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BMO Bank of Montreal

December 14, 2011 15:00 ET

BMO Donation of $250,000 Supports Dairy Industry Research and Education in Canada

- UBC Dairy Education & Research Centre in B.C.'s Fraser Valley receives BMO Financial Group gift

- Research key to the sustainability and productivity of the Canadian dairy industry

- Agriculture sector to grow 2 per cent in 2012, 2 to 3 per cent in subsequent years

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Dec. 14, 2011) - BMO Financial Group officially presented their $250,000 donation to the UBC Dairy Education and Research Centre at their Advisory Council meeting today in Agassiz, B.C.

BMO's gift was honoured with a plaque in the new classroom space - the BMO Conference Room. The UBC Dairy Education and Research Centre is part of the University of British Columbia's Faculty of Land and Food Systems and is renowned for pioneering research that fosters sustainable food production along with animal health and welfare. The Centre hosts many international students and researchers, and offers frequent seminars for industry and the public.

"BMO's longstanding commitment to Canadian agriculture and this donation of $250,000 can help further the industry's efforts to advance education and productivity and sustain the high quality of expertise and production in Canada's dairy industry," said David Rinneard, National Manager of Agriculture for BMO Bank of Montreal. "Canada's dairy producers have a wonderful track record of producing high quality milk and making a significant contribution to Canada's economy."

"We are pleased to see BMO supporting research that helps the dairy industry grow," said Wally Smith, President of Dairy Farmers of Canada. "The UBC Dairy Education and Research Centre has helped dairy farmers improve on-farm practices over the years, but research in the dairy industry also contributes to the knowledge economy of Canada. We are proud to see BMO recognize this role."

Within British Columbia, the dairy industry represents 18.5 per cent of total farming cash receipts with approximately 525 farms producing more than 660 million litres of milk per year. In 2010, dairy farms in B.C. spent more than $400 million in their local economies. The multiplier factor translates conservatively into a $2.0 billion injection into the overall provincial economy.

"Since dairy farming is capital intensive it is an important industry in rural Canada, requiring products and services from a wide range of agri-businesses, professionals and retailers in neighbouring communities," says Dave Dieleman, Director, Agricultural Markets, British Columbia, BMO Bank of Montreal.

"We are pleased that BMO Financial Group chose to support the UBC Dairy Education and Research Centre," says the Centre Director, Dr. Jim Thompson. "We know that BMO's investment will assist us in our goal to develop and adapt new technologies for the dairy industry across Canada. Our state-of-the-art facility for dairy education and research also has a global outlook - taking the best sustainable practices to dairy producers everywhere."

Canada's agricultural sector is projected to expand at a rate near 2 per cent in 2012, and between 2 and 3 per cent in subsequent years, according to the Canadian Agricultural Prospects report by BMO Capital Markets Economics.

Canadian Dairy Industry Facts

  • The Canadian dairy industry sustains over 215,000 jobs
  • $13.7 billion in dairy product sales recorded in 2009
  • $15.2 billion was added to Canada's GDP in 2009
  • Over 7.7 billion litres of milk produced annually
(Source: Dairy Farmers of Canada and the Canadian Dairy Information Centre)

UBC Dairy Education and Research Centre

The Centre is the largest dairy cattle research facility in Canada and one of the largest in the world with state-of-the-art equipment designed to continuously monitor and record animal feeding and other behaviours. Interdisciplinary research teams, including scientists for Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, investigate ways to improve animal health, nutrition, reproduction and welfare as well as to reduce the environmental impact of intensive dairy cattle production systems. Findings are applied directly to the industry to improve its sustainability and to provide the scientific basis for national codes of practice for care and handling of dairy cattle. http://www.landfood.ubc.ca/dairycentre/

BMO - Canada's First Bank

BMO Financial Group is a highly diversified financial services organization that includes BMO Bank of Montreal, BMO Nesbitt Burns, BMO Harris Private Banking, BMO Capital Markets and BMO Harris Bank in the U.S. Since its founding in 1817 as Bank of Montreal, BMO Financial Group has been committed to corporate and social responsibility and the principles of sustainable development. BMO remains one of Canada's largest corporate benefactors. In 2010, BMO contributed $54.3 million in donations, sponsorships and events to support charities and not-for-profit organizations in Canada and the U.S.

For more information on BMO's commitment to Canadian agriculture, visit BMO Commercial Banking.

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