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Pat Dillon Reappointed as Head of Teagasc Animal and Grassland Programme

Teagasc has reappointed Dr Pat Dillon as Head of the Animal and Grassland Research and Innovation programme for a second five year term. The Teagasc Authority approved the appointment at its meeting this week.

One of the four research programmes in Teagasc, the Animal and Grassland, Research and Innovation programme covers its dairy, beef, sheep, pigs, animal bioscience and grassland research in a single programme. It encompasses the research being carried out at existing locations at Athenry, Grange and Moorepark, along with grass breeding in Oak Park. Through the Teagasc specialists service the research outputs are communicated externally and through the advisory services to farmer clients.

Reporting to Dr Frank O Mara, Director of Research in Teagasc, Pat Dillon will provide leadership, strategic management and direction for the organisation’s research platforms to support Irish animal production systems. The programme bridges the scientific platforms like genomics and bioinformatics through applied research programmes to make the information practical and useful at farm level. Priorities for the next 5 years will be increasing the competitiveness and profitability of livestock production systems through enhanced productivity, sustainable intensification of our livestock production systems, developing resilient system of production that reduce the impact of price volatility on farm incomes; improving the quality of meat and milk to meet the requirements of more demanding customers, and contributing to land mobility through assisting more collaborative farming arrangements.

Teagasc Director, Professor Gerry Boyle congratulated Pat on his appointment, saying “This is an exciting time for Irish livestock based farming, where we can exploit our comparative advantage in grass production and utilisation. Pat has successfully led the Teagasc programme since 2009, integrating our ruminant based livestock research which takes place across multiple sites. The capacity and expertise developed in Teagasc in areas such as genomics and grass production and utilisation can be exploited across enterprise systems.”

Dr Dillon graduated from University College Dublin with a BAgr. Sc. in 1986 followed by a MSc. in UCC and he went on to complete his PhD in Grassland Science in the National University of Ireland. He joined the research staff at Moorepark in 1990, became Head of the Moorepark centre in 2004 and has been the Head of the Teagasc Animal and Grassland, Research and Innovation programme since 2009.