Ruminant livestock production: Improving efficiency and reducing environmental impact

Date: Day 1: 10:00 – 17:15, 10th November 2015; Day 2: 9:00 – 15:00, 11th November 2015
Venue: Norton House Hotel – Edinburgh, Scotland (map:
To register go to:
Download workshop brochure.

The aim of the workshop is to provide an overview of the ambitions and outputs from the RuminOmics project and offer a forum for discussing how these can be used to inform animal breeding, feeding and management to lower the environmental footprint of ruminant livestock production and improve feed conversion efficiency and product quality.

The workshop will report on the most recent findings from the RuminOmics project and discuss how these can be used to improve the efficiency and sustainability of ruminant livestock production in both the UK and Northern Europe.

Day 1 of the event will be targeted at the livestock sector and support industries and include:

  • Keynote lectures on the “Environmental Impact of Ruminant Livestock Production”, “Challenges for the Dairy and Meat Sectors in Northern Europe” and “Future Perspectives – Ruminant Nutrition and the Feed Industry
  • A round table discussion on future industry priorities and how the outputs from the Ruminomics project can be implemented in the region.

Day 2 will concentrate on detailed results from various components of the project and will be targeted at those in research, technical advisory and education/training. Topics include:

  • Keynote lectures on Microbial ecology and the link between rumen microbes, the animal genome and environmental impact, Nutrition, efficiency and emissions, a field-scale study of rumen function, efficiency and emissions in dairy cows ‘The 1000 cow study’.
  • A round table discussion on future research priorities and how the outputs from the Ruminomics project can be implemented in the region.


DAY 1, Tuesday 10th November
10.00 – 10.30 Registration and Coffee
10.30 – 10.40 Welcome to Scotland. Uel Morton, Chief Executive of QMS
10.40 – 10.55 Welcome to The RuminOmics project. Kevin Shingfield, IBERS, Aberystwyth
10.55 – 11.30 Global View of Environmental Impact of Ruminant Livestock Production. Cledwyn Thomas, EAAP

Challenges and Future Perspectives
11.30 – 12.00 Ruminant Feed Industry. Nicolas Martin, FEFAC
12.00 – 12.30 Netherlands / Belgium / Northern France. Erwin Koenen, CRV
12.30 – 13.00 Ireland Brendan Horan, Teagasc
13.00 – 14.00 Lunch

14.00 – 14.30 UK – Dairy Industry David Keiley, SRUC
14.30 – 15.00 UK – Red Meat Sector Jimmy Hyslop, SRUC

15.00 – 15.45 RuminOmics Outputs. John Wallace, Project Coordinator
15.45 – 16.30 Round the Table Discussion – Future implementation of project outputs, priorities for future R&D.
16.30 Light Reception and close of Day 1

DAY 2, Wednesday 11th November
Technical solutions to the meet the Challenge
09.00 – 09.45 Rumen Microbial Ecology. John Wallace
09.45 – 10.30 Nutrition, efficiency and emissions. Pekka Huhtanen
10.30 – 11.00 Coffee

11.00 – 11.45 Does the host animal control the activity and composition of its gut microbes? Ilma Tapio
11.45 – 12.30 Tools for rapid analysis of Phenotypes and the Microbiome. Kevin Shingfield
12.30 – 13.30 Lunch

13.30 – 14.15 From genotype to phenotype. Johanna Vilkki
14.15 – 15.00 Field-scale study of rumen function, efficiency and emissions in dairy cows ‘The 1000 cow study’. Phil Garnsworthy
15.00 Round Table Discussion – Livestock and Environment Policy, future research and implementation priorities in the region
16.00 Coffee and departure

The workshop, which is free to attend, will be invaluable to farming and breeding organisations, extension workers, research scientists, NGOs and policy makers.

The deadline for registration for the workshop is 30 October 2015. To register go to:
Register early as spaces are limited!

Deadline passed RuminOmics has funds (up to €500/person, will consider requests of up to €1000 if there are exceptional circumstances) to support the attendance of a limited number of early career scientists from the North Western Europe to attend the 2-day workshop in Edinburgh, Scotland (UK). Deadline passed

Venue and Accommodation
The workshop will held at:
Norton House Hotel & Spa – Edinburgh, Scotland (map:
Edinburgh EH28 8LX
United Kingdom