The venture is a partnership between the University of Guelph, Ontario Pork and the Ontario government through the Agricultural Research Institute of Ontario.
Announced by Ernie Hardeman Ontario’s minister of agriculture, food and rural affairs, the facility will be located at the Elora Research Station at the University, and will use state-of-the-art technology to meet advanced training and research needs of the swine sector, representing more than 1,200 producers in the province.
Currently in the design phase, the new facility is expected to take up to three years to complete.
University researchers will use the facility for wide-ranging studies, including animal health, nutrition and welfare; consumer-oriented research; environmental factors; genetics and genomics; nutrient management; and reproduction.
The Province of Ontario has committed $12m to the construction of the project while Ontario Pork will contribute $3m.
“As Canada’s food university, the University of Guelph brings a breadth and depth of agri-food expertise to sustain and further strengthen our food system,” said university president Franco Vaccarino. “The provincial government’s investment in this new facility will help researchers and our partners explore key questions and develop new solutions to help our agri-food sector maintain its reputation for global excellence.”
The project is intended to help foster competitiveness and create jobs in the swine sector, and provide safe, healthy food, said Hardeman. “Our government is committed to supporting the development of farming technologies that create good jobs and help the economy grow. We want to help farmers succeed and better position the pork sector for further growth and competitiveness, now and for years to come.”
Eric Schwindt, chair of the Ontario Pork Producers’ marketing board, added: “This new facility will draw industry investment and research talent to southern Ontario and will ensure that the pork sector remains a vital contributor to economic growth in the province.”