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BCRC Announces $2 Million in Funding for 12 Beef Research Projects

Speckle Park cattle in pasture

Twelve research projects have been awarded a total of $2 million in funding by the Beef Cattle Research Council (BCRC) through the 2022/2023 annual call. Through these projects, the $2 million of industry funding will be leveraged with over $4 million in matching funding through government and industry partners.  

Craig Lehr
BCRC Chair Craig Lehr, Alberta

As an Alberta beef producer, including a backgrounding feedlot and cow-calf operation, BCRC Chair Craig Lehr sees first-hand how applied research improves the productivity and profitability of Canadian beef production.

“We are able to leverage producer dollars from the Canadian Beef Cattle Check-Off to support research that truly matters to the day-to-day management of our herds,” says Lehr. “This is important work. The BCRC not only funds the research but develops practical resources to support producers in making informed decisions to improve profitability, keep Canadian beef competitive and continue our ability to operate with a social license.”  

The investment in these projects will ensure that research is being done in areas that directly impact the Canadian Beef Industry and the priorities laid out in the Five-Year Canadian Beef Research and Technology Transfer Strategy.  

BCRC Vice Chair Ron Stevenson, Ontario

“Research matters. It moves the needle on best practices used across the industry, from animal health and productivity to nutrition, forage and grazing management, soil health, and the list goes on,” says Ron Stevenson, BCRC vice chair and Ontario cow-calf producer, who values industry-funded research not only as producer, but also through his experiences working in the veterinary industry.

“The investment in these projects will lead to outcomes that have an impact, providing tools for farmers and ranchers to continuously improve.”  

Projects funded under the 2022/2023 BCRC call include: 

  • The known unknowns – Pulling back the cover on macrolide resistance in feedlots. Project Lead: Dr. Ruzzini, University of Saskatchewan  
  • Does supplementing pregnant cows with protein during winter grazing improve calf health? Project Lead: Dr. Malmuthuge, Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada, Lethbridge 
  • Can genomic tests identify the infectious causes of reproductive losses better than traditional diagnostics? Project Lead: Dr. Huang, Prairie Diagnostic Services Inc. 
  • Boosting calf immunity with early-life management. Project Leads: Dr. Malmuthuge, Agriculture & Agri- Food Canada, Lethbridge and Dr. Erickson, University of Saskatchewan 
  • Turning lemons into lemonade and cattle hide into snacks. Project Leads: Dr. Bruce and Dr. Roy, University of Alberta
  • Cracking the code on early life management of crossbred dairy-beef calves. Project Lead: Dr. Steele, University of Guelph 
  • Can natural malate production in forages reduce methane emissions in grazing cattle? Project Lead: Dr. Block, Agriculture & Agri- Food Canada, Lacombe 
  • Burn baby burn – Can prescribed fire be a tool for pasture rejuvenation and improved soil health? Project Lead: Dr. Bainard, Agriculture & Agri- Food Canada, Agassiz 
  • Maximizing pasture’s grazing potential by sod-seeding alfalfa mixes. Project Lead: Dr. Lardner, University of Saskatchewan 
  • Testing new forage varieties to improve production and reduce our carbon hoofprint. Project Lead: Dr. Ribeiro, University of Saskatchewan 
  • Forage for climate action – Can grazing perennial forages improve environmental sustainability and animal health?  Project Lead: Dr. Poudel, Agriculture & Agri- Food Canada, Lethbridge 
  • Understanding rest-recovery and grazing management for native prairie to improve grassland and animal productivity. Project Lead: Dr. Kelln, University of Saskatchewan 

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. 

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