The University of Saskatchewan announced May 16 details of a 10-year, $250,000 investment from Merck Animal Health for its Livestock & Forage Center of Excellence (LFCE).
According to the university, the long-term investment will support LFCE’s capital build project and underlines Merck Animal Health’s commitment to the beef cattle industry and research in Canada.
“We have a long-standing relationship with the university that includes liaison and support to clinicians and researchers, collaboration in research projects and support for veterinary and graduate students, and this sponsorship further cements our commitment,” Merck Animal Health general manager Daniel Beauchamp said. “Through this support of LFCE, we ensure that we continue to build upon this strong relationship in supporting students, researchers and, ultimately, the beef cattle industry and advancing our company's mission, 'The Science of Healthier Animals'.”
Beauchamp was on hand to give details about the investment, which will give a $25,000 injection to the LFCE project annually over 10 years, starting in December 2019, the university said. The Merck Animal Health Business & Teaching Room will be the central meeting place at LFCE. In the first four months of 2019, more than 200 livestock and forage producers, university students and industry partners met in this area for presentations and hands-on training sessions.
Merck is among several organizations in the agribusiness sector that have committed funding to the $38 million project, including the governments of Canada and Saskatchewan, A&W Canada, the Saskatchewan Cattlemen’s Assn., Boehringer Ingelheim (Canada) Ltd., Farm Credit Canada and the University of Saskatchewan, among others.
LFCE includes a 1,500-head feedlot, a forage cow/calf facility, a livestock research unit, two cow herds and 27 quarters of land. It also features a true-to-life environment for raising livestock on the Canadian prairies. The focus of the center is on research, teaching and extension for cow/calf and beef cattle production, as well as forage production, grazing and pasture management, the University of Saskatchewan said.
Scientists are working to improve animal health, productivity and sustainable practices while bridging the gap between producers and consumers in their understanding of the global food chain.
“Merck Animal Health’s support of LFCE truly reflects the valuable partnership that has developed between this company and the University of Saskatchewan,” said Dr. Douglas Freeman, dean of the Western College of Veterinary Medicine. “Merck Animal Health’s 10-year investment backs LFCE’s vision of becoming a trusted source of innovative research and applicable knowledge for western Canada’s livestock sector as well as for students and scientists involved in animal health and production. We’re so grateful for the support."