The University of Guelph announced that its new Ontario Beef Research Center opened Aug. 28 in Elora, Ont., making it the "most sophisticated sustainable livestock production research center in Canada."
“The University of Guelph is committed to working with government and industry partners to advance the competitiveness, resilience and sustainability of Ontario’s beef sector through world-class research and innovation,” Malcolm Campbell, University of Guelph vice president (research), said. “This state-of-the-art facility will open new frontiers for agricultural research and elevate livestock farming to even greater heights.”
The creation of the $15.5 million center involved the University of Guelph, the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food & Rural Affairs (OMAFRA), the Agricultural Research Institute of Ontario (ARIO) and Beef Farmers of Ontario. Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada also provided a contribution in support of research in the new facility.
“Our government is investing in beef research to help discover the latest technologies and information and share them with farmers so they can adopt new practices to stay competitive,” Ontario minister of agriculture, food and rural affairs Ernie Hardeman said. “When Ontario farmers adopt the latest science-based practices, they become more profitable, efficient and sustainable.”
ARIO chair Lorne Hepworth added, “We are proud to work with partners to modernize livestock research infrastructure in Elora to enhance the competitiveness, prosperity and sustainability of Ontario’s agricultural and food sectors and rural communities.”
The University of Guelph will operate the facility under its partnership with OMAFRA. The new center supports research in animal reproduction, nutrition and welfare as well as meat quality and safety, leading to improved animal and production practices, according to the announcement.
According to the university, the center includes two 5,530 sq. m research barns housing leading-edge facilities for animal care and welfare studies as well as for cow/calf, nutrition, genetic, forage and feedlot research. It will house around 750 cattle, which is double the current livestock capacity. Feed will be produced on 200 acres around the center. Training and education will address the needs of the beef industry in Ontario and Canada.
The new facility will complement the adjacent Ontario Dairy Research Center that opened in 2015 and the soon-to-be constructed Ontario Swine Research Center at the Elora Research Station.