Agriculture and Food Development Authority

TEAGASC ( is a semi-state organisation responsible for providing integrated research, advisory and education/training services for the agriculture and food industry in Ireland. The animal breeding group at TEAGASC consists of 5 geneticists, 5 post-doctoral students and 8 PhD students working across a range of different topics including phenotypying strategies, derivation of breeding goals, genetic and genomic evaluations, decision support tools and breeding programs. TEAGASC it heavily engaged in knowledge exchange and demonstration through both TEAGASC’s extension and education (new farmers and undergraduates in Animal Science). TEAGASC is also strongly linked with the Irish sheep industry and is responsible for all genetic/genomic and economic research for use in the national sheep (and cattle) genetic evaluations, breeding objectives and breeding schemes. Much of the focus of TEAGASC’s research is on exploiting the competitive advantage of low-cost grazed forages in animal production systems. TEAGASC also undertakes participatory research as well as having access to research flocks with >1,000 ewes. TEAGASC’s main role in SMARTER is in the development and deployment of the necessary logistics and knowledge to enable large-scale international cooperation in genetic and genomic evaluations