B+LNZ Genetics exists to help commercial farmers make the most profitable breeding decisions for their particular farm management system.
It does this by ensuring breeding objectives are commercially focused and developing easy-to-use selection tools, such as New Zealand Maternal Worth (NZMW) and New Zealand Terminal Worth (NZTW).


Genetic Merit of NZ Maternal Sheep

B+LNZ Genetics was established in 2014 to consolidate New Zealand’s sheep and beef genetics research and innovation into a single entity. We are a subsidiary of the farmer-owned industry organisation, Beef + Lamb New Zealand (B+LNZ) and are funded by sheep and beef levy payers and the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment. We are supported by additional investment from third parties, including meat processors, breed societies and commercial entities interested in sheep and beef genetics and genomics.

B+LNZ Genetics is building on already significant genetic gains in New Zealand farming.



View a copy of our Research and Development book below which overviews the current activities of our programme. 

View R&D Book (pdf)

Meet the B+LNZ Genetics team

Graham Alder Graham Alder

Graham Alder

General Manager

Graham’s focus is on the commercial farmer and ensuring B+LNZ Genetics provides the information and tools farmers need to increase their profits via genetics. While that sounds simple, we have about 20 research projects underway each falling under one of the four genetic cornerstones and collectively contributing to the bigger picture of using genetics to lift profit.

“The science of genetics may be complex, but fortunately the principles are relatively straightforward. The key is for these principles to reach commercial farmers via a group they trust as much as anyone – their stud breeders. Breeders have responded extremely well to B+LNZ Genetics’ initiatives to make genetic potential more visible – and much depends on their ongoing support for further gains.”

Tel 03 474 0247
Mob 027 671 1359
Email graham.alder@blnzgenetics.com

David Campbell David Campbell

David Campbell

IT Programme Manager

In his role, David provides project management overview and supports collaboration in our IT projects. He also contributes to B+LNZ Genetics' technology strategy, both within the sector and internally. David has worked in the IT industry for more than 20 years, successfully developing software and managing teams across a range of industries. He recently managed the development and maintenance a large global genetic evaluation system - including team management, partner collaboration, requirements gathering, architecture, change control and implementation.

“The rapidly developing genetics landscape presents many opportunities and challenges. Selecting the right technologies and people to work together effectively is critical for B+LNZ Genetics to deliver the right tools and technology to continually advance genetic gain in New Zealand.”

Tel 03 477 6632
Mob 021 779 229
Email david.campbell@blnzgenetics.com

Dr Michael Lee Dr Michael Lee

Dr Michael Lee

Lead Scientist

As Lead Scientist, Michael has oversight of B+LNZ Genetics’ science projects and he is also involved in developing the genetic evaluation infrastructure for sheep. Michael has a PhD in Genetics and also studied economics. He worked in Sweden earlier in his career – in plant breeding and with a start-up biotech – before moving to the UK and transitioning into health economics. Michael has worked at AgResearch and Pfizer (now Zoetis). Alongside his B+LNZ Genetics role, he is also part-time at University of Otago. Michael’s own particular field of research is in sheep maternal traits and genotype-by-environment.

Tel 03 479 7764
Mob 022 431 2212
Email michael.lee@otago.ac.nz

Eleanor Linscott Eleanor Linscott

Eleanor Linscott

Science Manager

Coming from a farming background Eleanor is an ideal link between farmers, geneticists and funders, focused on minimising the potential for ‘loss in translation’ and ensuring each initiative is on course to achieve its stated goals.

“We live in interesting times! Genetic understanding (and hence gain) is beginning to grow at an unprecedented rate as technology allows commercial farmers, as well as breeders, to add directly to the national genetic picture. Recording and monitoring technology on-farm is deepening our practical understanding of the cause-and-effect behind genetic developments, and is giving a clearer view for individual farmers of the right genes for their farming system. I’ve heard it referred to as the country’s biggest experiment, and it’s going to pay off handsomely.”

Tel 03 477 0697
Mob 027 439 3274
Email eleanor.linscott@blnzgenetics.com

Sharon McIntyre Sharon McIntyre

Sharon McIntyre

Genetic Evaluation Technical Manager

Sharon works predominantly with SIL, testing new developments, co-ordinating technical developments through to the B+LNZ Genetics’ extension team and problem solving. She has been with the organisation since the outset and was previously an agricultural consultant. Sharon has a Bachelor of Agricultural Science and a Masters in Animal Science (Animal Breeding Management). Alongside her SIL responsibilities, she also manages the New Zealand deer industry’s genetic evaluation

“Sheep farming systems, challenges and climate vary hugely across New Zealand. It’s important that SIL offers breeders the ability to record a range of production, health and welfare traits that address those challenges. Sheep breeding needs to be forward focused, if it’s to successfully provide long-term sustainable improvements that meet the objectives of breeders and their clients.”

Email silhelp@sil.co.nz

Dr Annie O’Connell Dr Annie O’Connell

Dr Annie O’Connell

National Sheep Genetics Manager

Annie most recently worked for Blue River Dairy, as farm operations manager, after 17 years at AgResearch, working in the fields of reproductive physiology and sheep genetics. Annie has considerable experience in performance data systems and communicating with farmers.

“B+LNZ Genetics is about connectedness. Connecting flocks and breeds through central progeny tests which help us benchmark sheep and cattle of high genetic merit for industry. We also help connect the people by providing an independent forum between breeders, commercial farmers, service providers and scientists. It’s great to be a part of keeping us all linked.”

Tel 03 477 6633
Mob 027 403 3757
Email annie.oconnell@blnzgenetics.com

Max Tweedie Max Tweedie

Max Tweedie

National Beef Genetics Manager

Max completed his Bachelor of Agriculture degree at Lincoln University in 2015. This included a semester at the University of New England in Armidale, where he studied breeding programme design. Max originates from a sheep and beef farm in Northern Hawke’s Bay and also worked on several studs during his degree.

“The key to B+LNZ Genetics is our ability to take science directly to farmers and breeders, to answer their questions and to meet their needs in a way they can relate to. There’s much to gain in having commercial farmers understanding and trusting the value of progeny testing so they are able to find the breeders of the best stock for their environment. In this, it is exciting to see more maternal emphasis and raw carcass measurements than have never been made before in New Zealand. There's never been a better time for an industry good body like this."

Tel 06 836 5477
Mob 027 404 5205
Email max.tweedie@blnzgenetics.com

Pam Schofield  Pam Schofield

Pam Schofield

Office Administrator

Pam provides the full range of office support for staff and board members. She is also almost invariably found behind the scenes at our events, having done much of the organising. Previously with Zoetis, Pam understands the dynamic nature of genetic development and its demands on those managing projects.

Tel 03 477 6632
Mob 027 530 6608
Email pamela.schofield@blnzgenetics.com