World-leading livestock scientists from Scotland’s Rural College are set to give vets the lowdown on genomics to give them the knowledge that farmers need to optimize their breeding decisions.

Available online or through a two-day residential, ‘Vetnomics’ is a unique, high-impact course designed to give a comprehensive introduction to the fast-evolving field of genomics and the benefits it can bring to animal breeding.

Genomics is the use of information at one of the highest resolutions possible – the individual building blocks of the DNA itself.

Delivered in collaboration with Agrimetrics through a series of routinely updated lectures, the course will lay the biological foundations for genetics; guide the audience through the evolution of the technologies now available; and provide strong emphasis on the use of genomics in practice. This will cover its application in disease as well as across the main livestock species: dairy, beef, sheep, goats, pigs and poultry.

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Vetnomics will also cover the best ways to interpret data and allow vets to offer a wider range of services to farmers. In just two days, practitioners will be able get up to speed on genetics and genomics and return to the field fully armed to generate more business.

As well as practicing vets, the course is also suitable for farmers, retailers, genomic services providers, as well as feed and breeding companies.

The first residential will be held on June 19 and 20 – just before the Royal Highland Show – at Norton House Hotel, Ingliston. A winter residential is planned for November 22 and 23.

Prof Mike Coffey from SRUC said: “The practical application of science is playing an increasingly important role in modern farming. Genomic technologies can help improve and safeguard animal health and welfare through better breeding and management. Through the interdisciplinary approach of Vetnomics, we hope to share important messages from animal genetics research, give confidence in emerging technologies and refresh and inform vets as to the underlying mechanisms of genetic progress for data interpretation and discussion with farmers.”