Adelaide University Animal Science graduate Alexandra Klos has been awarded the Ronald J Lienert Memorial Scholarship to support her research into boar fertility.
The $12,500 scholarship is funded by the SA pork industry to perpetuate the memory of Ronald John Lienert OAM. It aims to support a graduate through their pig-focused Honours research program at Adelaide University.
Ronald J Lienert is remembered in the pig industry through his contributions to the management of state and national industry agro-political issues; his membership of industry boards, committees and working parties; the establishment and operation of Lienert Australian Pty Ltd within agribusiness and his impact on the genetic improvement of the Australian pig herd.
Ms Klos' research project aims to compare the ability of individual boars to fertilise oocytes in vitro using their semen fresh versus frozen, to determine if some boar's semen consistently tolerates a freeze then thaw process better than others.
Her next challenge will be to then determine if boars that produce high fertilisation rates and embryo development rates in vivo also produce high farrowing rates and litter sizes in vivo.
Her award was formally recognised by Pork SA chair Andrew Johnson at an industry function held at Tanunda in March, followed in April with her visit to LXL Piggery at the Lienert family farm, Shea-Oak Log, hosted by Nick Lienert.
While the commercial Australian industry has adopted artificial insemination using fresh semen as routine management practice, the search for a novel or additional pre-insemination indicator of boar fertility remains a global challenge.
SA pig industry contributors providing Ms Klos access to boar semen and salvaged sow oocytes include SABOR Ltd, Clare, and Big River Pork, Murray Bridge.
Other recent Ronald J Lienert Memorial Scholarship recipients to have entered the pig industry on completion of their Honours program include Chelsea Dossett, who is now employed as a Pig Industry Biosecurity Officer in a position jointly funded by Pork SA and PIRSA.
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