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Leading Livestock Scientist Awarded for Work in Shaping Animal Nutrition 

One of the leading scientists responsible for shaping the livestock industry's feed and nutrition decisions has been recognised for his outstanding contribution to animal research.

Tim Keady, principal research officer at the Teagasc Animal and Grassland Research and Innovation Centre, was awarded the Sir John Hammond Award at the British Society of Animals Science's annual conference at the University of Nottingham on Tuesday (24 April).

Presented to those who to make a significant impact to the science or development of animal production, the award was given to Dr Keady for his work in nutritional management of cattle and sheep.

Amongst some of his many contributions to the livestock industries, Dr Keady has studied the impact of silage fermentation on beef cattle's digestion and performance and investigated ways to improve dairy cow performance from silage-based diets.

During his time at the dairy research team at the Agricultural Research Institute of Northern Ireland, he worked on projects around milk composition, dry cow management and predicting silage feed values.

Results from these studies contributed to 'Feed into Milk', the adopted rationing system for dairy cows in the UK and to prediction models that determine the feed value of silage.

As the leader of the Beef Programme at ARINI, Dr Keady also researched breed types in terms of growth, carcass quality and meat composition, which assisted his work on improving efficiency of beef production in Ireland.

Most recently at Teagasc, he has been responsible for new research and technology transfer for efficient sheep production in a subsidy-free environment.

He has carried out investigations on the extended grazing of ewes during pregnancy, the impact of silage feed and is currently working on the effect of grazing-management on lamb growth and carcass quality.

Ian Givens, BSAS president, said Dr Keady was a member of a select group of scientists who have the ability to both do high-class research and explain its application to farmers.

"Tim is a deserving winner if this year's award and as the first recipient from outside of the UK, it makes his achievement all the more impressive."

Accepting the award, Dr Keady, who has also lectured extensively at Queen's University Belfast and the College of Agriculture, Food and Rural Enterprise, said it was vital animal scientists made the most of their resources and worked hard to share their knowledge with who needed it.

"Agriculture is seen as the recovery vehicle of our economy," he said. "But our industry faces major challenges.

"There will be greater demand for us to do more with the resources we have across the entire supply chain, which includes research scientists transferring technology to farmers.

"If we are to meet the growing demand for food, global agricultural research and its dissemination into agriculture is critical.

"Our research must be exploited to the maximum. Motivating producers with science will be critical to scientists' capacity to meet this challenge."