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Ontario beefs up ag research

Ontario beefs up ag research

The Ontario Beef Research Centre will support the province’s beef sector

By Paula Schuck

A sophisticated $15.5-million state-of-the art beef research facility has opened in Elora, Ont.

The Ontario Beef Research Centre will give the province’s 6,800 beef farms access to the latest technologies and findings on health, welfare and production. 

"The new state-of-the-art Ontario Beef Research Centre will play a vital role in contributing to the long-term strength and success of Ontario's beef industry and the broader economy it supports," said Joe Hill, president of the Beef Farmers of Ontario (BFO) in a release Aug. 28.

The centre includes two 5,530-square-metre research barns housing leading-edge facilities for animal care and welfare studies, as well as for cow-calf, nutrition, genetics, forage and feedlot research. The facility will house around 750 cattle, doubling its current capacity.

Researchers will produce feed on 200 acres around the centre.

“Growth, adaptation and innovation are at the heart of so much of what Ontario farm and food businesses do best. To help develop and improve our knowledge, we feel it’s important to invest in the kind of world-class research that happens through our collaboration with the University of Guelph,” Ernie Hardeman, Ontario’s minister of agriculture, food and rural affairs, told Farms.com.

“This new Ontario Beef Research Centre will look to develop the latest farming technologies and science-based practices to give Ontario’s beef farmers a competitive and resilient edge in a global market.”

The research centre is a partnership between the Government of Ontario through the Agricultural Research Institute of Ontario, the BFO and the U of G. The facility reflects an investment of about $12.5 million from the Ontario government and more than $3 million from the BFO.

University of Guelph (U of G) will operate the facility as part of its partnership with OMAFRA.

“The University of Guelph is committed to working with government and industry partners to advance the competitiveness, resilience and sustainability of Ontario’s beef sector through world-class research and innovation,” Malcolm Campbell, U of G’s vice-president of research, said in the release.

The new facility will complement the adjacent Ontario Dairy Research Centre that opened in 2015 and the soon-to-be constructed Ontario Swine Research Centre at the Elora Research Station.

Diane Kuhl/iStock/Getty Images Plus photo

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