The 2020 Ronald J Lienert Memorial Scholarship for Honours students was presented to Adelaide University animal science graduate Chelsea Dossett.
The scholarship was presented by Nick Lienert at the 2020 SA Pig Industry Day dinner, held in Tanunda.
This is the 10th year in which this scholarship has been presented annually by the SA pig industry in recognition of the state and national industry contributions made by the late Ronald Lienert.
The scholarship provides funding for a pig-focused Honours research project to be conducted by a student at the University's Roseworthy Campus.
Miss Dossett's research project will focus on reducing stillbirths in older parity sows by determining the effects of pre-partum hCG on the farrowing performance and piglet survival of mature sows, or sows with a history of stillbirths.
In her scholarship application, Miss Dossett identified previous literature has shown hCG administration increases blood oestrogen, thereby strengthening uterine contractions in sows during farrowing.
She also identified that the risk of stillbirths increases with prolonged farrowing duration, weakened uterine contractions and increasing sow age.
Miss Dossett's study has the potential to demonstrate the effects of hCG administration pre-partum on farrowing performance through reducing stillbirths.
This could lead to increased litter sizes born to older sows, and allow producers to utilise sows for an extra parity, providing they are still fertile.
The project will be supervised by the University's pig vet Dr Roy Kirkwood.
While completing her undergraduate Animal Science degree, Miss Dossett has been an active member of the Adelaide University's Production Animal Special Interest Group - Pigs (known as the Pig Club).
She also received an APL-supported Undergraduate Industry Placement Award in February.
This allowed Miss Dossett to complete a work placement at a 500-sow SA piggery during the 2020 summer.