Bree Kelln is the new Beef Industry Integrated Forage Management and Utilization Chair at the University of Saskatchewan.
(Photo: Janelle Wilson)
By Brett Makulowich, University of Saskatchewan
Bree Kelln has been selected as the new Beef Industry Integrated Forage Management and Utilization (IFMU) Chair for the University of Saskatchewan (USask).
Kelln will be the first person to hold the new research chair position that was created to address a gap in forage research. A 2012 assessment concluded lack of research and development investment in the Canadian forage industry meant advances in forage had not kept pace with developments in other crops. The beef and cattle industry are increasingly seeing forages as a high-value feed source that also provide significant environmental benefits.
“We’re delighted to welcome Bree Kelln into her new role at the University of Saskatchewan,” said Dr. Angela Bedard-Haughn (PhD), dean of the USask College of Agriculture and Bioresources. “She brings a wealth of knowledge from her previous experience with industry that involved agronomy, livestock, and extension.” Continue reading
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
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
Saskatoon, SK – With $2.35 million from the federal government and the Beef Cattle Research Council (BCRC), University of Saskatchewan (USask) veterinary researcher Dr. Cheryl Waldner will undertake a major five-year research program to advance beef cattle health and productivity, helping to sustain the profitability and competitiveness of Canada’s $17-billion-a-year beef industry.
USask veterinary researcher Dr. Cheryl Waldner is the new NSERC/BCRC Industrial Research Chair in One Health and Production-Limiting Diseases. Photo: Amanda Waldner
“This timely and cutting-edge research builds on our university’s strengths in agriculture and ‘One Health’ to help advance the livestock industry’s economic contributions to the country and ensure continued consumer confidence in the safety and quality of Canadian beef,” said USask President Peter Stoicheff in announcing the new chair Jan. 30.
The $750,000 award from the federal Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) is matched by $750,000 in producer check-off funding from the BCRC. USask is contributing $850,000. Continue reading
The Beef Cattle Research Council (BCRC) is Canada’s industry-led funding agency for beef, cattle and forage research. Our mandate is to
- determine and communicate the Canadian beef cattle industry’s research and development priorities, and
- administer the Canadian Beef Cattle Check-Off funds that have been assigned by producers to research
The BCRC invites and funds projects and initiatives that have the greatest potential to benefit the sustainability and competitiveness of Canada’s beef industry. The BCRC is led by a committee of beef producers who proportionally represent each province’s research allocation of the Canadian Beef Cattle Check-Off.
2018 has been a transition year for the Beef Cattle Research Council (BCRC) in terms of both funding and program administration. An increase in the Canadian Beef Cattle Check-Off from $1 to $2.50 per head in most provinces and revised allocations to research has grown the BCRC’s research budget from approximately 15 cents to Continue reading
The Beef Cattle Research Council (BCRC) invites proposals from leading research institutions for the establishment of Research Chairs. The deadline is October 1, 2018 at 11:59 PM MT.
Currently, a shortage of scientific experts and research capacity in some areas of beef, cattle and forage research are hindering the ability to conduct priority research that supports improvements in productivity and demand and responds to emerging issues. To fill these gaps, the BCRC is exploring options to establish Research Chairs in key areas with investment of Canadian Beef Cattle Check-Off funding in partnership with other funders.
To procure the strongest opportunities for capacity development and encourage matching investments, Research Chair concepts will be considered through an open call for proposals. The BCRC welcomes proposals that work towards the achievement of its three core research objectives: Continue reading
This article written by Dr. Reynold Bergen, BCRC Science Director, originally appeared in the December 2017 issue of Canadian Cattlemen magazine and is reprinted on the BCRC Blog with permission of the publisher.
Canada’s pasture and rangelands have drier, colder, and shorter growing seasons than many other beef producing areas in the world. The forage varieties that perform best in Canada are generally the ones that have been bred, selected and developed to germinate, grow, survive and thrive here. Forage varieties developed in foreign countries are sometimes marketed in Canada, but they weren’t developed under our climate and may not perform as well as home-grown varieties.
A total of 144 new perennial forage cultivars (grasses and legumes) were developed in Canada and registered between 1932 and 2017. Although private or not-for-profit companies often sell these seeds, these companies rarely did the actual breeding and development work. Nearly all (98%) of these 144 cultivars were developed by public (government and university) breeding programs. It is critically important that universities and governments continue these breeding programs, because when a program stops it takes years to rebuild its momentum.
Here are a few examples. Continue reading
The Beef Cattle Research Council (BCRC) is pleased to announce the participants in the 2016-17 Beef Researcher Mentorship program. Following an open application process, four researchers have been selected. Each has been paired with notable leaders in the Canadian beef industry and given a travel budget for the coming year, which will provide valuable opportunities for greater engagement with Canada’s beef industry.
Mentee: Dr. Getahun Legesse Gizaw
Mentors: Charlie Christie and Brenna Grant
Getahun Legesse, Ph.D., is a Research Associate at the University of Manitoba. He is currently working on a collaborative project that aims to define the environmental footprint of Canadian beef. This involves collecting and analyzing of beef industry data to assess how the environmental impact of the beef industry has changed over the past thirty years. Earlier, he worked in the area of alternative forage-based systems for environmentally-sound and profitable production of beef in Canada.
Getahun received his Ph.D. in Animal Science (Livestock Production Systems analysis) from the University of Hohenheim in Stuttgart, Germany. His doctoral project examined the productive, reproductive and economic performance of small ruminants in two production systems and identified possible options for improvement.
Through the mentorship program, Getahun hopes to Continue reading
We are pleased to announce the participants in the 2015-16 Beef Researcher Mentorship program. Following an open application process, four researchers have been selected. Each has been paired with notable leaders in the Canadian beef industry and given a travel budget for the coming year, which will provide valuable opportunities for greater engagement with Canada’s beef industry. Continue reading
This article written by Andrea Brocklebank, BCRC Executive Director, originally appeared in the April 2015 issue of Saskatchewan Cattlemen’s Connection magazine and is reprinted on the BCRC Blog with permission of the publisher.
Producer check-offs and private investments are critical to maintaining strong research expertise, facilities, projects and technology transfer in Saskatchewan.
“Telling the future by looking at the past….is like driving a car by looking in the rear-view mirror” – Herb Bordy…but history helps illuminate the present. Shortly after Confederation, agriculture became a nation-building tool to settle the West and prevent U.S. expansion. Agriculture provided freight for Canada’s railroads, fed the urban population, and supplied millers, processors and exporters. Canada’s Experimental Farms Stations Act of 1886 supported productivity-boosting research and provided even more freight, food, and economic spin-offs.
Canada’s farm population declined as technology and mechanization reduced the need for farm labour, and more people moved into other jobs in Canada’s expanding economy. When Canada’s first agricultural census was completed in 1931, 31.7% of Canada’s population Continue reading