Gallagher welcomes new Head of Animal Research and Trials to enrich the next phase of eShepherd
Wednesday, 31 August, 2022
We are pleased to welcome our new Head of Animal Research and Trials, Jarrod Lees, to Gallagher. Jarrod has an exceptional academic and practical background in animal sciences which will bring a new level of insights into animal behaviour for the eShepherd program. This knowledge will help us refine the animal behaviours and learning algorithms and enable us to further develop health and welfare monitoring.
Jarrod has been with us, based at our Gallagher eShepherd Innovation centre near Melbourne, Australia, for about a month now, and while he’s still getting to up to speed with the potential that eShepherd has to offer, we caught up with him to find out more about joining Gallagher.
Before joining Gallagher last month, what were you working on?
Most recently I worked at the University of New England as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Meat Science. We were studying the impact of animal factors (e.g. genetics), management practices and pre-slaughter processes on the eating quality of beef and lamb for the Meat Standards Australia eating quality program. Prior to that I worked at Meat & Livestock Australia in producer engagement, as well as business development for meat processors and brand owners.
My PhD was in animal science, developing a heat load index for dairy cattle. I also worked across projects investigating the impact of heat load on feed lot cattle and sheep.
What attracted you to the Head of Animal Research and Trials role at Gallagher?
I had plans on following an academic research path at a university, but after hearing about this role I was excited about the ability to work on research that would end in a tangible product. One of the big draw cards was the company culture I’d heard about at Gallagher. For me, culture is the key to a work environment that is productive without feeling like work. It can make or break your passion for what you do. I’ve only been with Gallagher for one month, but I can honestly say they have not disappointed - I feel like I am part of one big team and that we can move mountains…and we are. One neckband iteration at a time.
It's still early days, but what have you been working so far?
I had the chance to attend a Rapid Learning Cycles event in June and it was the best thing I could have done. It set me up to hit the ground running, having gained some inside knowledge of eShepherd and knowing the direction we were travelling in before I officially started. My first day on the job involved a tour of the eShepherd Innovation Centre in “The Buggy”, through some very boggy tracks. It would have bogged a duck! But not “The Buggy”. After spending the last 7 years inside meat chillers, it was great to come home smelling like cows.
Gallagher’s Global Strategy & New Ventures Manager, Sarah Adams says that it wasn’t easy to find the right person for the role, but now Jarrod is here she’s looking forward to the next phase of the eShepherd project:
Having an Animal Scientist of Jarrod’s caliber, who also has practical animal production knowledge and experience is difficult to find. This mix of skills will enrich our learnings around animal behaviour and health, which will translate into a product that not only effectively controls animals with high animal welfare outcomes but also delivers tremendous insight around health and wellbeing to enhance productivity.
And while Jarrod gets stuck into his new work, he has one other mission at Gallagher...
Funky Shirt Friday is a thing – Hawaiian’s are the best for this, but anything that makes you feel that bit funkier is a win. I will slowly attempt to bring this to Gallagher...