The CA$14m Beef Cattle Industry Science Cluster initiative will be led by the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA) and bring together industry experts, scientists and universities for research on areas such as beef quality and food safety, animal health and welfare, detection and prevention of animal disease, feed production and efficiency, and environmental sustainability.
The cluster is being funded under the government’s Growing Forward 2 action plan, and follows on from a previous beef research cluster looking at reducing production costs, increasing feed efficiency and reducing the impact of animal health issues, which received CA$8.7m of government funding.
CCA president Martin Unrau said that investment into research and innovation was crucial to guarantee the long-term sustainability of Canada’s cattle industry. “Research drives the improved production efficiencies that enable cattle producers to raise more beef using fewer resources,” he said.
“The research objectives of the Beef Cattle Industry Science Cluster under Growing Forward 2 will build on the successes of the first cluster and further improve efficiencies that enhance the overall sustainability of Canada’s beef cattle industry.”
Beef is Canada’s second-largest agricultural sector and a key export product. Last year Canadian producers exported live cattle and beef worth more than CA$2bn to global markets
“Working with industry and academia, our government is making strategic investments to help the sector meet the growing global demand for high-quality, safe beef and to ensure the Canadian cattle industry remains competitive and sustainable for the future,” said Canada’s Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz.