Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

March 23, 2010 16:12 ET

Government of Canada Invests in Beef Research

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - March 23, 2010) - The Government of Canada is investing in research and innovation that will help beef producers remain on the cutting edge. Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz announced today that the Canadian Cattlemen's Association (CCA) will receive more than $6 million to lead a research cluster of industry experts, scientists and universities.

"Canadian livestock producers are the best in the world and this important investment will make sure new breakthroughs in beef research are Canadian breakthroughs that make the farm gate more profitable," said Minister Ritz. "Our producers are always finding new ways to run their operations more efficiently and we're proud to work with them to make sure our Canadian industry can tap new market opportunities making them more productive and more competitive."

The Beef Cluster will pull together the scientific expertise for research that will help Canada's beef and cattle industry address challenges the sector has faced in recent years. Research will focus on key priorities the sector has identified: reducing production costs, increasing feed efficiency and decreasing the impact of animal health issues. The Cluster will also work to increase demand for Canadian beef, both in Canada and around the world. Industry partnership is an important element of this initiative and this investment will support the CCA's contribution of nearly $1.2 million. Provincial government partners will also contribute nearly $464,000.

"The Canadian beef and cattle industry is pleased to be working with the Government of Canada to advance the competitiveness and sustainability of our industry," said Brad Wildeman, President of the Canadian Cattlemen's Association. "The Beef Cluster initiative will appropriately target and invest industry and government resources in areas that will help address current competitiveness challenges as well as explore potential new opportunities."

The beef industry is important to the Canadian economy, contributing nearly $25 billion annually and is the largest source of farm cash receipts. Canada is the fourth-largest cattle and beef exporter in the world, representing 11 per cent of global exports in 2008.

Funding for the Cluster comes from the Agri-Innovations program, a $158 million five-year program announced last May to support industry-led science and technology projects. Today's announcement follows similar investments for the dairy, canola and flax industries.

In addition, Canada's Economic Action Plan supports agriculture as a core economic driver in this country. The Government of Canada is focused on strengthening the economy and creating jobs for the future. These investments will help boost the economy and build an even stronger beef sector for Canadian farmers.

Contact Information

  • Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
    Ottawa, Ontario
    Media Relations
    The Office of the Honourable Gerry Ritz
    Meagan Murdoch
    Press Secretary