An SAC student has been selected by the Scottish Sheep Strategy, supported by Quality Meat Scotland,to participate in a major sheep breeding event.
Edinburgh student, Zara Chestnutt, was selected from the entries for an expenses paid trip to Sheep Breeders Round Table 2009 which will be held at Stratford Upon Avon from Friday 13 to Sunday 15 November.
The sponsorship will cover the winning delegate’s conference fee, accommodation for the duration of the conference and travel expenses up to the value of £200. The whole package is worth about £500 to the winner.
Zara is in her final year of study of an Agriculture Honours degree course at SAC Edinburgh. During the year she will be studying animal breeding and genetics and will be undertaking a research project supervised by Dr Lutz Bunger.
The project, which will form the basis of her Honours dissertation, will be examining aspects of body size and growth in Texel sheep and their relationship to meat yield.
In her successful application she said: “The opportunity to attend the Sheep Breeders Round Table would be an excellent opportunity to be inspired by leading researchers and discuss with breeders the relevance of my project.
“I have always taken great interest in sheep breeding having been encouraged from an early age by my father, a Texel breeder for some 30 years in Northern Ireland. In the earlier stages of my student career I spent a year long placement with Finlay and Neil McGowan at Incheoch, Blairgowrie, during which time I learnt a considerable amount with regard to progressive sheep breeding methods.”
QMS Livestock Development Manager, Kathy Peebles, said: “Zara was selected as we felt that attending the Sheep Breeders Round Table would give her the opportunity to meet with farmers and researchers who are at the forefront of developing and putting into practice the latest in sheep breeding technology. QMS already fund some of the projects that Dr Bunger is leading on so it is a nice link back to the Industry.
“The conference covers the whole gamut of sheep breeding, from practical farming advice to the use of cutting edge genetic technology, all aimed at helping create a more sustainable sheep sector. The opportunity to attend should be of tremendous value for Zara.”