Speaker Profile


David is a beef cattle geneticist at the Animal Genetics and Breeding Unit (AGBU) at the University of New England, Armidale. David has been responsible for the design and management of several large beef cattle breeding projects, and the implementation of the research into BREEDPLAN. David’s expertise is mainly in the area of mixed model estimation and prediction and a major focus of his work has been the development of genetic evaluation procedures for new traits. This included new EBVs for feed efficiency for the beef industry with the release of net feed intake (NFI) EBVs. David spends considerable time interacting with the beef industry and has been an invited speaker at scientific forums both nationally and internationally.


Dr Matt McDonagh is CEO of the Australian Wagyu Association, the fastest growing breed development organisation in Australia.  Matt was the first ever PhD graduate of the Beef CRC system in 1998, specialising in ruminant physiology, nutrition, and muscle biology.  He completed his post-doctoral research as a ruminant nutritionist with the US Department of Agriculture, before returning to Australia to run research teams with the Victorian and NSW Departments of Agriculture.  In 2015, he was appointed the General Manager of on-farm R&D with Meat and Livestock Australia, restructuring the MLA R&D delivery program and establishing the national R&D consultation framework.  Matt has been CEO at AWA since 2017.  Since then, the Australian Wagyu Sector has demonstrated phenomenal growth, now estimated at a production value of more than $2 Billion.  The AWA has been at the forefront of the innovation and technology delivery that is driving growth in Wagyu Sector.  Matt’s focus has been driving collaboration with exceptional research and technology companies to enable additional value creation from AWA’s genetic and phenotypic resources.  The AWA leverages allied technology to accelerate adoption and delivery for the more than 1,200 cattle business it supports.


Lisa is the Vice President of Business Development and Strategy at Vytelle, a precision livestock company reshaping how cattle producers worldwide optimize their herds. Lisa has lived and worked in the US, Europe, and Asia over the past 25 years. She has experience in a variety of industries from data management, industrial products, animal health and precision agriculture technology. She has held a range of roles leading global sales and marketing teams. For the past 17 years, Lisa has been working with beef, dairy and swine producers to deploy precision livestock technology. Since joining Vytelle in 2017, she has been focused around helping beef and dairy farmers use technology to accelerate genetic progress to increase efficiency and profit to be more sustainable. Lisa resides with her family in Germany.


Geoff Birchnell is a Director and Manager of 3R Livestock located in Tamworth, NSW. Since establishing 3R in 2018 the herd has continued to expand both its Angus & Hereford seedstock operation and commercial business culminating in an Annual Production Sale each August.

In 2023 3R established a working relationship with Vytelle in the form of a satellite facility for IVF collection.

Prior to establishing 3R Geoff was a Chartered Accountant and worked across public practice and commercial roles primarily associated with Agriculture. Geoff has previously held roles as a Policy Council Member of the Cattle Council of Australia, a Director of Herefords Australia, a Director of the Future Farmers Network and various other associations.

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