L-R: Dr. Francois Eudes, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (Lethbridge); Dr. Karen Beauchemin, Award Recipient; Dr. Tim McAllister, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (Lethbridge).

Lethbridge (Beef Cattle Research Council) – A leader in ruminant nutrition and the environmental sustainability of beef production has been awarded the 2020 Canadian Beef Industry Award for Outstanding Research and Innovation. Dr. Karen Beauchemin was honoured today during the 2020 Canadian Beef Industry Conference, which was held virtually this year.

Dr. Beauchemin is a Principal Research Scientist of Ruminant Nutrition at the Lethbridge Research and Development Centre with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. She is also an adjunct professor at the University of Saskatchewan, University of Alberta, and Utah State University. Dr. Beauchemin’s work focuses on developing nutritional knowledge and technologies for the beef and dairy industries to improve the efficiency of production and reduce environmental impact. She received her Master of Science with a Major in Agriculture from Université Laval with distinction in 1982 followed by a Ph.D. in Ruminant Nutrition with distinction from the University of Guelph in 1988.

Dr. Beauchemin has assisted producers, researchers, veterinarians, nutritionists, and policymakers across Canada with numerous research projects on ruminant nutrition, such as feed additives and diet formulations, and industry-relevant issues, such as the environmental sustainability of beef cattle production while improving animal performance. Dr. Beauchemin is recognized as an international authority in the area of methane research and ruminant nutrition. She has been asked to collaborate on research projects around the world and has been an invited speaker at numerous international conferences on these topics.

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One example of the impact she has had on the industry is her participation as the sole Canadian invited member of the National Research Council (NRC) Committee on Nutrient Requirements of Beef Cattle that produced the Nutrient Requirements of Beef Cattle, 8th Revised Edition (2013-16). This publication sets the standards for nutrient requirements and is widely considered the cornerstone of beef nutrition. It is universally used by nutritionists, veterinarians, and feed regulators such as the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. Her participation on the committee ensured the information, feed compositions, and recommendations were relevant to the Canadian beef industry.

“Dr. Karen Beauchemin is an internationally renowned researcher in the area of ruminant nutrition,” said Ryan Beierbach, Chair of the Beef Cattle Research Council (BCRC) and producer near Whitewood, SK. “She is actively engaged with producers and industry and her work is referenced frequently by nutritionists and those in the feed industry who work with producers.”

Throughout her career, Dr. Beauchemin has served on numerous international beef industry committees including the Global Research Alliance (GRA) on Greenhouse Gases and the European Research Council: Advanced Grant. She is also a member of the Science Advisory Committee for the Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef, which works to ensure that the Canadian beef industry remains competitive and sustainable.

“Dr. Beauchemin’s work on emissions is a major asset to Canadian beef producers,” added Matt Bowman, Vice-Chair of the BCRC, and a producer from Thornloe, Ontario. “Her work has not only led to a better understanding and quantification of greenhouse gas produced by cattle, but she continues to lead the way in researching new ways to reduce the overall impact.”

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As a researcher, teacher, and mentor, Dr. Beauchemin has published 390 peer-reviewed scientific papers, 29 authoritative reviews, 16 book chapters, and more than 850 technology transfer articles, abstracts, conference proceedings, and presentations. Dr. Beauchemin is an outstanding communicator, particularly in transferring technological findings to producers and industry professionals. Dr. Karen Beauchemin’s commitment to beef producers and bovine and environmental health is exceptionally evident in her efforts to provide information and advance the beef industry’s sustainability and productivity.

The Canadian Beef Industry Award for Outstanding Research and Innovation is presented annually by the BCRC on behalf of Canada’s beef industry stakeholders. The award recognizes scientists and academics that are actively involved in strong research programs aligned with industry priorities, continually engage with industry stakeholders, and demonstrate their passion and long-term commitment through leadership, teamwork, and mentorship. Nominations are accepted by the BCRC from industry stakeholders and must be accompanied by letters of support from industry stakeholders and scientific colleagues. The recipient is selected by a committee comprised of beef producers, industry experts and retired beef-related researchers located across the country. The award was established in 2015. See past recipients at http://www.beefresearch.ca/about/award.cfm.

Nominations for the 2021 award must be submitted to the BCRC by May 1, 2021.  Eligible nominations from previous years will be considered for the 2021 award, which will be presented at the Canadian Beef Industry Conference in August 2021.