RICHARDS, Jessica

Jessica Richards

Research interests

  • Precision Sheep Management
  • Genetic and phenotypic prediction
  • Decision Support tools and Operational tools (increasing productivity, managing risks and maximising economic output)

Background

Jessica Richards joined NSW DPI in 2004. The majority of her work has been with the Sheep CRC in the area of Precision Sheep Management, focusing on managing animals according to their level of production or risk rather than managing all animals as one ‘flock’. Throughout her time in this position she developed and supported many software tools in both decision support and operational to help producers understand their breeding objectives, optimise their flock structures and target the correct markets for their products. These tools focus on both current generation improvement and the longer term genetic improvement.

Jess has also helped develop numerous other tools including systems that focus on reducing labour and cost, such as the Pedigree MatchMaker and Walk-Over-Weighing. Jess has presented at many conferences, such as World Congress for Genetics Applied to Livestock Production, Association for the Advancement of Animal Breeding and Genetics, The Australian Society of Animal Production and Agribusiness Sheep Updates and been on some organising committees too.

Qualifications

  • B.RuSc. (HonsI) – University of New England 2004

Current projects

  • Precision Sheep Management
  • Enhanced Sheep Wellbeing and Productivity
  • Accuracy of Walk-Over-Weighing
  • Utilisation of measured and genetic information in commercial sheep flocks

Recent publications

Richards, JS, Sladek, MA, Lee, G (2018) Cumulative reproductive performance effect on overall lifetime productivity in sheep. Animal Production Science 58, 1470-1480.

Hatcher, S, Dominik, S, Richards, JS, Young, JM, Smith, J, Tearle, R, Brien, FD, Herrmann, N (2018) Ewe culling and retention strategies to increase reproductive rates in Merino sheep. Animal Production Science 58, 1545-1551.

Young, JM, Hatcher, S, Brien, FD, Tearle, R, Richards, JS, Dominik, S, Smith, J, Herrmann, N (2018) Ewe culling and retention strategies to increase reproductive rates in Merino sheep. 2. Economic analysis. 32nd Biennial Conference of the Australian Society of Animal Production 2648.

Lee, GJ, Sladek, MA, Hatcher, S, Richards, JS (2014) Using partial records to identify productive older ewes to retain in the breeding flock to increase the flock net reproduction rate. Animal Production Science 54, 1631-1634.

Hopkins, D.L., S.I. Mortimer and Richards, J.S. (2013) The place of crossbred lambs in Australian lamb production. Proc. 22nd International Grasslands Congress, (Eds Michalk, D.L., Millar, G.D., Badgery, W.B., Broadfoot, K.M.) pp 536-540, Sydney, Australia.

Richards JS, Atkins KD, Kinghorn, B.P. & Van der Werf, J.H.J (2013) A method for maximising average flock reproduction by optimising culling policies across age groups. Proceedings of the Association for the Advancement of Animal Breeding and Genetics 20 534-537

Richards JS & Atkins KD (2010) Will genetics offer a permanent solution to breech strike? Animal Production Science 50, 1053–1059

Richards JS, Semple SJ &Atkins KD (2010) Practical application of precision sheep management. Proceedings of the 25th Annual Conference of The Grasslands Society of NSW, (Ed by C. Waters and Denys Garden), Dubbo, pp 53-56(invited)

Richards JS (2009) Integrating Decision Support Tools – The Smart Merino Approach. Proceedings of the Industry & Investment NSW Beef and Sheep Conference 2009, Orange, pp. 10.

Richards JS & Atkins KD (2008) Does Maternal bond Between a Lamb and its Dam Lead to an Increase in weaning Weight? Proceedings of the 27th Biennial Conference of the Australian Society of Animal Production, Brisbane, June, Vol 27, p70.

Richards J.S. and K.D. Atkins (2007) Determining pedigree by association in Merino flocks. Proceedings of the Association for the Advancement of Animal Breeding and Genetics 17: 403-406.

White, A.K., McLeod, B.M., Richards, J.S., O’Halloran, W.J. and Atkins, K.D. (2007). The effect of eye muscle depth breeding values on lamb dressing percentage. Proceedings of International Congress of Meat Science and Technology, 53

Atkins KD, Richards J.S, Swan A.A. and Kelly M. (2006) Measurement and selection options for wool and meat production in commercial sheep flocks. International Journal of Sheep and Wool Science 54 (1), 56-60.

Kelly M, Swan A.A., Richards, J.S, Atkins, KD (2006) Implementing selection and optimising flock structures in Merino flocks. International Journal of Sheep and Wool Science 54 (1), 61-65.

KD Atkins, JS Richards and SJ Semple (2006) The application of genetic principles to precision production systems in sheep. Proceedings of the 8th World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production, Belo Horizonte, Brazil, August, CD-ROM Communication 05-01. (invited)

Fields of research

  • 070201 Animal Breeding
  • 070202 Animal Growth and Development
  • 070203 Animal Management
  • 070206 Animal Reproduction
  • 070299 Animal Production not elsewhere classified

Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification (ANZSRC)

Keyword/phrase list of research interests

  • Precision Sheep Management
  • Sheep Genetic Improvement
  • Lifetime production in sheep
  • Reproductive efficiency of sheep

Contact details

Orange Agricultural Institute
1447 Forest Road, Orange NSW 2800
Email: jessica.richards@dpi.nsw.gov.au