Gabriel Ribeiro, the new Saskatchewan beef industry chair at the University of Saskatchewan (USask), will be developing nutritional strategies to improve health, performance and profitability while lessening the environmental impact of beef cattle production.
The chair will help identify technologies and nutritional and management practices to improve the sustainability and productivity of forage-based and feedlot beef cattle production systems, USask said.
“My goal as the Saskatchewan beef industry chair is to train high-quality students and conduct research and extension that answer to the needs of the Canadian beef industry,” Ribeiro said. “I want to help Canadians produce beef more efficiently and sustainably to meet the needs of the growing world population.”
Ribeiro’s research interests include optimizing grain and forage processing technologies, consequently improving rumen health, feed efficiency and beef cattle productivity, USask said. Other areas of interest are the development of nutritional strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in beef cattle and alternatives to the use of antibiotics as growth promoters.
His research experience includes rumen in vitro fermentation systems, beef cattle metabolism and feedlot nutritional studies.
“I have also conducted studies focused on forage and grain processing, development of fibrolytic enzymes and strategies to mitigate enteric methane emissions to promote sustainable beef production,” Ribeiro added.
Currently, Ribeiro is working with two graduate students in the USask department of animal and poultry science. One project is examining strategies to enhance the use of wheat grain in feedlot diets. The other project aims to understand how to improve the rumen metabolism of ergot alkaloids and better define maximum limits for cereal ergot alkaloids in the diets of feeder cattle from production, health and welfare perspectives.
“It is great to have Gabriel Ribeiro in the beef industry chair,” said Mary Buhr, dean of USask’s College of Agriculture & Bioresources. “He brings new ways of thinking about our industries’ concerns, exciting the next generations to create local approaches to meet global needs.”
Ribeiro obtained his veterinary medicine degree as well as master's and doctoral degrees in animal science from the Federal University of Minas Gerais in Brazil. After completing his doctorate, he worked as a post-doctoral fellow at the Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada Lethbridge Research & Development Centre.
Prior to becoming the Saskatchewan beef industry chair, Ribeiro was an assistant professor with the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Calgary in Alberta.
“Saskatchewan cattle producers value research and extension that comes from the University of Saskatchewan,” Saskatchewan Cattlemen’s Assn. chair Rick Toney said. “Ribeiro has big shoes to fill in taking on this role. The Saskatchewan Cattlemen’s Assn. is glad to see this position being filled as John McKinnon retires.
Toney added that the organization “looks forward to continuing working together with the beef industry chair as Ribeiro steps in and continues the work to address challenges and opportunities producers face both today and tomorrow.”