Livestock production and physiology researchers gathered in Hokkaido

University News | July 31, 2023

Workshop presenters

Between 17 and 22 July 2023, the University of Melbourne (UoM) dispatched its star researchers in Livestock Production and Physiology to a joint workshop with Hokkaido University (HU): Professor Robyn Warner, Dr Kristy DiGiacomo and Dr Surinder Chauhan from the School of Agriculture, Faculty of Science. Universities of Hokkaido and Melbourne have deepened its university-level research collaborations for recent years, and this workshop on ‘Sustainable Livestock Production to Produce Quality Food for a Healthy Planet’ was funded by the Hokkaido-Melbourne Joint Research Workshops Fund which was established last year.

Upon the opening of the workshop, Redmond Barry Distinguished Professor Frank Dunshea of Melbourne who was originally planning to come to Hokkaido was awarded this year’s Federation of Animal Science Societies (FASS) New Frontier in Animal Nutrition Award in the U.S.A., and this news made the workshop even especial to consider future possibilities. Opened by the welcome remarks by Professor Noboru Noguchi, Dean of the Research Faculty of Agriculture, the workshop covered a wide range of topics: ‘Potential of antioxidants and plant-derived polyphenols to improve animal health and productivity’ by Professor Dunshea; ‘Biology of heat stress and nutritional amelioration strategies’ by his fellow Dr Jeremy Cottrell; ‘Recent insights on bushfire, muscle structure and fibre type’ by Professor Warner; ‘The role of small ruminants in sustainable food production’ by Dr DiGiacomo; and ‘The role of genetics and breeding in production animal sustainability’ by Dr Chauhan. Hokkaido team’s talks included ‘Potential of grass-fed Wagyu and application of Epigenetics in beef production’ by Professor Takafumi Gotoh; ‘A new approach for early pregnancy detection in cattle’ by Professor Masashi Takahashi; ‘Studies on the effects of different meat species and their fractions on postprandial thermal feeling in mice using a behavioural thermal feeling analysis’ by Associate Professor Jun-ichi Wakamatsu; ‘Exploration of rumen microbiota for better ruminant production’ by Professor Satoshi Koike; and ‘Dairy systems in Hokkaido and their nutrient controlling strategy’ by Associate Professor Yoshitaka Uchida. Due to the quarantine system applied by the Japanese Government, the visitors from Melbourne could not visit any livestock farms in Japan this time, however, they met Wagyu beef producers from Shikishima Farm in Shiraoi and Kosmos Farm in Shimizu of Tokachi region over the workshop. 

Dr Surinder Chauhan, School of Agriculture, Faculty of Science (UoM) delivering a presentation.

Professor Noboru Noguchi, Dean of the Research Faculty of Agriculture (HU) delivering a presentation.

Workshop participants visited HU’s Centre for Smart Agricultural Education and Research, Model Barn of the Sapporo Agricultural College, and factories of Megmilk Snow Brand Co., Ltd. and Satsuraku Agricultural Cooperative Association. Further cooperation by strengthening bonds of relationship between the two universities shall be linked to reciprocal research internship possibilities of postgraduate students – in Livestock Production which is highly affected by global warming and now entering a new stage.

A visit to Center for Smart Agricultural Education and Research

Meeting with Dean Teruo Sone of the Graduate School of Global Food Resources (HU)

Meeting for future collaborations

(Field Science Centre for Northern Biosphere, Research Faculty of Agriculture, and Institute for International Collaboration)