NSW appoints pig specialist to improve productivity

26-03-2009 | |

The Australian state of New South Wales has engaged pig industry specialist, Dr Trish Holyoak, to build a more productive pig industry for the state. Its Minister for Primary Industries, Ian Macdonald, said Dr Holyoake joins the NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) with impressive qualifications and extensive experience in the pig industry.

Dr Holyoake comes to New South Wales DPI from the University of Sydney, where she was the senior lecturer in pig health and pig production. Her previous experience includes working for Australia’s largest piggery, as a consultant to a 25,000 sow piggery in Indonesia and as a lecturer at the University of Melbourne and the Victorian Department of Primary Industries. NSW Chief Veterinary Officer, Bruce Christie, said studies undertaken by Dr Holyoake include a PhD on gastro intestinal diseases of pigs and a Post Doctoral Scholarship funded by the Australian Pig Research and Development Corporation to study pig diseases at the University of Minnesota.

Dr Holyoake has more than twenty years experience working in the pig industry on pig health.© She takes up her position at the Wagga Wagga Agricultural Research Institute close to Charles Sturt University’s veterinary science school and a number of large piggeries. From Wagga, Dr Holyoake will provide specialist technical advice in pig production and pig health to the NSW pig industry.

Competitive pig industry
A key purpose of Dr Holyoake’s position is to help the NSW pig industry remain competitive through the adoption of innovative production and biosecurity technologies, strategies and policies. This will involve working with industry and government on their development, enhancing market access through targeted programs and responding to emergency biosecurity threats. In her program to rejuvenate the New South Wales pig industry, Dr Holyoake will outline how to stay on top of pig health, productivity and profitability in a series of pork workshops, focusing on long-term profit and sustainability to give pork producers the skills to take their enterprises solidly into the future.

NSW DPI livestock officer, Jayce Morgan, said producers have had a tough two years but continued strong prices for fresh pork and softening feed costs have put producers in a good position to strengthen their businesses. In these workshops, pork production specialists will highlight the most advantageous repairs and maintenance priorities in pig sheds, important actions for good pig health, productivity and profitability and new web-based technology.