PRIVACY POLICY

52nd Annual 

SASAS

CONGRESS

Animal science communication: 
Is it reliable?  Is it relevant?  Is it responsible?
10-12 August 2021

SpeaKERS

Prof.

Peer
ederer

Global Food and Agribusiness Network
More info

Dr.

Theo
De jager

Pres. World Farmers Organisation
More info

Diana
Rodgers

Real food dietitian, sustainability advocate
More info

Dawie
Roodt

Efficient group
More info

John
Sanei

Author and futurist
More info

PROF.

JUDE
CAPPER

Livestock sustainability consultant
More info

PROF.

Donagh
Berry

Statistical geneticist
and farmer
More info

prof.

Frank Mitloehner

Professor and air quality specialist
More info

Russell
du preez

Chairman at RussellStone group
More info

Parallel

Speakers

  • Prof.

    Mahlako Makgahlela

    Agricultural Research Centre, senior researcher: animal production
    Prof. Linky Makgahlela obtained her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Limpopo and holds a PhD in animal breeding and genetics from the University of Helsinki in Finland...

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    She joined the ARC-Animal Production Institute in 2007 as a researcher responsible for genetic evaluation of female fertility in South African dairy cattle. Prof. Makgahlela worked as a visiting scientist at Iowa State University in the Centre for Integrated Animal Genomics from 2008–2009, receiving training on theapplication of genomic technologies in livestock improvement programmes under the supervision of Professor Emeritus of Animal Science, Max Rothschild. In 2010, she was awarded a scholarship by the Finnish Ministry of Agriculture to pursue a doctoral degree in Finland and worked as a researcher for MTT AgriFood Research Finland (currently Natural Resources Institute Finland (LUKE)) as part of that degree. She returned to the ARC-Animal Production as a senior researcher in animal breeding and genetics was appointed a research manager for this research programme in 2016, where she is responsible for a set of cross-cutting research areas including conservation and utilisation of indigenous animal genetic resources, development of new/novel and efficiency traits, genomic technologies and integration to enhance the quantity and quality of animal food products in commercial and smallholder sectors, improvement of physiology and reproduction efficiency, and climate-smart livestock production to mitigate the effects of climate change. The mission of these research areas being to build a genetic understanding of the animal genetic resources of South Africa and integrate breeding and reproductive technologies into systems for improved climate-smart production in the livestock industry and conservation of animal biodiversity. Prof. Makgahlela is an affiliated associated professor from the University of the Free State and rated by the National Research Foundation (NRF). She has graduated a number of postgraduate students, published 25 peer-reviewed articles in local and international journals, 18 non-peer reviewed articles and industry reports, and delivered 37 oral and poster presentations in local and international conferences.

    Prof.

    Edward Webb

    University of Pretoria, professor: production animal physiology, meat science, livestock ecology
    Prof. Edward Webb is a Professor of production animal physiology, functional anatomy, and meat science in the Department of Animal Science at the University of Pretoria, having previously served as deputy dean in the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences and as head of the Department of Animal Science in the same faculty

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    He obtained the degrees BSc(Agric), BSc(Agric)(Hons) cum laude, MSc(Agric) cum laude, and PhD from the University of Pretoria (UP), and conducted postdoctoral research at the University of Ghent in Belgium and Nutrico in The Netherlands. Some of his outstanding academic achievements include the Standard Bank of South Africa merit award, National Research Foundation (NRF) merit awards, SASAS merit award, the SASAS bronze medal for his PhD thesis, AM Bosman gold medal and a Fellowship from the Flemish Ministry in Belgium. Prof. Webb’s teaching and research focus on the effects of dietary factors and exogenous growth molecules on animal growth, adaptation, reproduction, and carcass and meat quality. The research focus is specifically on ways to improve the efficiency of animal production in resource- constrained environments and in an ethical and environmentally acceptable way. He has published 130 peer-reviewed scientific papers, presented 134 papers at conferences or symposia, 30 technical reports, co-edited two books, contributed 17 book chapters, 33 popular scientific papers, and one patent. He is a registered professional animal scientist and served as vice-president (2004–2008) and president (2009–2014) of the South African Society for Animal Science (SASAS).

    DR.

    Francois van de Vyver

    Voermol, national technical manager

    Dr Francois van de Vyver is currently the national technical manager at Voermol Feeds. He has been involved in the animal feed industry for the past decade as ruminant nutritionist, prior to which he was employed by the University of Stellenbosch as a lecturer in animal nutrition in the Department of Animal Sciences. 

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    In addition to his employment within the industry, he is also heavily involved with the wider animal feed industry and serves as Chairperson for the Technical Committee of Animal Feed Manufacturers Association (AFMA), as well as member of the Board of Directors for AFMA. He acquired his doctorate degree at Stellenbosch University in 2011 after earning both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Pretoria.
  • DR

    Heinz Meissner

    Milk SA, research and development manager
    Before retirement, Dr Heinz Meissner was associated with the University of Pretoria as a Professor in animal nutrition and later as director of the ARC’s Animal Nutrition and Products Institute at Irene, where he managed the interface between animal production, product development and consumer science.

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    He is also an Extraordinary Professor at the Onderstepoort Faculty of Veterinary Science. Since retirement, he is consulting for Agri SA, the red meat industry and primarily also the dairy industry where he manages the R & D initiative of Milk SA. Apart from animal nutrition and management, he has vast experience in environmental issues and represents South Africa on the Scientific Committee for the Environment of the International Dairy Federation. One of his contributions in this regard is the argument that more emphasis should be put on carbon sequestration to limit the agricultural carbon footprint. Dr Meissner has published more than 200 scientific publications and has received a number of recognitions, among others the Gold Medal from the South African Society for Animal Science, the Agricultural Writers Association’s award for Agricultural Scientist of the Year, and the Person of the Year Award from the Animal Feed Manufacturers Association.

    DR

    Trevor Dugmore

    SASAS vice-president, SAJAS sub-editor
    Before serving as the vice-President of the South African Society for Animal Science (SASAS) and subeditor of the South African Journal of Animal Science, Dr Trevor Dugmore was the scientific manager for animal science research in the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, specialising in dairy and ruminant nutrition.

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    He has served as a member of the Milk SA Research & Development Advisory Committee, a reviewer for the National Research Foundation (NRF), and is a trustee/board member of the Mdukatshani Rural Development Trust in KwaZulu-Natal. He is also an external examiner for numerous postgraduate theses at the University of KZN, Stellenbosch University, University of the Free State, and University of Pretoria. Dr Dugmore has spoken at over 150 farmers’ days throughout Southern Africa, presented 19 scientific papers at scientific congresses and 15 at symposia, authored and co-authored 17 peer-reviewed papers in scientific journals, eight in scientific proceedings, and 26 popular papers.

    DR

    Michael MacNeil

    Delta G: breeding and genetics specialist and editor of SAJAS
    Dr Michael MacNeil received his bachelor’s degree in agriculture from Cornell University, master’s degree in animal science from Montana State University, and PhD in animal breeding and genetics from South Dakota State University in the United States (US).

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    During his career he worked at the US Meat Animal Research Center as a statistician and research animal scientist in the production systems unit, and the Fort Keogh Livestock and Range Research Laboratory, where he served as research geneticist and led the Line 1 Hereford breeding programme. After retiring from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Research Service in December 2011, he founded Delta G to continue working in quantitative genetics, statistics, and systems analysis with breed associations, private industry, and government research organisations, both domestically and internationally. He is the author or co-author of more than 175 articles appearing in refereed scientific literature and this work has been cited more than 4 200 times. Dr MacNeil has been awarded the Continuing Service and Pioneer Awards by the Beef Improvement Federation and the Rockefeller-Prentice Animal Breeding Award by the American Society of Animal Science (ASAS). He was named a Distinguished Alumnus of South Dakota State University for his outstanding professional achievements in 2010 and an honorary member of the South African Society for Animal Science (SASAS) in 2012. In 2017, he was named a Research Fellow of the ASAS.
  • DR

    Japie van der westhuizen

    SA Stud Book, general manager
    After completing his BSc(Agric) degree in animal production and honours degree in animals breeding at the University of Pretoria, Dr Japie van der Westhuizen went on to earn both master's and doctoral degrees in animal breeding and genetics from the Free State University.

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    He established the group that initiated national genetic (BLUP) evaluations for farm animals in South Africa at the Agricultural Research Council (ARC) in 1995. After joining SA Stud Book in 2011, he established units for research and development, genetic merit prediction, and technical advisory services. He is a member of Interbeef's steering committee, which is responsible for international genetic evaluation of beef cattle, a past member of the International Committee for Animal Recording (ICAR) Lactation Working Group, a past chair of ICAR's Beef Recording Working Group, and is an active member of the ICAR Expert Advisory Group responsible for the Certificate of Quality assessments globally, as well as recently completing a second term as an ICAR board member. Dr van der Westhuizen was invited by the Food and Agricultural Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) to assist in the drafting of global guidelines for animal recording. He is an author or co-author of 23 scientific papers, 53 national and international congress contributions, 16 scientific reports, several semi-scientific and popular articles, six book chapters, and has served as session chair at four international conferences. He has supervised several postgraduate students in animal breeding and genetics, and he is currently an extraordinary lecturer at the University of Pretoria in animal breeding, and honorary Professor at the Central University of Technology. The South African Society for Animal Science (SASAS) awarded Japie with a Silver Medal in 2006 for his contribution towards the science of genetic improvement of livestock in South Africa.

    ms

    Thato Moagi-Mugonda

    Agricultural scientist, agripreneur, Nuffield scholar, policy advisor, farming advocate, app developer
    Thato Moagi-Mugonda is an agriprereneur who is passionate about indigenous crops and livestock, and first South African to be nominated as a Nuffield International Farming Scholar.

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    The aim of her research was to highlight key aspects that will enable the unlocking of value within the developing economy context highlighting economic and social issues around the adoption and supportive legislature that will enable the maximum productivity at farm level. She is currently a managing director for Legae La Banareng Farms in Limpopo which focuses on the breeding and production of indigenous cattle, sheep, and goats. She has also ventured into indigenous crop development and research in the Western Cape where she operates Black Sheep Agribusiness with the aim to commercialise indigenous crops. Thato has served in various leadership positions and is an advocate for social development in the agrifood sector and advises the Presidency and African Farmers Association South Africa.

    MRS

    Liza Bohlmann

    Chairperson of the Agricultural Writers SA
    Liza Bohlmann is currently the national and regional (North) chairperson of the Agricultural Writers SA – an association of journalists and media practitioners specialising in the agricultural media and communications industry

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    She is also the communications business partner for Bayer Crop Science, responsible for media liaison, driving the communications strategy, and providing industry-related communications insights to the Crop Science division. Prior to her role in corporate communications, Liza worked at Landbouweekblad, South Africa’s largest magazine for the agricultural industry, where she held the position of Assistant Editor: Commercial. She has a national diploma in journalism from Tshwane University of Technology and also worked as a reporter in the local and regional press. She has been a qualified journalist since 1999 and has 14 years of experience in the agricultural media sphere. Since specialising in agricultural journalism, she has developed a passion for telling the stories of farmers and the ag industry. One of her aims is to help farmers to better understand the often complex concepts behind new products, research, and technology through easy-to-understand communication.
  • DR

    Ayanda Maqhashu

    University of Pretoria, lecturer: animal reproduction physiology
    Dr Ayanda Maqhashu is an animal physiology lecturer in the Department of Animal Sciences at the University of Pretoria (UP). She obtained her bachelor’s degree in livestock and pasture sciences cum laude from the University of Fort Hare, following it up with a master’s degree in animal sciences two years later from the same university.

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    Dr Maqhashu went on to earn her PhD in animal sciences from the University of the Free State. She worked at the Agricultural Research Council (ARC) as a junior researcher in the section for Germplasm Conservation and Reproduction Biotechnologies before joining UP. Her research is focused on reproduction physiology of both male and female livestock species and application of assisted reproductive biotechnologies such as artificial insemination, oestrous synchronisation, semen and embryo cryopreservation, and in vitro embryo production. She has published 10 peer-reviewed scientific papers, presented 28 papers at conferences or symposia. She is also a registered professional animal scientist with the South African Council for Natural Scientific Professions (SACNASP).

      

    ChANTELLE FRYER

    Evonik Animal Nutrition

    Chantelle Fryer is an animal scientist with a BSc(Agric) degree in animal science and animal physiology from Stellenbosch University. Chantelle started her career in the feed industry in 2003 and has worked for various additive and nutrition companies. 

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    She currently works for Evonik Animal Nutrition, a global leader in amino acid supply and nutrition research. She has a special interest in sustainable animal production and is the lead for Evonik’s sustainability projects in the region. Chantelle specialises in poultry nutrition and works with various key stakeholders in Southern Africa to develop new products and nutrition concepts. She also plays an active role within the Animal Feed Manufacturers Association (AFMA) as the vice chair of the technical committee and regularly addresses students on the topic of sustainability and the continued relevance of animal science in solving global food demands.

    DR

    PIETER HENNING

    Freelance Animal Scientist
    Dr Pieter Henning has been involved in the South African livestock industry since 1980, when he started out as a young researcher with the Animal and Dairy Science Research Institute, Irene. He obtained a PhD in Animal Nutrition from the University of Pretoria in 1990 and continued to work as a research scientist in ruminant nutrition at the Agricultural Research Council. 

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    From 2001, he was the research and development manager at KK Animal Nutrition and MS Biotech, before becoming technical executive - ruminants at Meadow Feeds in 2011. In March 2020 he retired and now works as a freelance animal scientist who specialises in the research and development process. Dr Henning is passionate about the art of scientific investigation and the craft of technical writing. He can be contacted at pieter@pieterhenning.co.za.

buy
a ticket

Attending online

CLOSED

schedule

#day 1

27
October
12:30
Applying Improv to All Aspects of Web Development
Jordan Belfort
13:00
SEO in 2017: Identifying Strategies to Boost Results
Robin Wright
13:30

Lunch

14:45
Evaluating the Accessibility of Websites with Free Plugins and Web-Based Tools
Nassim Taleb

#day 2

28
October
17:45
How to Leverage your Soft Skills into Hard Opportunities
Jack Welch
16:30

Lunch

15:00
Demystifying the Domain Registration
Steve Forbes

ScHEDULE

DAY 2

11
AUGUST

DAY 3

12
AUGUST
QUIZ
08:00
SASAS student quiz winning team announcement on Plaas TV/ Farm TV:
Plaas TV / Farm TV
Keynote 4
10:00
Why well-raised meat is good for you and the planet
Diana Rodgers, 
executive director, Global Food Justice Alliance
Keynote 5
10:40
Debunking myths about animal production
Prof. Peer Ederer, 
director, Global Food & Agribusiness Network
11:20

BREAK

Keynote 6
11:35
The future of agribusiness and dealing with a changing consumer
Russell du Preez, 
chair: Russelstone Group
Panel Discussion (LIVE)
12:10
Answering questions of the day
Panelists: Diana Rodgers, Prof. Peer Ederer, Russel du Preez
Facilitator: Albert Loubser
12:40

Lunch

Parallel sessions
14:00
BREEDING & GENETICS:
SA animal breeding and genetics 2021: Can it be seen as reliable, relevant and is it carried out responsibly?
Dr Japie van der Westhuizen, general manager, SA Stud Book
PHYSIOLOGY:
Influence of age & BCS on oestrous synchronisation response and reproductive performance of Bapedi ewes
Dr Ayanda Maqhashu, lecturer, University of Pretoria

SUSTAINABILITY & ANIMAL WELFARE:
Sustainability: the agro-ecological approach
Dr Heinz Meissner, animal science consultant
Parallel sessions
14:30
BREEDING & GENETICS:
Application of genomic breeding values in Bonsmara cattle
Dr Robert van der Westhuizen
PHYSIOLOGY:
The influence of flushing diet on follicular dynamics and lambing success of Dohne Merino (Ovis aries) ewes
Dr Helet Lambrechts

SUSTAINABILITY & ANIMAL WELFARE:
Adaptive capacity of smallholder livestock farmers to the impacts of climate change
Dr Thomas Raphulu
Parallel sessions
14:45
BREEDING & GENETICS:
The effect of incomplete reproduction data on the selection of replacement ewes
Dr Willem Olivier
PHYSIOLOGY:
Oestrous response and fertility of Merino ewes following two synchronisation protocols
Sibonelo Mmelokuhle Hlatshwayo

SUSTAINABILITY & ANIMAL WELFARE:
Investigating the relationship between temperature and rainfall variabilities and occurrence of bovine brucellosis in Limpopo province, SA
Louisa Seanego
Parallel sessions
15:00
BREEDING & GENETICS:
The carbon footprint of diverse beef cattle genotypes in SA and its environmental impact
Nelly Thuli Chabalala
PHYSIOLOGY:
An assessment of the current status of reproductive management practices and performance on SA smallholder dairy farms
Ntombizodwa Bovula

SUSTAINABILITY & ANIMAL WELFARE:
Evaluation of layer behaviour in a floor system using human and video- based observation on a commercial farm in SA
Timothy Chilemba
Q&A
15:15
Q&A session via chatroom
08:00
SASAS annual general meeting
(Closed meeting)
Posters
10:00
Poster winners and SASAS student quiz winning team announcements
Keynote 7
10:10
Integrating improved health, welfare, and productivity to improve sustainability
Prof. Jude Capper, 
livestock sustainability consultant
Keynote 8
10:50
Rethinking methane – Dairy’s path to climate neutrality
Prof. Frank Mitloehner, 
professor and air quality cooperative extension specialist, UC Davis
11:10

BREAK

Keynote 9
11:25
Forge your future
John Sanei, 

author and futurist
Panel Discussion (LIVE)
12:05
Answering questions of the day
Panelists: Prof. Jude Capper, Prof. Frank Mitloehner, John Sanei

12:35

Lunch

Parallel sessions
13:45
MEAT SCIENCE:
Misconceptions about fats and fatty acids in red meats and human health
Prof. Edward Webb, professor, University of Pretoria
PRODUCTION SYSTEMS:
Livestock production from fertilised pastures in SA
Dr Trevor Dugmore, vice-president, SASAS
APPLIED ANIMAL SCIENCE:
Structure, composition, and relationships of the reference populations for SA Holstein and Jersey cattle
Prof. Mahlako Makgahlela, senior researcher, ARC
Parallel sessions
14:15
MEAT SCIENCE:
Slaughter and carcass characteristics of cross-bred lambs finished in a pasture- based system
Pieter Theron
PRODUCTION SYSTEMS:
Calving percentage of beef heifers mated at 14 or 24 months of age under extensive bushveld conditions
Marsia Grobler

APPLIED ANIMAL SCIENCE:
Animal science, advisory service and land redistribution in SA: Are the animal scientists geared up for communicating relevant advices to emerging farmers
Siphe Zantsi
Parallel sessions
14:30
MEAT SCIENCE:
The effect of rabbit genotype on carcass and meat quality characteristics
Janné van Niekerk
PRODUCTION SYSTEMS:
The effect of planting different grain-legume mixtures on the dry matter yield and predicted milk production of Holstein cows in the Swartland area, Western Cape
Marline Burger

APPLIED ANIMAL SCIENCE:
Report on the guide of care and use of agricultural animals in research and teaching
Prof. Michael MacNeil
Parallel sessions
14:45
MEAT SCIENCE:
Differences in growth, wool traits, and lamb survival of SAMM and Dormer sheep in the same environment
Shannon Steyn
PRODUCTION SYSTEMS:
A framework to monitor and evaluate vulnerability of smallholder livestock farmer: a case study of Limpopo & Mpumalanga
Prof. Edward Nesamvuni

APPLIED ANIMAL SCIENCE:
Perceptions of consumers, retailers and their attitude towards rabbit meat in KZN province, SA
Dr Zikhona Rani-Kamwendo
Q&A
15:00
Q&A session via chatroom
Recap (LIVE)
15:15
Recap and take-home message (Live)
Dr Theo de Jager, president: World Farmers Organization

15:30
Farewell address (LIVE)
Prof. Norman Maiwashe, SASAS president

THEME

Animal science communication: Is it reliable? Is it relevant? Is it responsible?”
There is a well-known saying that communication is key, but how many animal scientists really take that to heart when we discuss our business with the general public? Many modern-day consumers have little or no farming knowledge, but they care how their food is produced and don’t always trust the information that is provided. This makes communication difficult. For example, how does one explain a perceived inhumane practice such as removing a dairy calf from its dam after birth, or branding and castrating beef calves, to someone whose opinion is based on imagining how they would feel in the animal’s place? In addition, publishing a research paper in an academic journal often does not influence an audience beyond other professionals in the industry unless it is accompanied by press releases or social media posts aimed at the general public.

It can be tempting to leave consumer communication to those with formal training or to a young intern who is comfortable with social media, but ultimately, the sustainability of the livestock industry is not only reliant on continuing economic and environmental viability, but also on social acceptability, and consumer acceptance can only be maintained and improved into the future by improving communication.

While it certainly is not necessary, or even possible, to satisfy each and every whim of every consumer, if we don’t listen to consumer demands and either alleviate their concerns or adjust our systems accordingly, producers will run the risk of losing market share to other, more socially acceptable options, including plant-based foods.

This congress will include excellent speakers from industry, academia, and the general public, so get ready for some lively debates. In addition, the poster session will showcase the latest local research from various research and educational institutions.

The preliminary programme will be published as soon as possible.

Sponsors

Learn More

Contact

General Enquiries:
info@sasascongress.co.za

Abstracts:
abstracts@sasascongress.co.za

Sponsorships:
sponsorships@sasascongress.co.za
Registration:
registrations@sasascongress.co.za

Posters:
posters@sasascongress.co.za


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