Released on June 9, 2014
Today, Federal Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz and Saskatchewan Agriculture Minister Lyle Stewart announced two new research projects worth nearly $1 million that will benefit livestock producers in the province and across Canada. Governments will provide $200,000 toward the projects through the Agriculture Development Fund (ADF), and nearly $800,000 will be provided through industry investment.
“Strengthening the agriculture research capacity in Saskatchewan supports innovation for the long-term profitability and stability of producers,“ said Ritz. “Investment in these projects is a direct response to the needs identified by industry and will help producers remain a key contributor to the Canadian economy.”
“Our government is committed to investing in research that helps provide producers with the tools they need to be successful, and these projects are another example of that,” Stewart said. “Increasing efficiency though research has proven successful in the past and continued investment is required to meet our agriculture targets in the Saskatchewan Plan for Growth.”
The first project will perform an economic, social and environmental assessment of the Canadian beef industry. The study will help industry recognize and communicate areas of proficiency, set targets and outline beneficial management practices for areas of improvement, and help shape future research and policy. This project will be managed by the Canadian Cattleman’s Association (CCA).
The second project, managed by the Canadian Beef Breeds Council (CBBC), will focus on development of easy-to-use genomic selection tools for breed improvement. The project will work with individual breed associations to educate producers on using genomic tools to increase efficiencies in feed and production, minimize health costs, and increase carcass value. The long term goal of this project is to improve the understanding of genomics and increase the uptake by the Canadian beef industry.
“This assessment will enable the measurement of sustainability indicators and is a fundamental step in ensuring consumers have continued confidence in Canadian beef and in Canada as a global leader in sustainable beef production,” CCA President Dave Solverson said.
“The CBBC is excited to work with beef producers on the practical application of new scientific based innovations,” CBBC Executive Director Michael Latimer said. “Applying leading edge technology will allow the Canadian beef industry to remain both profitable and competitive globally. The generous support from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Saskatchewan Agriculture, and Alberta Livestock and Meat Agency Ltd. are essential to the success of this initiative.”
“I am proud to see the governments and industry investing in the livestock sector,” Saskatchewan Stock Growers President Harold Martens said. “Research funding creates new tools necessary for Saskatchewan producers to grow the industry.”
Funding for ADF projects is provided under Growing Forward 2, a federal-provincial initiative. For more information, visit the Saskatchewan Agriculture website at www.saskatchewan.ca/agriculture.
For more information, contact:
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Office of Gerry Ritz