The Mackinnon Project is an international leader in sheep and beef consultancy offering a unique range of services including farm management consultancies, farmer training programs, contract research and post graduate training programs.
Based at the University of Melbourne’s Faculty of Veterinary and Agricultural Sciences at Werribee on the outskirts of Melbourne, the Mackinnon Project is a recognised leader in sheep and beef consultancy both in Australia and internationally. A unique range of services is offered, including farm management consultancies, farmer training programs, contract research and post graduate training programs.
The Mackinnon Project was established in 1983 with the specific aim of improving the productivity and profitability of sheep flocks and beef herds following a bequest from the Scobie and Claire Mackinnon Trust. The bequest from the Trust is ongoing and supports the residency program. Scobie and Claire Mackinnon owned Mooramong Station at Skipton and had a strong interest in animal and veterinary science.
The Mackinnon Project draws on a pool of practical, scientific expertise covering each facet of modern beef, prime lamb and wool production. The Project’s consultants have a whole farm approach to grazing enterprises and provide advice on every aspect of successful farm management, from
whole farm planning through to marketing.
As part of the Faculty of Veterinary and Agricultural Sciences at the University of Melbourne, the Mackinnon Project has access to the University’s full diagnostic, computing and educational facilities.
Project consultants work closely with scientists in the CSIRO, Departments of Agriculture, chemical companies, farm advisers, and specialists in key funding bodies, such as Australian Wool Innovation (AWI) and Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA), to provide the latest information to clients.
The Mackinnon Project’s core functions include education, research and whole farm consultancy for the extensive livestock industries. We also offer consultancy services to agribusiness.
A/Prof John Larsen
Dr John Webb Ware
Dr Angus Campbell
Dr Leah Tyrell
Dr Bea Kirk
Dr Kelly Stanger
Residents and Postgraduate Students
Dr Caitlin Pfeiffer
Dr Kelly Stanger
Dr Elsa Glanville
Dr Tabita Tan
Research & Technical Assistant
Ms Dianne Rees
Mrs Pam Leslie
Mackinnon Project consultants are actively involved in a range of research projects. This research always aims at solving practical problems encountered by grazing enterprises.
We also undertake contract research for Trusts and private organisations. For example, agribusiness and animal health companies value the independent and impartial approach of the Mackinnon Project. We also add considerable value by advising on trial design, ensuring that the work addresses industry problems, and sourcing reliable co-operators from motivated Mackinnon Project clients who run large, commercially focussed grazing enterprises.
The results of our research are rapidly transferred to producers and other advisers through the consultant-client network, presentations at producer forums and professional conferences. We also publish these findings in farming publications, refereed journals or as major reports.
Major projects are usually funded by the industry funding bodies, such as Australian Wool Innovation (AWI), Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) and The Australian Sheep CRC (Co-operative Research Centre).
We are regularly invited to write articles in rural newspapers and magazines and of course, we publish our results in scientific journals, theses, and major reports for industry and agribusiness.
Internal Parasites (Worms)
- Integrated Parasite Management (IPM)-sheep (IPM-s)
- Developing & validating a grazing management system to control worms in weaner sheep (‘Smart grazing’)
- Causes and costs of scouring and dag in merinos
- Reinfection after summer drenching
- Worms in high input grazing systems
Profitability and Reducing Risk
- Drought, Climate and rainfall
- The effect of time of shearing on wool production and management, including weaner survival & health
- Remote automated sheep weighing
- More Beef from Pastures
- Wool price risk management
- Analysis of the profitability of sheep wool and meat enterprises
- Optimum time of lambing
- The effect of time of shearing on wool production and management
- The effects of reproduction on the staple strength of wool
Transferring the Results of Research
- South Roxby Project
- Eyre network
- Footrot focus groups
Every month we publish a newsletter which is distributed (by paid subscription) to over 450 of Australia's leading farmers and advisors. It is choc-a-block full of practical farm management advice, with relevant seasonal reminders.