have one group travelling through Canada, United States (California and Washington DC), Mexico, Europe, Brazil and New Zealand, while a second group will tour South Africa, Kenya, Eastern Europe, Europe and USA.

Tim is available for interviews to talk about his planned study.  Mobile: 0428 115 873

A high-resolution photo of Tim is available for download online in the 2014 Nuffield Scholar gallery

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