Wagyu Fellowship program

two new opportunities available

Established in 2017, the Wagyu Fellowship program allows students to undertake research for the advancement of Wagyu to share with the industry, with multiple options for members of the industry who may find themselves in different research/study circumstances.

Two new opportunities were developed for members of the AWA to undertake net feed intake and genetic diversity research in 2023.

Wagyu Genetic Diversity Fellowship

This grant would provide $10,000 to assist members in nominating two AWA-PTP sires demonstrating high genetic diversity. Using genomic information, the AWA can determine high genetic diversity sires within each birth year and seek to assist members with high diversity sires to participate in the AWA-PTP. The AWA member would be required to nominate two high genetic diversity sires, identified to the member by the AWA and pay the fee of $7,500 per sire. The AWA would then award the member with a Genetic Diversity Grant, providing $10,000 to the AWA member to assist with the costs of semen testing and collection of genetic materials of interest to the AWA for the future benefit of the breed. The AWA may keep the straws of the sire for Auction by tender or for use in future AWA programs.

If the AWA awarded two Wagyu Fellowship Genetic Diversity Grants per year, the AWA would secure 12 high genetic diversity sires within the AWA-PTP within the first three years of the program.

Wagyu Net Feed Intake Fellowship

This grant provides $10,000 towards assisting members who have implemented Net Feed Intake recording infrastructure using Vytelle/GrowSafe feeders. As an example, a Wagyu Fellowship NFI Recording Grant of AUD $10,000 could be provided to an AWA member implementing a 4-node or higher number NFI recording system to complete implementation of the system (not including capital costs), offset management costs and running costs over a 3-year period to incentivise recording of Net Feed Intake on registered animals and provision of data to the AWA to support development and implementation of an NFI EBV.

Through a 4-node system, a member could run three trials per year of 40 animals per trial, totalling 120 animals per year. If AWA awarded two Wagyu Fellowship NFI Grants per year for 3 years, it would enable cumulative testing of up to 1,440 animals over the three years, leaving an ongoing testing capacity of 720 animals per year.

The AWA is already working with AWA-PTP contributor herds to make them aware of NFI testing and promote the benefits of NFI testing to them. The AWA may prioritise access to the grant to AWA-PTP herds or by members who commit to testing AWA-PTP progeny or large numbers of registered progeny and providing this data to the AWA.


Important Notice and Disclaimer

It is very important that you appreciate when viewing the AWA database that the information contained on the AWA database, including but not limited to pedigree, DNA information, Estimated Breeding Values (EBVs) and Index values, is based on data supplied by members and/or third parties.

Whilst every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of the information reported through AWA, AWA officers and employees assume no responsibility for its content, use or interpretation. AWA disclaims all liability (including without limitation, liability in negligence) for all expenses, losses, damages and costs you may incur as a result of the use by you of the data on this AWA database and the information supplied by ABRI and AGBU being inaccurate or incomplete in any way for any reason.

Regarding EBVs and Index values, it is very important to appreciate, and you need to be aware that:

  • EBVs are derived using Wagyu Single Step BREEDPLAN technology developed independently by the Animal Genetics and Breeding Unit (AGBU), using the information contained within the AWA database.
  • AGBU is a joint venture of NSW Department of Primary Industries and the University of New England, which receives funding for this purpose from Meat and Livestock Australia Limited.
  • AWA relies solely on advice provided by AGBU and ABRI in accepting Wagyu Single Step BREEDPLAN software.
  • EBVs published in Wagyu Single Step BREEDPLAN are estimates of genetic potential of individual animals and may not reflect the raw animal phenotype.
  • EBVs can only be directly compared to other EBVs calculated in the same monthly Wagyu Group BREEDPLAN analysis.

Regarding pedigree and DNA testing results submitted to the AWA, it is very important to appreciate, and you need to be aware that:

  • Pedigree and DNA data submitted and supplied to AWA may have errors in it which cannot be detected without further DNA testing.
  • Technology may have advanced since a particular test was undertaken so that previous inaccuracies which were not detectable are now able to be detected by current testing technology.
  • AWA estimates that less than 1% of the pedigree entries, ownership or breeding details in the AWA Herdbook may have errors or which may be misleading. For this reason, users ought to consider if they need to obtain independent testing of the relevant animal (if possible) to ensure that the data is accurate.

Regarding prefectural content, it is very important to appreciate, and you need to be aware that:

  • Prefectural content is based on the estimation of prefectural origin from Japanese breeding records of 201 foundation sires and 168 foundation dams.  As genotype-based parent verification is not used in Japan, and full Japanese registration certificates are not available for all foundation animals, exact prefectural composition for these sires and dams cannot be validated.
  • The calculation of prefectural content for Australian Herdbook animals relies on the accuracy of pedigree records and DNA samples provided by AWA members.
  • The reporting of prefectural content for animals within the AWA Herdbook relies on the calculation provided by ABRI.

If you consider that you do not understand or appreciate the nature and extent of the data provided on this website or the EBVs of a particular animal, then AWA strongly recommends that you seek independent expert advice.