The Gatepost: Agency Update

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


Agency Update

The Canadian Beef Cattle Research, Market Development and Promotion Agency (the Agency) was established to provide funding for market development, promotion and research of beef and beef products in Canada.

In 2014/15 the total national check-off dollars collected was approximately $7,664,602. Of this total, each province allocates a portion to Canada Beef, BCRC and in some cases to provincial activities related to research and marketing that have national benefit.

The collection of national check-off started in 1999 and in the last 17 years, a lot has changed in the beef industry. When factoring in annual inflation only, the purchasing power of the national levy has been reduced from $1.00 to $0.73.

Recently, the National Beef Strategy has been developed as a path to a dynamic and profitable Canadian cattle and beef industry.  To accomplish this there are four defined pillars and strategic goals within the strategy over the next five years:

  1. Beef Demand: to enhance beef demand and increase carcass cutout values by 15%.
  2. Competitiveness: to reduce production cost disadvantages compared to the industry’s main competitors by 7%.
  3. Productivity: to increase production efficiency by 15% by focusing on genetic selection, research and development, technology development and adoption and enhanced information flow.
  4. Connectivity: address industry synergies, connections with the consumer, and the public, government and industry partners by addressing industry issues.

To achieve these goals Continue reading

Attention researchers: OMAFRA Food Safety Research Program accepting LOIs

The Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) has announced the 2016-17 OMAFRA Food Safety Research Program Call for Letters of Intent. Submission deadline: Wednesday, June 29th, 2016 at 11:59 a.m. EST

For more details, visit the OMAFRA Food Safety Research program webpage:


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

Thank you for your interest! The survey is now closed.

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.

A 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?

Continue reading

Canadian Beef Industry Conference drives fresh energy

A brand new national event built for everyone involved in beef

Canadian Beef Industry Conference
Learning, 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