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Internal News - 23 March 2006

University announces partnership to breed better dairy herds

The University of Bath and the Milk Development Council (MDC) have announced a programme to encourage farmers to breed better dairy cattle.

The University’s Research and Innovation Services department has signed a Knowledge Transfer Partnership with the Milk Development Council to help the Council develop its knowledge of the nation’s dairy herds and of selective breeding to improve stock.

Through selective breeding it is possible to produce dairy cows that have longer productive lives, better feet, and that are less prone to mastitis. It is even possible to breed cows which will produce milk with particular characteristics – for example milk with high protein content is prized by cheesemakers who will pay a premium for it.

However, many farmers have a poor understanding of applying a scientific approach to breeding and the University project will help them to understand the barriers which prevent them from progressing.

The announcement is made during RIS Week (20-24 March), a campaign to raise awareness of the department which is the bridge between the University and business. The Research and Innovation Services department is responsible for research collaboration, marketing university expertise and research, providing enterprise education and training, and creating new university companies.

As part of a campaign to raise awareness of their department, the Research and Innovation Services team will be exhibiting in the Claverton Rooms everyday this week between 12noon and 2pm. For more information and to take part in the RIS Week competition to vote for the greatest innovation of the last 40 years, go to - the link is in the Related Links section.