Farm Ireland

Sunday 30 April 2017

Sayers takes up the reins at new milk laboratory

Ríona Sayers, research officer on herd health with Teagasc Moorepark, has been appointed as the chief executive of Independent Milk Laboratories (IML), the newly established milk payment and disease testing company.

A graduate in both biochemistry and veterinary medicine, Ms Sayers brings to the new position a distinguished track record in veterinary diagnostics and animal health research.

From a drystock farm outside Tralee, Co Kerry, Ms Sayers qualified with an honours degree in biochemistry from UCC in 1993 and took up a position in veterinary diagnostics with Enfer Scientific.

One of her many achievements with Enfer was her role as joint developer of the world's first rapid BSE test, the Enfer TSE Assay.

She completed a masters degree in prion biology in UCD in 1998 and, shortly afterwards, graduated with a diploma in project management.

In 2002, she again returned to education and qualified with a degree in veterinary medicine from UCD in 2007.

In spite of combining veterinary studies with her job at Enfer, she was awarded both the Centenary and Freeman Memorial medals for being the top student over the five years of the veterinary degree programme. After a period working in a large animal veterinary practice, she joined Teagasc Moorepark in 2008 and, for the past two years, has conducted leading-edge research on infectious diseases in dairy herds.

IML, Ireland's first independent milk testing company, is a joint venture between Progressive Genetics and the British farmer-owned plc, National Milk Records.

In addition to independent milk payment testing, it also provides rapid diagnostic services for mastitis and a raft of infectious diseases, including BVD, Leptospirosis, IBR, Johne's and Neospora.

Professor Patrick Wall, the IML chairman, said Ms Sayers' qualifications and track record spoke for themselves and she would be a valuable asset to the IML team.

Irish Independent

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