Ontario will soon be home to a sophisticated, sustainable livestock production research center, thanks to a new facility planned by the University of Guelph in Ontario and the provincial and federal governments.
The new $15.5 million Livestock Research & Innovation Centre (LRIC)-Beef Facility is set to open in about 18 months in Elora, Ont. The project involves the University of Guelph, Agriculture & Agri-food Canada, the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food & Rural Affairs (OMAFRA), the Agricultural Research Institute of Ontario (ARIO) and Beef Farmers of Ontario.
The university will operate the facility under its partnership with OMAFRA.
“This new facility will expand and elevate our hub for world-class bovine research in Ontario,” University of Guelph vice president (research) Malcolm Campbell said during a ceremony. “The state-of-the-art center will be equipped with the latest leading-edge technologies and powered by University of Guelph’s research excellence in agri-food. It is an exceptional example of the potency of university/government/industry collaboration.”
Campbell added that the center will drive fundamental research to help fuel innovations that enhance livestock health and welfare and strengthen Canada’s economy.
The integrated and multidisciplinary center will bring together scientists, students and stakeholders to study animal production and environmental and energy issues. It will house leading-edge facilities for animal care and welfare, as well as for cow/calf, nutrition, genetics, forage and feedlot research.
Training and education at the center will address the needs of the beef industry in Ontario and Canada.
The new LRIC-Beef Facility will replace beef facilities at the Elora Research Station that were built in 1969 and will complement the $25 million LRIC-Dairy Facility that opened in Elora in 2015.
The Ontario government, through ARIO, committed $12.4 million to the project, and the federal government and Beef Farmers of Ontario contributed $3.1 million in total.
“The federal government is proud to partner with the province of Ontario to support research at a state-of-the-art beef research center serving all of eastern Canada,” Lawrence MacAulay, Canada’s minister of agriculture and agri-food, said. “This investment will make the beef industry even stronger and more competitive, supporting jobs and economic growth in Ontario and across Canada.”