To supply the livestock and game industry with professional consultation services for animal recording and genetic improvement.
- Comprehensive herd consultation services focused on animal recording, performance testing, genetic evaluation, selection, breeding and related management:
- Implementation of an appropriate, effective and practical identification system for animals.
- Implementation of a herd recording system in terms of basic animal records, reproduction records, production records (weights, etc.), breeding values, visual evaluation (scoring), etc.
- Implementation of a herd recording system regarding basic animal records, reproduction records, production records (weights, etc.), breeding values, visual evaluation (scoring), etc.
- Setting up a business plan for the beef herd regarding:
- Optimal herd size and composition;
- Breed choice;
- Breeding system (e.g. stud breeding, pure breeding or cross-breeding system and type);
- Production system (e.g. weaners, back grounding, pasture finishing, feedlot finishing, breeding animals);
- Marketing system (e.g. out-of-hand sales, slaughter auctions, production auctions, other auctions, contract sales, internet-based auctions); and
- Marketing and advertising.
- Advice and assistance with infrastructure planning (e.g. scales, crushes; pens, camps, etc.).
- Setting up and regular monitoring, analysis and evaluation of reproduction targets (e.g. pregnancy percentage and calving percentage), production targets (e.g. kg/LSU and Kg/ha) and financial objectives (e.g. R/LSU and R/ha).
- Drafting of breeding strategies, breeding objectives and breeding plans and regular analysis and evaluation in view of the genetic improvement in the herd, new technological developments, market changes, etc.
- Implementation of breeding seasons and a management strategy for optimal conception, calf survival and pre-wean growth of calves.
- Setting up, monitoring, analysis and evaluation of performance testing and management practices to optimise the effectiveness of production recording and the accuracy of breeding values.
- Visual evaluation (linear scoring and/or classification) of weaned calves, young heifers and bulls, breeding bulls and cows.
- Selection of breeding animals (bulls , heifers and cows) through the integrated use of all available information (breeding values, performance data, visual evaluation, pedigrees, inbreeding, etc.).
- Determination of the best matings – considering the breeding objectives – through the integrated use of breeding values, pedigree information (to minimize inbreeding) and other factors using the BenguFarmTM GENETICS software.
- Sourcing of experts in other areas (e.g. nutritionists, pastures experts, veterinarians) for specialist advice as and when required as part of a comprehensive consultation service.
- BenguFarmTM software services [modules for BEEF cattle, GAME, SHEEP & GOATS, PIGS and GENETICS (breeding module)]:
- Project leader regarding development, marketing and client communication;
- Software installation, training (courses and individual), advice and support;
- Data recording bureau service for stud breeders and commercial farmers using BenguFarm software:
- Data capture of animal data (e.g. matings, births, weights, sales);
- Submission of data to the applicable service provider (e.g. SA Studbook);
- Handling inquiries and herd administration, including reminders to the owner of recordings to be done;
- Supplying the owner with recording lists (e.g. for recording pregnancy tests and weights) and reports (e.g. herd lists, performance test results, breeding herd selection);
- General advice and support regarding recording practices.
- Farmer training services regarding:
- Animal recording;
- Performance testing / production recording practices;
- Interpretation and practical use of breeding values;
- Selection and breeding; and
- Management practices related to the above (e.g. breeding seasons).
- Present lectures and practical demonstrations at farmers days, meetings, workshops and symposia.
- Write articles for newsletters, journals and magazines.
More about Leslie Bergh
- Registered as a professional animal scientist with the South African Council for Natural Science Professions (Reg no 400001/08).
- Member of the South African Society for Animal Science (member no 112950).
- 32 years’ experience in animal recording, performance testing, genetic evaluation, selection, breeding and related management aspects of beef cattle.
- In depth knowledge of SA Stud Book and the ARC’s animal recording systems – Logix and Intergis.
- The driving force in the development, marketing, support and training of BenguFarmTM livestock management software since its inception in 2005.
- Published numerous articles, presented many lectures/talks, conducted many training courses and served in an advisory capacity on the boards of several breeders’ societies.