ABRI Extension Services’ Paul Williams Visits South Africa and Namibia

Nov 2023

In early October, ABRI Extension Services’ Paul Williams headed to South Africa and Namibia for several weeks to visit clients and present at a number of workshops. After arriving in Johannesburg, Paul travelled several hours south to Aldam to attend the Livestock Registering Federation (LRF) Stockman School. Now in its 16th year, the three-day LRF Stockman School is an annual event that attracts beef producers from across Southern Africa. Paul gave two presentations at the LRF Stockman School, Bull Selection – The Driver of Genetic Progress and Selecting Bulls to Improve Carcase Traits, to approximately 140 attendees. Paul also did several interviews for radio, television and print media with Plaas Media. Paul’s video interview can be found on YouTube here.

A major highlight of the LRF Stockman School is the LRF Awards dinner. Paul had the pleasure of presenting the Dr Michael J Bradfield Memorial Scholarship awarded to Elandri de Bruyn who will now come to AGBU to further her studies. Congratulations to all the winners from the 2023 LRF Stockman School awards! Your hard work, dedication, and passion for the livestock industry truly shine through.

Johan Styger, LRF Vice-Chairman (left) and Paul Williams, ABRI Extension Services (right), pictured with the Dr Michael J Bradfield Memorial Scholarship winner, Elandri de Bruyn (centre).

Following the LRF Stockman School, Paul travelled back to Pretoria. Over the weekend, Paul was fortunate to have the opportunity to visit a farm near Pretoria to look at the cattle management systems used in South Africa. The following week Paul gave two workshops on Ovarian Scanning and Selection Indexes. These were hosted at the Agricultural Research Council (ARC) site in Irene. The first day included in-depth discussions on the significance and benefits of ovarian scanning, shedding light on its pivotal role. The session was enriched with a hands-on practical demonstration, providing a deeper understanding of the process.  The second day delved into engaging conversations about selection indexes, exploring their importance and practical applications in our field.

Paul then travelled to Windhoek in Namibia, where he attended the Simmentaler Extravaganza sale. Paul also attended the Namibian Brahman Annual Auction and Symposium, where he gave several presentations. These included presentations on ovarian scanning, performance recording and improving carcase traits with BREEDPLAN information.

Overall, this trip was an excellent opportunity to liaise with a number of ABRI’s international clients and the LRF team. Paul would like to thank everyone for the hospitality he received throughout his time in South Africa and Namibia.