Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

February 22, 2008 12:22 ET

Government of Canada Invests Over $5 Million for Livestock Research in Manitoba

BRANDON, MANITOBA--(Marketwire - Feb. 22, 2008) - The Government of Canada, the Government of Manitoba and the Manitoba Cattle Producers Association (MCPA) today announced a five-year research agreement to develop improved production strategies for beef producers in Western Canada that will reduce their dependence on grain-based systems of production.

Merv Tweed, Member of Parliament for Brandon-Souris, on behalf of the Honourable Gerry Ritz, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Minister for the Canadian Wheat Board, was joined by James Bezan, Member of Parliament for Selkirk-Interlake, the Honourable Rosann Wowchuk, Minister of Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives and Martin Unrau, MCPA President to announce details of the agreement at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's (AAFC) Research Centre in Brandon.

The three-party agreement includes Government of Canada in-kind support through the AAFC Brandon Research Centre estimated at $4 million over five years.

"The Government of Canada is committed to putting farmers first. Investing in science and innovation is one of the keys to a vibrant agriculture and agri-food sector that benefits everyone - our farmers, industry and all Canadians," said Mr. Tweed."Today, we're proud to be here to announce an agreement that will help to improve the bottom lines of our beef producers. Developing new feeding technology will ensure the long-term competitiveness of the cattle sector."

The Government of Manitoba will also provide in-kind support through allocation of staff specifically for business and economic analysis and technology transfer of the research originating from the federal research program estimated at $900,000 over five years.

"Changes in feed costs have had a major impact on the competitiveness of the Manitoba beef industry," said Minister Wowchuk. "This agreement will help develop improved production strategies for beef producers and help maintain the solid reputation our beef producers have achieved for sound management and quality beef production."

The MCPA is providing a financial contribution of $250,000 as well as in-kind support costs of $50,000 over five years.

"These investments in research by both industry and government are essential in ensuring the long-term health of the cattle industry in Manitoba and Canada," said Joe Bouchard, MCPA Vice President and chairperson of the association's Research Committee. "Cattle producers are always looking to improve their production methods to stay ahead of the competition in a tough global market. This research project continues that tradition of innovation."

This three-party research collaboration will help to develop new production strategies for grass and forage feeding systems for beef cattle as well as the use of grain processing by-products.

BACKGROUNDER

SUPPORT OF BEEF SECTOR (2006-2008)

In addition to conducting research projects, the Government of Canada continues to invest in livestock research through targeted investments and works with provincial and industry partners to deliver results for Canadian beef producers.Since 2006 the government has invested in key areas such as:

--Supported Canadian Livestock Genetics Association (CLGA) by investing:

-$ 503,000 through Genetics Marketing Program for market development and opportunities for Canadian producers to overcome the challenges of the post Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) environment.

-$2.3 million in funding under the Canadian Agriculture and Food International (CAFI) Program, to position Canada as a world leader in value-added exports of dairy genetic materials.

-$2.2 million in funding to enhance profitability in Canada's dairy industry by regaining lost market share in the U.S. and Mexico, and by obtaining access to export live cattle to the European Union.

--Made investements through the Advancing Canadian Agriculture and Agri-Food (ACAAF):

-$305,000 in funding to help prevent and manage the spread of Johne's disease in Canadian dairy herds.

-$600,000 in funding for a vaccine project that will provide Canada's beef producers with a new drug to help protect their cattle from shipping fever.

--Invested $1 million in the Canadian Animal and Poultry Genetic Resources initiative designed to help conserve Canada's valuable livestock breeds.

--Invested $1.7 million for the Canadian Integrated Traceability Program (CITP) to help the meat and livestock industries expand to new markets while better safeguarding people's health.

--Adopted the Global Plan of Action for Farm Animal Genetic Resources, an international framework to conserve and use valuable animal genetic resources. The plan will help Canadian breeders and researchers access genetic resources from other countries as well as further support the export of Canadian animal genetics.

--Invested $1.5 million in the Canada Beef Export Federation to boost exports of Canadian beef products.

--Invested $305,792 towards bringing to the marketplace Canadian beef enhanced with bioactive lipids considered to be beneficial to human health.

--Announced the first stage of the national action plan for livestock sector providing:

-An estimated $1.5 billion to producers through existing programs;

-Additional $1 billion through Advanced Payment Program (APP) bringing the total loans available for the sector through the APP up to $2.3 billion.

--Invested $5 million in the production facility for new vaccine designed to significantly reduce the levels of Escherichia coli (E. coli) O157:H7 bacteria in cattle and their manure, through the AAFC's Agri-Opportunities program.

Contact Information

  • Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
    Ottawa, Ontario
    Media Relations
    613-759-7972
    1-866-345-7972
    or
    Office of the Honourable Gerry Ritz
    Todd MacKay
    Director of Communications
    613-759-1059
    or
    Manitoba Agriculture,
    Food and Rural Initiatives
    Diane Coble-Kendall
    Communications Coordinator
    204-945-3811
    or
    Manitoba Cattle Producers Association
    Matthew Wright
    Communications Coordinator
    204-772-4542