Latest Posts

Stay up to date with the latest news, updates and information from the Beef Cattle Research Council.

BCRC Funds Proof of Concept and Technology Transfer Projects to Propel Canadian Beef Industry Forward

Six proof of concept (POC) research projects and 13 knowledge technology transfer (KTT) activities received funding from the Beef Cattle Research Council (BCRC) through the 2023 annual calls. These initiatives are expected to deliver key insights to progress the industry and empower beef producers with knowledge.  

Beef Cattle Research Council Chair Craig Lehr
BCRC Chair Craig Lehr, Alberta

Craig Lehr, BCRC chair and an Alberta beef producer with a backgrounding feedlot and cow-calf operation, values the importance of POC projects in advancing the Canadian beef industry. 

“We are able to use a relatively small portion of Canadian Beef Cattle Check-Off dollars to fund one-year projects that explore ideas, technologies and practices from other countries, industries or sectors that could add value to our beef industry,” says Lehr. “These small investments tell us right away if an idea is promising or not, which means researchers can leverage the work done to receive more funding elsewhere, or we can get out of something that isn’t working without a huge financial cost.”  

An example of a recent POC project was led by Dr. Roopesh Syamaladevi at the University of Alberta who recognized the large opportunity chemical-free sanitizers have to reduce E. coli and biofilm contamination in beef processing plants. The initial POC investment showed promising results and led to a full-scale research project funded through the Beef Science Cluster IV.  

All projects funded by the BCRC address the priorities laid out in the Five-Year Canadian Beef Research and Technology Transfer Strategy.   

Photo from POC.09.19. Lab-scale LED treatment of E.coli and biofilm contaminated surfaces common at beef processing plants.
Photo from POC.09.19. Lab-scale LED treatment of E. coli and biofilm contaminated surfaces common at beef processing plants.
BCRC Vice Chair Ron Stevenson, Ontario beef producer
BCRC Vice Chair Ron Stevenson, Ontario

Through a new pilot initiative, the BCRC opened a call for proposals in 2023 to support regional extension activities with preference given to new and innovative engagement ideas.  

“Research matters, but it means nothing unless it reaches the people who can actually use it,” says Ron Stevenson, BCRC vice chair and Ontario cow-calf producer. “It is an important initiative to get science off the shelf and into the hands of Canadian producers.”

Jacy McInnis carcass ultrasound demo at Beef Day @ Dal
Jacy McInnis presents a carcass ultrasound demonstration at the inaugural Beef Day @ Dal at the Atlantic Stockyards, which was funded in part by the BCRC.

KTT activities funded through the pilot began in fall 2023 and will wrap up in summer 2024. The inaugural Beef Day @ Dal hosted by the Maritime Beef Council is one example.

The full-day event included research summaries from local universities, a live carcass ultrasound demonstration and the first screening in Eastern Canada of the short documentary “Reduce, Reuse, Ruminate”. 

Projects funded under the 2023 POC call include:

black cattle in a feedlot with steamy breath
  • Faster, cheaper, more accurate detection of Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC). Project lead: Dr. Kim Stanford, University of Lethbridge 
  • Learning from the past: What can the genome of beef feedlot environments tell us about antimicrobial resistance? Project lead: Dr. Anthony Ruzzini, University of Saskatchewan  
  • Refining and improving Bovine Respiratory Syncytial Virus (BRSV) testing. Project lead: Dr. Yangyun Huang, University of Saskatchewan  
  • A better vaccine for bovine TB. Project lead: Dr. Jeffery Chen, University of Saskatchewan  
  • Identifying the rumen bacteria that improve beef production and carcass quality. Project lead: Dr. Anthony Ruzzini, University of Saskatchewan  
  • Not the usual suspects – understanding the bacterial populations of septic arthritis cases in feedlot cattle. Project lead: Dr. Andrew Cameron, University of Regina  

Activities funded by the 2023 KTT funding pilot include:  

  • Livestock Water Management Series. Project lead: Alyssa Krawchuck, Lakeland Agricultural Research Association
    • Part one: Water and Livestock Health, January 31, 2024
    • Summer Water Systems Field Tour, August 1, 2024
  • Feeding and managing cattle through drought (nutrition, feed testing, water quality, vaccine use, disease prevention). February 1, 2024, in Elrose, SK. Project lead: Dr. Charlotte Williams, Hooves and Paws Vet Services
  • Designer Cows for Your Ranch – Extension Event. March 1-2, 2024, in Olds, AB. Project lead: Tatyana Irodenko, Grey Wooded Forage Association
  • Ladies Cow Boss Clinic. March 6, 2024, in Special Area 2, AB. Project lead: Jesse Williams, Special Areas Board
  • Who Darted? A Seminar on Remote Drug Delivery Best Practices. June 4, 2024. Project lead: Dr. Elizabeth Homerosky, Veterinary Agri-Health Services. Register here.
  • Peer Groups – A Pilot. Project Lead: Kathy Larson, University of Saskatchewan 
  • Improving Nutrition and Grassland Management Through the Education of Future Beef Cattle Veterinarians. Project lead: Dr. Tommy Ware, Veterinary Agri-Health Services
  • Making Science Accessible: Turning 10+ years of calf health and welfare research into producer-friendly videos. Project lead: Dr. Claire Windeyer, University of Calgary Faculty of Veterinary Medicine 
  • CowBytes Training and Nutrition Workshops. Project lead: Pamela Iwachysko, Manitoba Agriculture, held multiple dates in November 2023.
  • CARA Cattlemen and Grazing Club Events. Held November 28, 2023, in Oyen, AB. Project lead: Karin Roen, Chinook Applied Research Association  
  • Extensive wintering management workshop including non-traditional feeds. Held December 5, 2023, in Weyburn, SK. Project lead: McKenzie Paget, Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture  
  • Beef Day @ Dal. Held November 25, 2023, in Bible Hill, NS. Project lead: Amy Higgins, Maritime Beef Council 
  • Ranchers University. Held December 1, 2023, in Moosomin, SK. Project lead: Alexis DeCorby, Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture

The 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. A division of the Canadian Cattle Association, the BCRC is directed by a committee of 15 beef producers from across the country. The BCRC is funded in part through a portion of the Canadian Beef Cattle Check-Off which is then leveraged with government and industry partner funding.  

Sharing or reprinting BCRC blog posts is welcome and encouraged. Please credit the Beef Council Research Council, provide the website address,, and let us know you have chosen to share the article by emailing us at

Your questions, comments and suggestions are welcome. Contact us directly or spark a public discussion by posting your thoughts below.


Curt GeschJanuary 25, 2024

Two things:
1. Although I sometimes listen to podcasts, I am happy that so many reports are available in written form.
2. What does "leveraged" mean in this sentence: "The BCRC is funded in part through a portion of the Canadian Beef Cattle Check-Off which is then leveraged with government and industry partner funding. "

Thanks for your continued work.
Curt Gesch
Eskerhazy Farm
Quick, B.C.


Leave a CommentReply



ReynoldJanuary 31, 2024

Thanks for asking, Curt! If you're asking, there are probably a hundred other check-off paying readers scratching their heads as well.

Sorry for the confusion. When we say "leveraged" we simply mean "matched".

We're matching producer check-off dollars with one or more dollars from somewhere else (usually government funds, sometimes private companies or provincial association funds).

So if we match (leverage) $1 in producer checkoff with $1 from government, that gives us $2 to fund research. That means we're making your producer dollar go twice as far as it would if we were funding a project completely using check-off dollars.

Even better if we can match (leverage) each producer dollar against 2 or 3 government dollars... then we can fund 3 or 4 times as much research.

Does THAT make more sense?

Thanks for asking!



Leave a CommentReply


Leave a CommentReply