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A Year in Review: Outcomes of Your Investments in Canadian Beef Research and Extension

BCRC 2020-2021 Year in Review Report

Where exactly are my Canadian Beef Cattle Check-Off funds allocated to research going? How have the circumstances of the past year impacted beef research and extension? What has the Beef Cattle Research Council (BCRC) been up to lately? Answers to these questions and more can be found in the BCRC’s new report.  

The 2020-2021 Year in Review provides a visual representation of the BCRC Results Report, which is submitted annually to the Canadian Beef Cattle Check-Off Agency. The new report offers a reader-friendly snapshot of the fiscal year’s activities and results 

“So much has happened during the past year – from the COVID-19 pandemic to the drought that impacted cattle producers across much of the country,” said BCRC Executive Director Andrea Brocklebank.  “While there has been much uncertainty in the industry in 2020-2021, Canada’s beef producers remain tenacious, researchers have proven to be innovative and the Beef Cattle Research Council is resolute to move forward as a leader in beef research and extension.”  

BCRC's proof of concept project spotlights for 2020-21

The 2020-2021 Year in Review spotlights a few of the key research and extension projects that were funded during the past year. There were 23 research and extension projects reporting activities between April 2020 and March 2021 through the current Beef Cattle Industry Science Cluster, as well as 25 priority research projects. While most results will be presented upon completion, the new report features a few of the preliminary findings. The BCRC also funded 14 short-term proof of concept projects to gather initial results to help determine the validity of full-scale research trials. A couple promising recent POC projects — high-protein legume and corn intercropping for beef cattle grazing and potential bioprotective agents to improve beef safety and shelf-life — are featured.   “I am intrigued by program outcomes and preliminary findings from the research projects underway in 2020-2021,” said Ontario beef cattle producer and BCRC Chair Matt Bowman. “Today’s research will help resolve tomorrow’s challenges, allowing the beef industry to remain sustainable and resilient.” 

In addition to funding research, the BCRC plays a leading role in increasing industry uptake of relevant innovations across a broad audience of producers, researchers, funders, government and other industry organizations. The report recaps some of the past year’s Knowledge and Technology Transfer activities and reveals BCRC’s most popular video of 2021.   

The BCRC’s 2020-2021 Year in Review also outlines new long-term research capacity through three university research chair positions, four surveillance network projects and updates from the Verified Beef Production Plus (VBP+) that the BCRC continues to fund and oversee.  

BCRC beef research funding by program area 2020-2021

The report provides a broad funding overview, outlining funding by source and program area. In the 2020-21 fiscal year, the BCRC received on average $0.67 of every $2.50 of the Canadian Beef Cattle Check-Off collected by the provincial beef cattle associations. The funding was leveraged under various programs to maximize producer returns on their Check-Off investments. Typically for every $1 in producer Check-Off invested, BCRC looks to leverage $2-$3 in other direct funding in addition to indirect leverage through in-kind and other funding.  Each section of the report highlights examples of how BCRC and its research partners are tackling industry priorities while generating the most value from every research dollar. 

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