Calgary, AB – The Beef Cattle Research Council (BCRC) welcomed today’s announcement of $14 million in funding for the Sustainable Beef and Forage Science Cluster under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership AgriScience Program. Announced by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) Minister Lawrence MacAulay while attending the Calgary Stampede, the Science Cluster funding will support the sustainable advancement of Canadian beef and forage production and help position the industry as a leader in export and economic development.

Ryan Beierbach, BCRC Chair and Owner and Manager of High Plains Ranch Ltd. near Whitewood, SK, said the results from this Science Cluster will benefit farmers, ranchers, processors, retailers and consumers, as well as the broader Canadian population.

“The Sustainable Beef and Forage Science Cluster aims to grow beef exports and supply growing global beef demand by supporting research and technology transfer that advances Canadian beef and forage production while enhancing industry competitiveness and the public’s trust in responsible production of this high quality, nutrient-dense food.”

Canada’s beef industry will contribute more than $7.6 million to the Science Cluster, primarily through the research allocation of the Canadian Beef Cattle Check-Off, bringing the total investment to more than $21 million. The industry contribution includes a commitment of $1.5 million in in-kind contributions in the form of cattle, equipment, and materials.

BCRC Vice-Chair Matt Bowman, a producer from Thornloe, Ontario, said this Science Cluster builds on the success of the Beef Science Clusters under the Growing Forward and Growing Forward 2 frameworks.

“The BCRC has spent years preparing for this third Cluster through numerous consultations with experts and stakeholders across the country, as well as economic and practical analyses. The Cluster will help the Canadian beef industry realize its tremendous opportunity to increase production and exports while ensuring the maintenance of critical pasturelands that contribute to carbon sequestration, biodiversity, and wildlife habitat.”

Activities will be funded between April 1, 2018 – March 31, 2023 under five themes: beef quality and food safety; animal health, welfare, and antimicrobial use; feed production and efficiency; forage productivity and environmental sustainability; and knowledge and technology transfer. The activities will be carried out through collaborative arrangements between academia, government and industry.