| ||The theme for the Sheep CRC, and for this Special Issue of Animal Production Science, is transformation. Effectively this means upping the ante with respect to productivity gain and product quality. Genetic improvement is a primary driver of productivity gain and a key determinant of product quality. For this reason, the Information Nucleus (see paper by Julius van der Werf et al.) was designed to integrate the latest genetic and genomic technologies with management systems in different environments and measurement of production and product quality. The benefits flowing from the Information Nucleus will include faster rates of productivity gain and better control of product quality (see Warner et al.).
Programs of education and training are essential if industry is to effectively use new knowledge and technologies. So it is appropriate that this Special Issue also contains papers on the topic of education, training and adoption (e.g. Horton and Hogan; Truscott and Thomas). The process of peer-reviewing papers before publication in Animal Production Science also provides an important check to ensure that future recommendations to industry are based on solid evidence.
The sheep industry is at an important and exciting point in its illustrious history with new technologies available to increase productivity gain and underpin quality development for wool and lamb. This Special Issue contains papers describing technologies that will contribute to the next important stages of the sheep industry's development.