20 Years of Collaboration – ICBF

In 1998 Irish industry had a vision to increase farm profitability through genetics and data integration. It established ICBF as a non-profit ‘industry good’ organisation to increase the rate of genetic gain in the national herd and to remove duplication in record keeping for both farmers and industry. This has resulted in one of the most integrated animal databases in the world and the emergence of Ireland as a global leader in animal genetics.

We are an independent, Farmer led organisation providing services to Irish farmers and industry. Our shareholders consist of Farmers, Milk Recording, AI & Herdbooks organisations. With Sustainability now a global priority, ICBF’s integrated database, with its metrics and scientific methodologies, have a key part to play in helping Irish agriculture rise to this challenge.

“AgTech,” describes innovative technologies in the ag sector that enhance social, economic, and environmental sustainability. We collaborated with Teagasc to develop profit indexes. Hosting the national AgTech database and collaborating with stakeholders means that we can analyse trends in genetic gain, fertility, herd health and carbon emissions in animals.

We work with farmers & industry partners in the adoption of beef and dairy indexes (EBI and EuroStars). We provide services like Herdplus, as well as technologies and training that drive decision-making at farm level. Partnership with industry, especially AI, Milk Recording and Herdbooks in the delivery of breeding services has driven sectoral change in terms of genetic merit, reputation and profitability of the national herd.

Alongside our partners, we have harnessed the power of the national integrated AgTech database, to deliver world class programmes. ICBF has led ‘sustainability through AgTech’ thanks to 20 years of collaboration. The database and the associated data capture technologies provide industry with the decision-making information to ensure the breeding of the next generation of animals is more environmentally and economically sustainable than the last.

Our farmer and industry collaboration has played a key role in Ireland being at the forefront of AgTech worldwide.