New federal research investment to make beef sector more sustainable

Press release

Canada’s beef sector is an important driver of economic growth, contributing $2.69 billion annually to the Ontario economy and supporting 61,000 jobs in the province. The Government of Canada continues to invest in innovation and the overall productivity and competitiveness of the livestock industry.

Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister, Lawrence MacAulay, today announced a $2 million investment with the Beef Farmers of Ontario to enhance the genetic profiling of eastern Canada cow herds to improve feed efficiency. The research will take place within the Elora Beef Research Centre, which is being expanded through a provincial investment announced by Ontario Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Jeff Leal at the same ground-breaking event.

This federal investment is expected to have a direct benefit for producers by reducing the amount of feed needed for every pound of beef, with each cow producing less methane and less manure. Feed costs account for 25 per cent of beef input costs. Industry studies have shown that a one per cent improvement in feed efficiency can result in annual savings of $11.1 million for the sector.

“The federal government is proud to partner with the Province of Ontario to support research at a state-of-the-art beef research centre serving all of eastern Canada,” said Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister Lawrence MacAulay. “This investment will make the beef industry even stronger and more competitive, supporting jobs and economic growth in Ontario and across Canada.”

“I am glad to see this world-class beef hub taking shape, supported by the federal and provincial governments. This research at the University of Guelph is designed to result in long-term savings for the beef sector,” added MP Lloyd Longfield (Guelph), Member of the House of Commons Standing Committee for Agriculture and Agri-Food.

“The Beef Farmers of Ontario is extremely appreciative of the federal government’s contribution to new research projects and equipment at the Elora Beef Research Centre. The competitiveness and long-term viability of the Ontario beef industry is underpinned by key investments in primary research and infrastructure capacity needed to undertake it,” said Joe Hill, vice president, Beef Farmers of Ontario. “Funding committed by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada will provide critical support to advance beef cattle research and help ensure we are well-positioned to compete in both domestic and international markets.”

Quick Facts

  • The Beef Farmers of Ontario (BFO) represents the interests of the province’s 19,000 beef farmers, including all sectors of the industry.
  • The Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs has contributed $12.4M to expand the Elora Beef Research Centre.
  • The federal investment is being made through the Growing Forward 2 AgriInnovation Program, a five-year, $698 million initiative.

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