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Michael Wilkes

Michael’s passion for agriculture stems from his childhood, and he brings that to his role as Ruminant Production Consultant for Thomas Elders Consulting (TEC).

He embraced his innate passion for livestock from an early age, breeding his own poultry and sheep, exhibiting cattle and working on commercial livestock properties as much as possible. At age 12 he began formulating poultry rations which sparked his interest in livestock nutrition and production efficiency.

Michael completed a Bachelor of Animal Science at the University of Adelaide’s Roseworthy Campus, after which he undertook Honours and Doctorate studies, researching variation in feed intake, metabolic rate and digestive efficiency in sheep. Following completion of his PhD, he was appointed as a Post-Doctoral research associate with the University of Adelaide.

During this time Michael was involved in conducting industry funded research across supplementation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in cattle, improving meat quality and carcass compliance of grass fed cattle, use of fodder beet grazing systems for cattle and sheep, and genetic and management effects of heifer development and reproductive performance.

Michael has also supervised a number of postgraduate Honours and PhD students, was the Treasurer of the Australian Society of Animal Production (2014-16), member of the Mackillop Farm Management Group Livestock Operations committee (2016), Southern Grassfed Carcase Competition Committee (2016) and is a member of the Limestone Coast Red Meat Cluster Steering Committee (2015-current).

Michael has developed a passion for the practical use of new technology and management practices in sustainable agricultural systems. He is interested in optimising the production of extensive sheep and beef grazing systems through improving reproductive efficiency, growth performance, soil health and grazing management. He also has a keen interest in trace mineral nutrition.

Michael works with producers to collect and analyse production data which is then used to inform decisions on farm. He applies practical skills to all aspects of farming systems, from on-ground management and labour to controlled research, sample collection, commercial data management and analysis.

Michael offers clients livestock production planning, ration formulation, nutrition troubleshooting, feed budgeting and pasture surveillance, genetic improvement, livestock monitoring services, commercial research, production data collection, management and analysis and the facilitation of training and extension events.

Michael’s primary goal is to work with producers to reach their specific production objectives whilst optimising productivity and profitability. As a result, the services required by each client can be tailored to suit their needs.