Professor David Kenny

An internationally renowned beef scientist from Teagasc will speak at the “Breeding for Performance” events being organised by AFBI, CAFRE, AgriSearch and LMC. The events will be held on Tuesday 28th May in Ballymena Livestock Market and Wednesday 29th May in Clogher Livestock Market.  Both events start at 7pm and will last for approximately two hours.  

Professor Kenny is a Principal Research Scientist at Teagasc’s Animal & Grassland Research Innovation Centre in Grange, County Meath.  He is also an Adjunct Professor at University College Dublin. 

Professor Kenny is one of Ireland’s leading experts on cattle nutrition whose work has helped identify links between nutrition and reproduction.  In 2018 he was awarded the Sir John Hammond award by the British Society of Animal Science.  Professor Kenny received the award for his work on how nutrition controls the biology of economically important traits in beef and dairy cattle.

Following a PhD in cattle nutrition and fertility at University College Dublin, his research career — first at UCD and now at Teagasc — has seen him lead several major studies looking at cattle reproduction.

He has recently completed a €1.2m DAFM-funded project, in conjunction with AFBINI Hillsborough, which looked at the control of reproductive function in beef cows and heifers, and has recently begun a €1.9m project, funded by Science Foundation Ireland examining the control of puberty and semen quality in bulls.

Other research interests include improving feed efficiency in cattle to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the genomic control of fertility in cattle, and producing profitable bulls which produce quality meat.

He is also a former member of the Irish Department of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries (now DAFM) National Beef Forum, where he advised the Minister of agriculture on a roadmap for the Irish beef industry.

Dr Steven Johnston, CAFRE

A respected breeder of both pedigree Charolais cattle and competition-winning sheepdogs, Professor Kenny grew up on his family’s livestock farm in County Mayo, where he continues to farm in his spare time.

At the mart events Professor Kenny will give an update on ongoing research into bull fertility and its importance for suckler herds.

Dr Steven Johnston is a Senior Ruminant Technologist at CAFRE.  Steven graduated from Queen’s in the 1990’s with a degree in Agriculture and a PhD examining factors influencing lamb carcase quality. He took up employment in Scotland with Signet, developing an expertise in beef and sheep breeding programmes. He returned home to the Department of Agriculture in the late 90’s and as a Technologist at CAFRE co-ordinated Livestock Improvement programmes, including the Beef Quality Initiative. Steven was the Senior Beef and Sheep Technologist at CAFRE for 9 years, managing a range of Beef and Sheep technology transfer projects, organic projects, benchmarking and advisory teams as well as supporting colleagues in education to deliver student learning programmes. He managed the industry training team for 5 years, before returning to the beef and sheep team at CAFRE in 2017. Steven will talk about the use of real data and information when selecting breeding stock (heifers and bulls) with a focus on physical data available through BovIS and genetic information, EBVs.

Dr Barry McInerney, AFBI

Dr Barry McInerney is Head of Disease Surveillance Branch at AFBI Stormont. A qualified veterinary surgeon from Co. Clare, following many years in the industry, a Master’s degree in Bioprocess Engineering Technology and a PhD looking at food and animal safety and traceability he moved to Norbrook’s Global HQ as head of clinical development before joining AFBI. Barry will talk about animal health planning to optimise and safeguard cow and calf health.

Dr Francis Lively, AFBI
Dr Francis Lively, AFBI

Dr Francis Lively is Head of Beef Research at AFBI, Hillsborough.  After finishing a degree in agriculture at Queen’s in 2002 he undertook a PhD on beef eating quality.  Since 2005 he has been working on beef production research at Hillsborough covering a range of topics from production systems, breeding, nutrition, greenhouse gas emissions etc.  Outside of AFBI he farms in partnership with his father and brother.  Francis will speak on optimising output in the suckler herd through good nutrition of the cow and the calf and the use of synchronisation programs.

All farmers are welcome to attend. Please note that photographs and videos will be taken at this event for promotional and knowledge exchange purposes to include press releases, social media and websites.