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Dairy looses leading innovator

On
26 April, the Australian dairy industry sadly lost leading software innovator and visionary, Dr Mike Larcombe to a lengthy battle with motor neurone
disease.

Dr Larcombe founded MISTRO software, which is responsible for processing 95 per cent of herd testing information in
Australia and is recognised as one of the most flexible and cost-effective herd recording programs in the world today.

His work continued with the development of a genomic database system for the Australian Dairy Herd Improvement Scheme (ADHIS) for storing and analysing DNA profiles of animals for artificial breeding.

As a long-standing member of ADHIS’ Record Standards Committee, ADHIS General Manager, Daniel Abernerthy described Dr Larcombe as one of Australia’s leaders
in data, data transfer and herd improvement systems.

“Mike was a truly gifted man, with the ability to transfer his skills across many areas.

“Aside from playing an integral role in the design and redevelopment of our genomic evaluations systems and computer models, Mike also was a major contributor
to Dairy Australia’s InCalf and mastitis reporting tools,” Mr Abernerthy said.

Dairy Australia Program Manager – Genetics & Data Management – Farm Profit and Innovation, Matt Shaffer, said Dr Larcombe’s impact on the industry
had been phenomenal.

“Mike showed an amazing commitment to farmer outcomes through his work developing MISTRO as a key farm management tool for farmers and herd test centres,
as well as the UDDER program which is still being used by more than 60 consultants in Australia and New Zealand,” Mr Shaffer said.

In 2011 Dr Larcombe was awarded the prestigious National Herd Improvement Association of Australia Meritorious Service
Award, recognising the significance of his achievements and his standing among peers.

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