The Beef Cattle Research Council (BCRC) is Canada’s national industry-led funding agency for beef, cattle and forage research. The BCRC’s mandate is to determine research and development priorities for the Canadian beef cattle industry and to administer Canadian Beef Cattle Check-Off funds allocated to research.
Advancement Through Science
The BCRC’s vision is a transparent, competitive, resilient and sustainable Canadian beef industry supported by strategic and effective research, technology transfer and innovation.
The BCRC’s mission is to lead the Canadian beef industry as the most prominent supporter of cattle, forage and beef research with a producer-led Council who invest producer funds into research and technology transfer to support growth in beef demand, increase productivity and earn public trust.
Producer-Led & Canada-Wide
Directed by a committee of beef producers from across the country, the BCRC plays an important role in identifying the industry’s research and technology transfer priorities influencing public sector investment in beef, cattle and forage research. The BCRC funds leading-edge research and extension activities to advance the competitiveness and sustainability of Canada’s beef cattle industry.
The BCRC operates as a division of the Canadian Cattle Association (CCA) and was established by the CCA in 1998.
Guided by Core Industry Principles
The beef industry has defined several core principles that the BCRC uses to guide its research and extension activities:
- Increase producer profitability by increasing productivity or decreasing costs of production and risks.
- Develop, enhance and encourage adoption of beneficial practices and innovations that maximize the environmental benefits industry provides and continue to reduce our environmental footprint, while supporting industry competitiveness.
- Support continuous improvements in Canadian beef demand through advancements in the quality and safety of Canadian beef.
- Generate science to inform decision makers, policy and best management practices and to support consumer confidence and public trust.
- Develop, enhance and encourage adoption of leading-edge technologies that support industry competitiveness, automation and sustainability.
- Ensure the maintenance and rejuvenation of critical research capacity and infrastructure that facilitate proactive inquiry and innovation to support industry advancement.
Value from Every Research Dollar
The BCRC is funded through a portion of the mandatory, non-refundable, producer-paid Canadian Beef Cattle Check-Off (also referred to as the “national check-off”) that is collected on cattle sales throughout Canada.
An independent study evaluating economic benefits from the Canadian Beef Cattle Check-Off shows that the producer-funded research activities deliver an extremely high return on investment. The most recent benefit-cost ratio study showed Canadian cattle producers earned $63 with every national check-off dollar invested in research, compared to $34.50 and $46 in previous studies (Rude, 2011/12 to 2013/14, and Cranfield, 2005 to 2008). Historical studies only evaluated carcass weight, while this study added more indicators. Learn more about the study and methodology.
Sustainable Driver of the National Economy
The returns from beef research funding reach beyond the beef cattle industry. Investments in research and technology transfer allows the Canadian beef industry to play a leading role in responsibly meeting global food production needs.
A study of the indirect and induced impacts of the beef sector reflects a bigger picture of how the industry is a sustainable driver of Canada’s economy, contributing $21.8 billion to Canada’s GDP and generating approximately 1.3 million jobs across related sectors of the economy.
Tackling Industry Priorities Through Partnerships
The BCRC maximizes producer returns on their Canadian Beef Cattle Check-Off investments by leveraging other industry and government funding. Typically for every $1 in producer Check-Off invested, the BCRC looks to leverage $2-3 in other direct funding in addition to in-kind and other indirect funding.
Working closely with other industry and government funding agencies, the BCRC increases coordination, reduces duplication and ensures priority research outcomes are addressed for the benefit of Canadian beef and cattle producers. Industry-defined research priority areas are included below in order of total funding.
A significant portion of government funding comes from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s Sustainable Beef and Forage Science Cluster. The BCRC developed the first Cluster in 2009 to focus beef research funds toward core research priorities with the greatest benefit to the Canadian beef cattle sector. The second Cluster (2013 – 2018) built on the success of the first.
The Sustainable Beef and Forage Science Cluster III program is a $21.7 million program, with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada contributing $14.1 million and industry contributing $7.6 million between 2018-2023. It aims to 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.
Leader in Technology Transfer
The BCRC plays a leading role in increasing industry uptake of relevant technologies through its knowledge dissemination and technology transfer strategies. This information sharing across a broad audience of producers, researchers, funders, government and other industry organizations supports communication and extension networks across the country.
The BCRC informs producers and other industry stakeholders on the latest in Canadian beef cattle research, empowering them to make informed decisions about production practices. This is done through interactive tools and calculators, videos, fact sheets, industry magazine articles, webinars, blog posts, infographics and more that can be found at BeefResearch.ca, Facebook and Twitter.
These extension resources are made possible by the Canadian Beef Cattle Check-Off. We welcome and encourage the distribution of BCRC content, with attribution to the Beef Cattle Research Council.
Collaborative & Strategic
As a leader in the development of the Five-Year Canadian Beef Research and Technology Transfer Strategy, the BCRC facilitates and encourages collaboration and coordination among researchers, extension specialists, other funding agencies and industry to maximize the benefits obtained from all investments in beef research.
The Strategy is a framework for coordinating beef research, priorities, funding and technology transfer efforts. The Strategy identifies key research and extension priorities to maximize investments and focus on outcomes that support the industry’s 10-year goals in the areas of:
- greenhouse gas and carbon sequestration,
- animal health and welfare,
- land use and biodiversity,
- beef quality and food safety,
- human health and safety and
Verified Beef Production Plus
In addition to sponsoring research and technology development in support of the Canadian beef industry, the BCRC funds and oversees the Verified Beef Production Plus (VBP+) program. This voluntary, market-oriented, producer-managed program provides training and auditing for animal care, biosecurity and environmental stewardship, along with on-farm food safety practices throughout the Canadian beef value chain. Visit the VBP+ website for more information on this valuable industry initiative.