The Livestock & Forage Centre of Excellence. University of Saskatchewan
The Livestock & Forage Centre of Excellence.

A&W Canada invests in beef, forage research

Donation to University of Saskatchewan marks collaboration among government, university and industry.

A&W has made a substantial investment in the Canadian beef industry with a $5 million (Canadian) donation to the University of Saskatchewan’s Livestock & Forage Centre of Excellence (LFCE).

The unique center will foster innovative research, training and outreach to meet the needs of both livestock producers and consumers in Canada while also helping to sustainably produce food for a growing world population.

The donation will be used to: fund the construction of the Livestock & Food Building at the LFCE site near Clavet, Sask. ($3 million), create a community outreach and engagement program ($1 million) and establish a visiting fellowship in One Health research ($1 million). The new building will be completed in the spring of 2018.

“A&W is deeply committed to the Canadian beef and forage industry,” said Jefferson Mooney, chairman emeritus, A&W. “Our investment is an investment in the future of Canadian food and best practices to make that food.”

“A&W, the University of Saskatchewan and Canadian ranchers all believe in good food, farmed with care. Together, we are forging continued advancement and innovation for healthy, sustainable growth,” A&W chief operating officer Susan Senecal said. “We are united in a passion for great beef.”

The new Livestock & Food Building will be the heart of livestock operations at LFCE and a major location for research and teaching activities. It will also act as a hub for the community outreach program, which will offer presentations and seminars for both industry representatives and consumers.

University of Saskatchewan president Peter Stoicheff said support from strategic partners has been essential in making LFCE a reality.

“The LFCE project epitomizes the university’s One Health initiative, bridging the gaps between human, animal and ecosystem health. This could not be accomplished without a strong network of collaborators, whose support will help position LFCE as a global leader in beef cattle and forage research and innovation and provide science-based solutions to real-world challenges,” Stoicheff said.

Other significant capital contributions to date include $10 million from the federal and provincial governments through the Growing Forward 2 program, $4.47 million from the government of Canada’s Western Economic Diversification Canada, $10 million from the University of Saskatchewan and $1 million from the Saskatchewan Cattlemen’s Assn.

“Saskatchewan ranchers are leaders in land and livestock health and management practices. With government and industry collaboration, we are able to accomplish even more,” Saskatchewan Cattlemen's Assn. chief executive officer Ryder Lee said. “We are thrilled to help the university expand and improve its research capacity to find real world solutions to issues facing the livestock industry.”

Mary Buhr, dean of the University of Saskatchewan College of Agriculture & Bioresources, said this strategic relationship will add another dimension to the university’s One Health initiative and research that focuses on the link among beef production practices, environmental well-being and human health and nutrition.

“LFCE will take a holistic approach to understanding the relationship between human health, animal health and our environment,” Buhr said. “A&W’s extraordinary support is a demonstration of the power of teamwork to significantly improve the impact of innovative research and outreach on the livestock and forage industries.”

Two new facilities for LFCE are expected to be completed in the spring of 2018 and will complement current livestock and forage research sites. They are designed for research and teaching and outreach in forage, cow/calf and beef cattle production. LFCE will unite livestock and forage field laboratories and science labs in a collaborative center with a total cost of $36 million.

A&W Food Services of Canada Inc. is a Canadian fast-food restaurant chain that originally was part of the U.S.-based A&W Restaurants chain but no longer has any corporate connection to A&W operations outside of Canada.

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