||Key Staff Involved in 3SR:
James (Seamus) Hanrahan
Teagasc is the Irish Agriculture and Food Development Authority and undertakes research in the areas of agriculture, food, biosciences, the environment and the rural economy. Teagasc has 124 research investigators and a similar number of technical assistants. The Teagasc mission is to provide an independent and authoritative research knowledge base, technology transfer and training services for the sustainable development of agriculture and the food processing industries to enable them to respond profitably to consumer demands and contribute to a vibrant rural economy and society.
The main focus of the Teagasc Animal Science Programme is to gain an increased understanding of animal biology at the cellular, tissue, organ, whole animal, and herd levels with the objective of increasing the overall efficiency of animal production. This is reflected in research programmes on nutrient use, animal genetics, reproduction and animal health, and including dietary impacts on the excretion of nitrogen and phosphorus and the emission of methane. Animal health can have a major impact on the production efficiency, and our research programme focuses on environmental stressors (e.g. transport, castration, housing), and management-related infectious diseases such as mastitis, bovine respiratory diseases, and nematode infection. Finally, our animal genetics programme is focused on selective breeding to improve production traits such as growth rate, milk yield, reproductive performance and disease resistance, and quality traits such as meat yield and tenderness. The research programme combines both applied and more fundamental studies. Biotechnology use in the Teagasc programme is continuing to grow (e.g. functional genomics and gene expression, SNP discovery, proteomics).
The Teagasc statement of strategy identifies the need to expand the human resources in the underlying basic scientific disciplines, and to further direct the research programme to developing an understanding of the fundamental biological processes underlying the efficiency of growth and production of animals.