New Research Chair at USask will help maximize environmental, economic benefits of forage crops

SASKATOON – A new Beef Industry Integrated Forage Management and Utilization Chair will be established at the University of Saskatchewan (USask) to connect the study of soils, plants, animals, economics, and ecosystems to tap into forage crops’ full range of benefits.


The new Beef Industry Integrated Forage Management and Utilization Chair will connect the study of soils, plants, animals, economics, and ecosystems. (Photo: Cassidy Sim).

“The Chair will help to address concerns raised for a number of years by producers searching for expanded forage management information,” said Matt Bowman, chair of the Beef Cattle Research Council (BCRC) and a producer from Thornloe, Ont. “We need the science in order to better manage complex forage systems, implement effective utilization strategies, and understand the associated environmental benefits created through the dynamic soil-plant-animal interface.”

Funding for the research chair will be provided from a variety of sources. Industry contributions include $2.5 million from the Beef Cattle Research Council (BCRC) and $1 million from the Saskatchewan Cattlemen’s Association (SCA). The governments of Canada and Saskatchewan will provide $750,000 through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership. The Global Institute for Food Security (GIFS) at USask will contribute $320,000. Continue reading

Meet the Council: Unique marketing opportunities bring more profit to these producers.

The Beef Cattle Research Council (BCRC) is made up of producer members from across Canada, appointed by each of the provincial beef organizations that allocate part of the Canadian Beef Cattle Check-Off to research. The number of members from each province is proportional to the amount of provincial check-off allocated to research.

The following is part four in a series to introduce you to this group of innovative thinkers that set BCRC’s direction by sharing practices, strategies, or technologies that they have integrated into their own operations. Read part onepart two, and part three of this series. Regardless of what Canadian region beef producers are from, creative marketing strategies can help farmers profit as much as possible when they sell their cattle.

Working With Neighbours to Market Cattle

Ron Stevenson – Ontario

Ron and his family operate a 100 head commercial cow-calf operation in Walton, Ontario. Being located in the Great Lakes basin, rainfall is abundant in their area which is both a challenge and a benefit. Excess mud can cause animal health issues, especially in the springtime, but on the other hand, the Stevensons only need about 1.5-2 acres to support a cow-calf pair. Continue reading

New research chair will collaborate with beef producers to bring research into practice

As the BCRC-Hays Chair in Beef Production Systems, Gleise M. Silva will play a key role in building a more sustainable and competitive industry.

 

Funded by the Beef Cattle Research Council, the Hays family and other partners, the University of Alberta has hired Gleise M. Silva as the new Chair in Beef Production Systems. Silva will collaborate with beef producers, translating research into practical solutions to create a more sustainable and competitive beef industry.

Gleise M. Silva grew up in Recife, Brazil—a city perched on the turquoise edge of the Atlantic, home to lush forests, stunning beaches and 17th-century architecture. And yet, while living and studying in the “Brazilian Venice,” Silva found herself overwhelmingly drawn towards a subject she would never encounter in her hometown.

“I was 100 per cent sure I wanted to work with beef cattle. I was amazed by the animals—by the physiology,” said Silva, who started working with cattle when she travelled to the University of Florida for an undergraduate internship.

She went on to complete her PhD at UF’s North Florida Research and Education Center, specializing in beef cattle nutrition. Now, Silva’s planning her move to the prairies, becoming the University of Alberta’s first BCRC – Hays Chair in Beef Production Systems.

In her role as chair, Silva will work with beef producers, translating her and her colleagues’ research on cow-calf production into practical advice. Her work will help producers save money, maintain forage lands and advance the Canadian beef industry’s leadership in sustainable production. The position, beginning July 1, is funded by the Beef Cattle Research Council (BCRC) and the Hays family, with additional support from McDonald’s Restaurants of Canada and Cargill. Continue reading

Reminder: Mentorship Program Applications due May 1st!

Applications for the 2021-22 term of the BCRC Beef Researcher Mentorship Program are now being accepted.  The deadline to apply is May 1, 2021.


The 2020/2021 mentees participated in a virtual event with the Cattlemen’s Young Leaders Program.

Six researchers were selected to participate in the program this past year. Each was paired with two mentors – an innovative producer and another industry expert which will provide valuable opportunities for greater engagement with Canada’s beef industry. 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
  • When possible, 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 studies are of value to the beef industry, such as cattle health and welfare, beef quality, food safety, genetics, feed efficiency, or forages. A new group of participants will begin their mentorships on September 1st.

The Beef Researcher Mentorship Program launched in August 2014 to facilitate greater engagement of upcoming and new applied researchers with Canada’s beef industry.

Learn more about the program and **download an application form at: http://www.beefresearch.ca/about/mentorship-program.cfm**

Continue reading

Attn Researchers – RDAR Launches Call For Proposals

Results Driven Agriculture Research (RDAR) has announced its Call for Proposals.

The first submission deadline is March 18, 2021. Final funding decisions are expected in late April 2021.

The objective of the call for proposals is to increase the level of research in the targeted areas and to accelerate outcomes advancing profitability, competitiveness, sustainability and food safety of agricultural products in Alberta. Continue reading

Applications Open For The Beef Researcher Mentorship Program

Applications for the 2021-22 term of the BCRC Beef Researcher Mentorship Program are now being accepted.  The deadline to apply is May 1, 2021.


The 2020/2021 mentees participated in a virtual event with the Cattlemen’s Young Leaders Program.

Six researchers were selected to participate in the program this past year. Each was paired with two mentors – an innovative producer and another industry expert. 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 studies are of value to the beef industry, such as cattle health and welfare, beef quality, food safety, genetics, feed efficiency, or forages. A new group of participants will begin their mentorships on September 1st.

The Beef Researcher Mentorship Program launched in August 2014 to facilitate greater engagement of upcoming and new applied researchers with Canada’s beef industry.

Learn more about the program and **download an application form at: http://www.beefresearch.ca/about/mentorship-program.cfm**

Continue reading

Nominations For Canadian Beef Industry Award For Outstanding Research And Innovation Due May 1st



The Canadian Beef Industry Award for Outstanding Research and Innovation is presented by the Beef Cattle Research Council (BCRC) each year to recognize a researcher or scientist whose work has contributed to advancements in the competitiveness and sustainability of the Canadian beef industry.

Nominations are welcome from all stakeholders of the Canadian beef industry and will be reviewed by a selection committee comprised of beef producers, industry experts and retired beef-related researchers located across the country.

Nominations will be kept on file and re-considered for up to two additional years. In such cases, the nominator will be contacted each year and given the opportunity to revise the nomination.

To be eligible, nominees must be Canadian citizens or landed immigrants actively involved in research of benefit to the Canadian beef industry within the past 5 years. Benefit to the industry must be evident in a strong research program aligned with industry priorities, a demonstrated passion and long-term commitment through leadership, teamwork, and mentorship, involvement in ongoing education and training (where applicable), and active engagement with industry stakeholders.

Nominations for the 2021 award will be accepted until May 1, 2021.

The 2021 award will be presented at the Canadian Beef Industry Conference in August.

Past recipients of the Canadian Beef Industry Award for Outstanding Research and Innovation are:

Learn more and find the nomination form at http://www.beefresearch.ca/about/award.cfm

Continue reading

Attn Researchers: The Saskatchewan Agriculture Development Fund is now accepting letters of intent

The Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture is now accepting Letters of Intent (LOI’s) for research funding under the Agriculture Development Fund (ADF).

The Agriculture Development Fund (ADF) was created to fund research to help farmers and ranchers become successful. The core of ADF provides funding for basic and applied agriculture research projects in crops, livestock, forages, processing, soils, environment, horticulture, and alternative crops. It provides project funding of $15 million per year on a competitive basis to researchers in public and private research and development organizations, selected on the basis of their research’s potential to create growth opportunities or enhance the competitiveness of the provincial agriculture industry.

Letters of Intent will be accepted until April 15, 2021. Continue reading

We have questions. You have the answers.

This article written by Dr. Reynold Bergen, BCRC Science Director, originally appeared in the February 2021 issue of Canadian Cattlemen magazine and is reprinted on the BCRC Blog with permission of the publisher.

This column usually tells you about a research project that the Beef Cattle Research
Council (BCRC) has supported using Canadian Beef Cattle Check- Off funds paid by
producers like yourself. Sometimes you may ask yourself “why on earth did they fund
that?” ,“why don’t they do research on this?” or “do they ask producers what they
need?” Well, read on. Here’s your chance to tell us what you need.

The 13 cattle producers from across Canada who sit on the council aren’t the only ones
who decide how checkoff research funds are allocated. You fund us, so we’re asking you what you want Canada’s forage, cattle and beef researchers to work on over the next five years.

It’s easy to provide a general answer to this question — most of us would likely identify
long-term profitability, environmental sustainability, and public and consumer
confidence as important challenges facing Canada’s beef industry. But what are the
specific long-term profitability, environmental sustainability, and public and consumer
confidence challenges you face? It depends on who you are, where you are and what
sector of the industry you operate in. Continue reading

News Release: Canadian Beef Producers Make $2.9 Million Investment in Research and Technology Transfer

Calgary, AB – More than $2.9 million dollars will be invested by beef producers into new research and technology transfer projects in 2021 through the Canadian Beef Cattle Check-Off.  Proposals for twenty-nine more projects have been approved for funding by the Beef Cattle Research Council (BCRC) to advance Canada’s beef sector.

Matt Bowman, BCRC Chair and a producer from Thornloe, Ontario, said the new projects add to the Council’s portfolio of research investments.

“We are supporting more work focused on achieving specific priority outcomes in the Canadian Beef Research and Technology Transfer Strategy related to animal health and welfare, feed production and utilization, food safety and environmental stewardship,” said Bowman. “For example, new studies to quantify soil carbon sequestration through different grazing and intercropping systems, and others looking into causes and prevention of issues like scours and itchy cattle.”

BCRC Vice-Chair Craig Lehr, a producer from Medicine Hat, Alberta, said knowledge translation and technology transfer is also a priority for the Council.

“As provincial governments continue to cut valuable extension services, we do what we can to help fill the gaps,” he said. “The BCRC doesn’t have the capacity to provide the needed one-on-one consultation for beef producers, but we can support or lead projects that make meaningful science-based information freely available on beefresearch.ca in numerous formats that are helpful in making informed decisions.”

Newly funded technology transfer projects include an expansion of the Forage U-Pick tool to include Eastern Canada, and creation of additional resources on beefresearch.ca applicable to producers in Ontario, Quebec and the Atlantic provinces. Another project will collaborate with practicing veterinarians across Canada to develop decision making tools for their beef clients that help improve herd health and profitability. There is no cost to subscribe to be notified by email of new research results or seasonal, science-based production information and decision-making tools.

The recent increase in Canadian Beef Cattle Check-Off in most provinces enabled annual competitive calls for proposals for research and technology transfer projects to address critically underfunded priorities. The increase also resulted in the launch of a new BCRC program that funds short-term proof of concept and validation trials. Researchers are required to procure matching funds that leverage BCRC funding on a 1:2 or higher basis. Industry investment through check-off sends a clear message to governments about priorities and helps to procure investment by governments to multiply the impacts of producer dollars.

The BCRC is Canada’s industry-led funding agency for beef, cattle and forage research. It is funded through a portion of the Canadian Beef Cattle Check-Off as well as government and industry funding and is directed by a committee of beef producers from across the country. This announcement adds to the 86 projects co-funded by the BCRC that are currently underway at 30 Canadian institutions.

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For further information, contact:

Tracy Herbert

Extension and Communications Director

Beef Cattle Research Council

C: 306-850-5026 | herbertt@beefresearch.ca