One week left to make an impact on the future of beef research

As someone who follows the BCRC Blog, you’re almost guaranteed to be what we call a ‘Canadian beef industry stakeholder’, meaning you

  • own or manage beef cattle,
  • conduct research on beef, cattle or forages,
  • are a large animal veterinarian,
  • own or work for an abattoir/beef processor,
  • are a government employee in a beef-related role,
  • work or volunteer for an organization that actively supports the beef industry, or
  • have another valuable role that supports and relies on Canadian beef production.

You hold a stake in the beef industry, so the Beef Cattle Research Council (BCRC) and the Beef Value Chain Roundtable (BVCRT) rely on your input on research issues.

Please consider answering our 15-20 minute questionnaire by May 31st.

Your feedback will inform the next five-year National Beef Research Strategy and impact the long term competitiveness of the Canadian beef industry.

Begin beef research priorities survey

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Winter Cow Transport Assessed

This article written by Dr. Reynold Bergen, BCRC Science Director, originally appeared in the May 2016 issue of Canadian Cattlemen magazine and is reprinted on the BCRC Blog with permission of the publisher.

BergenMayA 2007 transportation benchmarking study led by Dr. Karen Schwartzkopf-Genswein of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s Lethbridge Research Station surveyed over 9,000 loads and close to half a million cattle trucked to, from and within Alberta over an 18 month period. That study reported that over 99.9% cattle arrived in their destination with no serious problems.

But transport was more risky for some cattle than for others. Cull cows were 3.5 times more likely to have trouble during transport than weaned calves, 5.5 times more likely than fat cattle, and 8.5 times more likely than yearlings. The risk of death also increased greatly in cattle transported at temperatures below -15oC. Finding ways to improve winter transport outcomes is important for the cows as well as industry reputation.

Dr. Schwartzkopf-Genswein and co-workers did a follow-up project evaluating how Continue reading

Introducing ‘The Gatepost’, a new e-newsletter from the Canadian Beef Cattle Check-off Agency

The Gatepost is written and distributed by the Canadian Beef Cattle Research, Market Development and Promotion Agency. Below is a copy of the first issue. To receive future issues of The Gatepost, subscribe here. 


Welcome to The Gatepost!

The Canadian Beef Cattle Research, Market Development and Promotion Agency (the Agency), which is responsible for the management of the National Check-Off, is happy to bring a new look and feel to the former Branding Iron weekly updates and semi-annual print newsletter.
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Call for Proposals: Beef Production Economics (2017-2018)

Canfax Research Services (CRS) invites proposals for Beef Production Economics. The deadline is June 24, 2016 at 11:59 PM MT.

CRS is partnering with the Beef Cattle Research Council (BCRC) whose mandate is to establish research and development priorities for the Canadian beef cattle industry and manage national check-off funds allocated to research.

The BCRC developed the second Beef Cattle Industry Science Cluster under Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s Growing Forward II Strategy.  The Beef Cattle Industry Science Cluster was a Continue reading

National Beef Antimicrobial Research Strategy developed to drive solutions

News Release
May 9, 2016

Calgary, AB – As concerns grow about the continued effectiveness of antimicrobials in human health and questions arise about the contribution of modern beef production to antimicrobial resistance in human medicine, the beef industry is increasingly pressured to reconsider its methods of combatting harmful bacteria in cattle. Research will play a critical role in the industry’s ability to reduce medically-important antimicrobial use and to develop, identify and implement effective, responsible alternatives to antimicrobials.

“There’s no doubt antimicrobial resistance, use and their alternatives are a high priority in terms of policy, research, and regulations,” said Tim Oleksyn, a cow-calf producer from Shellbrook, Saskatchewan and Chair of the Beef Cattle Research Council (BCRC).  “It is important for the industry to have a comprehensive strategy with clearly defined outcomes to ensure every research dollar helps make progress in addressing human health and public confidence concerns, while also ensuring animal welfare and industry sustainability are maintained.”

Due to the importance and priority placed on antimicrobial resistance and use, funding of Continue reading

Facts about conventional beef production

As restaurants and retailers look for methods to assure their customers that the beef they sell is a healthy and responsible choice, questions are raised about conventional production. Science-based answers to those questions can be found on Our website is full of information for producers, not only to help them make informed decisions about their own production practices, but also to help them answer consumers’ questions and maintain the public’s trust and confidence in Canadian beef.
The blog post Q&A on conventional production of Canadian beef has concise answers to questions like:

  • Can consumers be confident Canadian beef is safe from drug residues?
  • What would happen if the Canadian beef industry stopped using growth promotants?
  • How is the welfare of Canadian beef cattle upheld?
  • Is conventional beef production in Canada contributing to antimicrobial resistance?
  • Why should consumers remain confident that conventionally raised Canadian beef is safe?

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Canadian Beef Industry Conference drives fresh energy

A brand new national event built for everyone involved in beef

Canadian Beef Industry ConferenceLearning, fun and moving the beef industry forward. These are three key elements of the inaugural Canadian Beef Industry Conference, slated for Aug 9 – 11 in Calgary at the Grey Eagle Resort and Casino.

The conference is a brand new, first-of-its-kind event for Canada designed to create a national meeting place for everyone involved in beef production, from the grass roots level through all parts of the supply chain.  It will help support the new National Beef Strategy. It will also support a new level of grass roots interaction and relationship building to drive progress based on shared interests.

Among a diverse range of topics and speakers, the conference features very practical, educational sessions for producers. A leading example is Continue reading

Applications open for the Beef Researcher Mentorship Program

Applications for the 2016-17 term of the BCRC Beef Researcher Mentorship Program are now being accepted. The deadline to apply is June 1, 2016.

Beef Researcher Mentorship program participants, Dr. Claudia Narvaez Bravo (left) and Dr. Argenis Rodas-Gonzalez (right) tour Martin Unrau's (middle) feedlot with one of Claudia's mentors, Tom Teichroeb.

Beef Researcher Mentorship program participants, Dr. Claudia Narvaez Bravo (left) and Dr. Argenis Rodas-Gonzalez (right) tour Martin Unrau’s (middle) feedlot along with one of Claudia’s mentors, Tom Teichroeb.

Last year four researchers were selected for the program year and paired with mentors – innovative producers and industry experts – for a one year term (ending July 31, 2016). Each of the researchers have reported very successful and valuable experiences through the opportunities provided, including:

  • Establishing partnerships with industry and other researchers to further their research programs
  • Meeting several producers and industry leaders with whom they ask questions and have meaningful discussions about cattle production, beef quality and safety, and the Canadian beef value chain
  • Attending industry events and touring farms and ranches to better understand the impacts, practicalities and economics of adopting research results

The BCRC is excited to continue the program and invite applications from upcoming and new applied researchers in Canada whose Continue reading

Tips for celebrating Earth Day

Earth Day is tomorrow, Friday, April 22. Earth Day is recognized globally by people from all walks of life as a way to foster and celebrate environmental respect and behavioural changes that lessen our impact on the earth.

6fp2319bCattle producers across Canada, who chose to make their living as stewards of the land, fully appreciate the value of a healthy environment. For all of us in the Canadian beef industry, Earth Day is a day to celebrate our industry’s environmental achievements, and is an excellent time to foster further discussion about how to make continual improvements in this area.

Earth Day and every day is a great time to brush up on your science-based knowledge of the environmental footprint of Canadian beef production, and share what you Continue reading

Agriculture Census responses help direct research priorities and funding

In early May, all beef producers will be receiving their Census of Agriculture questionnaire. This is your chance to influence future government policy and funding. The Canadian government uses the results of the census to inform the direction of and evaluate agriculture policy.

The results obtained from the census are very valuable to the Canadian beef industry because they identify emerging trends, issues, opportunities and weaknesses within the industry. The results are also used by universities, agribusinesses, and funding agencies to direct investment decisions, research programs, conduct market research, and inform other decision making processes.

This year the Census questionnaire is shorter and available online, streamlining the process and reducing the amount of time it takes to complete.

The information you provide is very valuable to direct future policy and research in the beef industry and the Agriculture industry as a whole. This May, please take the time to accurately fill out your Census of Agriculture questionnaire to help provide an accurate snapshot of what is going on within the Canadian agriculture industry.

Click for more information on the 2016 census. Continue reading