About Us

We offer a genetics package which assist breeders to identify the most productive animals to breed from, then distribute the genes of top performing rams and ewes through our artificial breeding services.

We are experienced operators who offer a professional, friendly and efficient service.

Julia - Genetic Gains

Julia Aspinall

M. Sc., Dip. Mgt., DTM

Julia's childhood years were spent on a remote high-country sheep and cattle station in the Southern Alps of New Zealand.

"On return to NZ I was lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time. I became involved in some of NZ’s largest goat and sheep embryo transfer programmes where I learned skills in intrauterine Artificial Insemination (AI) and Multiple Ovulation and Embryo Transfer (MOET). The next opportunity was with MAFTechnology’s Animal Business Group. Here one of my roles was to support sheep breeders with their performance recording and sire referencing. This stimulated a strong interest in the genetic improvement of sheep flocks not only through artificial breeding, but also though accurate identification of animals with the most productive and therefore most profitable genes. In 1991 I established Genetic Gains to carry out artificial breeding services and in 2001 had the opportunity to take over the local Invercargill Sheep Improvement Ltd. (SIL) Bureau. This allowed Genetic Gains to offer a complete genetics package to sheep breeders including:

  • the identification of elite animals through the SIL Bureau,
  • the distribution and use of these genes through the Woodlands AB Centre and
  • the provision of AI and MOET services.

In 2020 the AB Centre was relocated from Woodlands, Southland to the Alexandra area in Otago and is now known as the Earnscleugh AB Centre.

Genetic Gains provides a professional, friendly and efficient service with honesty and integrity. We need our clients to achieve the very best possible outcome from our services and will strive to do our very best to enable this to be achieved. Our clients are very passionate about their stud breeding operations, and it is an absolute privilege to work with them.

Until 2018 Genetic Gains was in Invercargill but is now based in Wanaka. I thoroughly enjoy living in this stunningly beautiful environment with the lake and mountains and in my spare time I can be found on walking or mountain biking adventures (on a Me Bike, not an E Bike)!"

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Amy Grundy

Amy Grundy B. Sc.

Report Manager, SIL Bureau

As a child Amy lived near Middlemarch, Otago where her parents were farmers. She attended the Strath Taieri and Otago Girls High Schools then completed a Certificate in High Performance Sport at Otago Polytechnic. She then moved North to study at Massey University. During her time at Polytech and University she was very involved with rowing, and in 2008 and 2009 she represented NZ Universities in the rowing eight for Trans-Tasman competitions.

While studying for her science degree and Post Graduate Certificate in Science and Technology she worked part time in a lab for a food processing company in Palmerston North. Her responsibilities included quality control and setting up a new database to track maintenance management.

Her next job was with Livestock Improvement Corporation, Awahuri where she worked in the lab. This involved quality testing, processing, calibrations, and stock management. In 2016 Amy moved back to the South Island and after training to be a qualified bicycle maintenance technician she worked for Wensley’s Cycles in Invercargill.

Amy became a valued member of the Genetic Gains team as lab technician at the Earnscleugh AB Centre for the 2020 and 2021 sheep breeding seasons where her experience with LIC was valued. She now has a permanent position in the Genetic Gains SIL Bureau team as Reports Manager. Amy was already familiar with SIL, as she is a sheep farmer who has made good use of SIL records when selecting rams to purchase.

She is enjoying seeing how Indexes and Breeding Values are derived and takes pride in producing reports which are relevant to each individual’s breeding objectives and requests.

Amy, her partner Chris and their daughter Ainsley are currently living on the South Coast of the South Island. In their spare time they enjoy fishing, walking camping and cycling.

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Tarryn Benton - Genetic Gains

Tarryn Benton B. Ag. Sci. Hons

Data Manager, SIL Bureau

Tarryn grew up on Sheep and Beef Farms around Southland including Jeff Farm, Mavora Lakes and Mount Linton. Ironically, she is now back with her own young family living and working on Jeff Farm!

Tarryn completed her schooling at Southland Girls High School before heading off to Lincoln University where she gained an Agricultural Science Degree. Here her interest in Animal Breeding broadened. She gained First Class Honours in her final year of study, completing her honours project with Romney New Zealand looking at Pleurisy and the cost to the industry.

After University she worked for Landcorp’s Rangitaiki Station in Taupo as a Farm Technician before a short trip overseas. On return, she gained employment with LIC’s Deer Improvement in Balfour, Southland where she learnt a lot more about genetics and animal breeding programmes. This was supplemented with further study through the University of New England in Armidale, Australia. Between then and now, Tarryn as become a mother to 3 and has moved around the countryside with her husband Mike’s farm management roles.

Tarryn thoroughly enjoys her role as Data Manager at Genetic Gains. She has learnt a lot and is relishing learning more about animal breeding and the future of New Zealand’s sheep flock. She finds it exciting to be involved and watch the progress.

Tarryn enjoys running and hiking, playing squash, cooking and gardening, sunny lake days with the boat and spending time with family and friends.

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Our Mission

To facilitate the genetic improvement of New Zealand's sheep industry through the provision of quality animal breeding services; tools which allow sheep breeding to progress into the future with confidence.