An ultra-modern, sustainable livestock research centre will be replacing the University of Guelph’s 1960’s era beef station in a bid to make Ontario the epicenter of bovine research.
The opening of a $15.5-million Livestock Research and Innovation Centre (LRIC) in Elora, Ont. is still about 18 months but officials have high hopes for its role in growing the beef sector.
The project involves U of G, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA), the Agricultural Research Institute of Ontario (ARIO) and the Beef Farmers of Ontario (BFO).
The facility “will help grow the beef sector and ultimately provide our farmers with the tools they need to succeed,” said Jeff Leal, Ontario’s minister of agriculture, food, and rural affairs.
“This new facility will expand and elevate our hub for world-class bovine research in Ontario,” Malcolm Campbell, U of G’s vice-president for research said during a ceremony last Thursday.” “The state-of-the-art centre will be equipped with the latest leading-edge technologies, and powered by University of Guelph’s research excellence in agri-food.”
He also said the centre will help fuel innovations that enhance livestock health and welfare. It will house facilities for animal care and welfare, as well as for cow-calf, nutrition, genetics, forage, and feedlot research.
Training and education at the centre will address the needs of the beef industry in Ontario and Canada.
The new facility will complement the $25-million Livestock Research Innovation Centre – Dairy Facility that opened in Elora in 2015.
It will replace beef facilities at the Elora Research Station that were built in 1969.
The Ontario government, through ARIO, committed $12.4 million to the project, and the federal government and BFO contributed $3.1 million in total.
“This investment will make the beef industry even stronger and more competitive, supporting jobs and economic growth in Ontario and across Canada,” said Lawrence MacAulay, Canada’s minister of agriculture and agri-food.