AGBU was established as a cooperative research and development institute to further the application of genetics to the Australian livestock industries.
Using massive datasets on animals and plants worldwide and creating highly complicated algorithms, our team delivers knowledge and tools that help identify the best animals and plants. Through our partners, this information is then made available and useful for the everyday farmer.
Professor Robert Banks
The Animal Genetics and Breeding Unit was established in 1976 by the New South Wales State Department of Agriculture and the University of New England to carry out research, development and training in the genetic improvement of livestock for the benefit of Australian agriculture.
From a small beginning of two scientists, one extension specialist and one secretary, under the leadership of Dr Keith Hammond it has grown to a team of 20 scientists, postgraduate students and support staff. It has an excellent international reputation and as a consequence, an active program of visiting scientists.
AGBU's achievements include:
- BREEDPLAN, PIGBLUP, OVIS, and TREEPLAN® genetic evaluation systems which have been widely adopted by the beef, pig, sheep, and plant industries, respectively;
- BreedObject Software to calculate economic weights and selection indices tailored to individual requirements;
- Recognition as a leader in methods for the prediction of breeding values through these genetic evaluation systems;
- Major contributions to the Beef CRC programs;
- New knowledge of the genetics of growth, carcase and fertility traits in beef cattle and pigs;
- New methods for the estimation of genetic parameters;
- New methods for segregation analysis with and without genetic markers;
- Regular short courses for students and scientists in work related areas.
AGBU's work has greatly assisted the improvement of livestock through breeding in Australia and overseas. A vibrant scientific program continues with regular publication of research results in scientific journals. However, our main purpose is to meet ongoing demand from Australia's livestock industry for research, development and training in genetics.
The AGBU Building is located in the north western corner of UNE, just off Northern Ring Road.
See UNE's interactive campus map.