BCRC Progress and Activities in 2013

This annual report highlights the BCRC’s successes and core activities in 2013. To download a printer-friendly PDF version, click here: http://www.beefresearch.ca/files/pdf/2013_bcrc_annual_report.pdf

The Beef Cattle Research Council (BCRC) is Canada’s industry-led funding agency for beef research. Its mandate is to determine research and development priorities for the Canadian beef cattle industry and to administer National Check-off funds allocated to research. The BCRC is led by a committee of beef producers who proportionally represent each province’s research allocation of the National Check-off. Continue reading

Better Housekeeping

This article written by Dr. Reynold Bergen, BCRC Science Director, originally appeared in the December 2013 issue of Canadian Cattlemen magazine and is reprinted with permission.

Last month’s column discussed a Beef Science Cluster study conducted by Dr. Colin Gill, Xianqin Yang, Madhu Badoni and Mohamed Youssef of AAFC’s Lacombe Research Station. These researchers found that both large and small packing plants can produce dressed beef carcasses with very few E. coli bacteria, even though they use very different food safety interventions and strategies. But E. coli-related recalls still happen occasionally. How does beef get contaminated when the carcasses carry so few E. coli? Two papers published by this research team (Journal of Food Protection 75:144-149 and Food Control 31:166-171) help explain how this can happen.

What They Did: This research was done in a large packing plant that Continue reading

Using new ideas and technology in the beef industry: video

Innovative ideas and technologies that can be used by beef producers are coming out all the time. Research is key to driving competitiveness so governments and industry groups make significant investments to continually find better and more efficient methods of producing high quality beef and cattle.

But to realize the benefits of those research efforts, producers and other industry players must be aware and take advantage of the new knowledge and tools that make sense for their operations. Extension and technology transfer services are critically important. Being informed and adopting innovation improves production efficiencies and beef demand, helping to make individual farms and the industry as a whole more profitable. Continue reading


Canada has a system in place to detect when beef cattle drugs (antibiotics, growth promotants and feed additives) have unintended harmful effects on cattle, or when drugs do not work as advertised.

All beef cattle drugs go through an extensive testing process before Health Canada’s Veterinary Drug Directorate (VDD) will license them for use in Canada. Among other things, this process involves Continue reading

Genetic selection for beef quality: new video

In the latest episode of the Beef Research School series, Bruce Holmquist talks about the role genetics play in the quality of beef carcasses. He explains the value of genetically enhanced expected progeny differences (GE-EPDs), what to be cautious of when selecting seedstock for carcass quality traits, and how Canadian beef quality can be further enhanced in the future with feedback through the Beef InfoXchange System (BIXS) and ongoing genomics research. Continue reading

Mentorship opportunities for beef researchers

Engaging researchers who study cattle, beef, genetics, feed or forage production with the Canadian beef cattle industry is mutually beneficial; it allows researchers to be better informed of industry needs and more likely to share their findings with a practical, solution-based focus. Facilitating and encouraging their attendance to industry events and networking with industry professionals, especially for new beef researchers from non-agriculture backgrounds, is extremely valuable. The following two programs offer just that. Continue reading