Canada's Beef Science Cluster

The Beef Cattle Industry Science Cluster is a partnership between Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) and the Beef Cattle Research Council (BCRC) to ensure that applied beef research funds are allocated to research priorities and activities that have the greatest potential to benefit the competitiveness of Canada's beef cattle industry. The BCRC developed the Cluster under Growing Forward in 2009 to enhance industry leadership in developing and managing applied science and technology research plans that are aligned with industry priorities.

Core Areas of Research Focus

Collaboration and investments are focused on three core research objectives under which more specific research priorities have been established:

To enhance industry sustainability and improve production efficiencies, priority outcomes are to enhance feed and forage production, increase feed efficiency and decrease the impact of animal health issues and production limiting diseases.

To improve consumer confidence and beef demand, priority outcomes are to reduce food safety incidences, define quality and yield benchmarks supporting the Canadian Beef Advantage, and improve beef quality through primary production improvements and the development and application of technologies to optimize cutout values and beef demand.

To improve public confidence in Canadian beef, outcomes are to improve food safety, strengthen the surveillance of antimicrobial use and resistance, develop effective antimicrobial alternatives, ensure animal care, demonstrate the safety and efficacy of new production technologies, improve environmental sustainability and measure the beef industry’s environmental benefits.

First Cluster (April 1, 2009 - March 31, 2013)

Industry and government funding commitments through the first Cluster totaled $10.5 million directed to 32 research projects. The research activities involved 51 lead researchers at seven federal sites and five universities in six provinces, in addition to several provincial government institutions and industry facilities.

The coordination of resources and alignment of research with industry priorities as a result of the Cluster was significant in achieving an increased level of industry research investment, capacity development in critical areas and improved collaboration across research institutions.

Allocation of cluster funding per research priority area

The BCRC encourages the application of relevant knowledge and technology within industry. The results of each project are available on BeefResearch.ca.

A 60-page report on the results of the Cluster is also available, which outlines how dollars were invested and how the research that was funded is contributing to advancements for Canada’s beef industry. Download the results report (PDF).

Second Cluster (April 1, 2013 - March 31, 2018)

The first Cluster proved to be a very successful step towards improving coordination of beef research funding in Canada while generating meaningful, applicable results. The next Cluster (under Growing Forward 2) built on the success of the first.

Joint industry and government commitments to the second Cluster totalled $20 million, including $14 million in funding from AAFC, $1 million in provincial government investments, and $5 million in funding from the research allocation of the Canadian Beef Cattle Check-Off and provincial beef industry groups. Funding was directed to 26 studies.

Allocation of cluster 2 funding by research priority area

Details on each of the studies funded by the Beef Cattle Industry Science Cluster under Growing Forward 2 are available under the 'Research' tab on BeefResearch.ca, or click here to download all of the Cluster 2 fact sheets [PDF | 1.8MB]. The results of each project will be made available on BeefResearch.ca throughout 2018/19; stay tuned to the BCRC Blog for announcements of new fact sheets.

Third Cluster (April 1, 2018 - March 31, 2023)

The Sustainable Beef and Forage Science Cluster, under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership AgriScience Program, builds on the success of the first two Clusters. It aims to grow beef exports and supply growing global beef demand by supporting research and technology transfer that advances Canadian beef and forage production while enhancing industry competitiveness and the public’s trust in responsible production.

Joint industry and government commitments to the third Cluster totalled $21 million, including $14 million in funding from AAFC, $5 million in industry funding through the research allocation of the Canadian Beef Cattle Check-Off, and $1.5 million in in-kind contributions from industry in the form of cattle, equipment, and materials.

Funding will be directed to 26 studies to be completed by March 31, 2023. Details on each of the studies funded by the Sustainable Beef and Forage Science Cluster are available under the 'Research' tab on BeefResearch.ca, or click here to download all of the Cluster 3 fact sheets [PDF].

Allocation of cluster 3 funding by research priority area

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