Neil Eastham  -  How can UK dairy farmers use Genomics to breed a better herd?

John Oldacre Foundation

I grew up on a Lancashire dairy farm where my family continue to milk 340 pedigree Holsteins cows.  I studied at the University of Liverpool for my undergraduate degree in Veterinary Science and after graduating in 2007 I joined Bishopton Veterinary Group in Ripon, North Yorkshire as a farm animal vet. I returned to academia, again at Liverpool University, completing my Diploma in Bovine Reproduction in 2014 and in January 2017 I became a partner in the practice.

Bishopton Veterinary Group is a thirty vet multi discipline practice that operates from five branches across North Yorkshire.  As one of twelve dedicated ruminant vets I am responsible for veterinary care across a large number of commercial farms. A significant amount of my time is spent carrying out preventative herd/flock health work as well as providing traditional ambulatory and emergency care.

In my role as an advanced breeding director of RAFT Solutions Ltd (sister company of Bishopton Veterinary Group) I am responsible for delivering advanced breeding solutions on farm including; embryo collection and transfer, ovum pick up/in-vitro fertilisation and bull breeding soundness soundness examinations. A proportion of my time is also spent delivering training for both farmers and vets.  I have a special interest in dairy genetics and the role that this plays when considering all aspects of herd health.

My wife Heather is a small animal vet and we live in Ripon.  I would like to thank Heather and my colleagues at the practice for their support and encouragement to complete my project.   I would also like to thank the John Oldacre foundation for sponsoring my Nuffield scholarship, without this generous sponsorship this amazing opportunity would not be possible.