The Agricultural and Related Industries Study Group of the Operational Research Society held a one-day meeting on ‘Decision Support Systems for Profitable Livestock Production’ on 18 November 1992 at the Meat and Livestock Commission, Milton Keynes, UK. The Group promotes the use of the scientific method in solving management problems. The aim of the meeting was to look at the contribution of advances in modelling towards improving management and hence profitability in livestock production. The first four papers concerned feeding and the remaining two breeding. A large part of the discussion could perhaps best be summed up by the regression equation which related dry matter intake and waste output from a cow. When the output was zero, the intake was reduced by 50%!