Released on July 30, 2015
Today Federal Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz and Saskatchewan Agriculture Minister Lyle Stewart committed $10 million in funding under Growing Forward 2 for a new Livestock and Forage Centre of Excellence at the University of Saskatchewan. The University of Saskatchewan has committed an additional $7 million for construction costs in addition to providing land. The Saskatchewan Cattlemen’s Association (SCA) is also contributing $1 million to the project.
The new centre will serve as a unique research, teaching, outreach and industry training hub that unites agriculture and veterinary researchers, producers, industry, governments and academia. The Centre of Excellence will integrate and expand on the many existing strengths in University of Saskatchewan veterinary and agricultural sciences, the Western Beef Development Centre, government and industry.
It will be based in two locations: a new Beef Cattle Research and Teaching Unit near Clavet, and the Forage and Cow-calf Research and Teaching Unit at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine’s existing research farm near Floral, east of Saskatoon.
“Our government knows the important role the livestock industry plays in driving jobs and growth here in Saskatchewan and across Canada,” Ritz said. “This new centre will ensure that producers have the 21st century tools they need to grow their bottom lines and our overall economy.”
“Saskatchewan is home to world-class livestock and forage research work, and the creation of a Centre of Excellence will support the continued profitability and sustainability of an industry that is a major economic driver for our province and for Canada,” Stewart said. “The work of this centre will help Saskatchewan’s farmers and ranchers remain competitive in the global marketplace.”
“One of the greatest challenges we face is how to produce food for a growing world population, humanely, efficiently, and sustainably,” University of Saskatchewan Vice President, Research Karen Chad said. “Through this strong collaboration with government and industry, the University of Saskatchewan is helping livestock producers meet these challenges with new knowledge and highly-trained graduates to aid their constant improvement and competitiveness on the world stage.”
"This centre will facilitate research needed to keep improving our industry competitiveness, profitability and resilience," Saskatchewan Cattlemen's Association Chair Bill Jameson said. "The valuable knowledge generated here will impact livestock and forage producers throughout the province and across the country."
The Centre of Excellence will incorporate and build on the collaborative work of University of Saskatchewan and government researchers in areas such as herd health, animal welfare, disease prevention, nutrition, management, public health, environmental stewardship, food safety and security, forage utilization, breeding and development. The Centre of Excellence will integrate resources and undertake relevant livestock and forage research, provide hands-on training opportunities for agriculture and veterinary students and transfer knowledge from researchers to farmers, ranchers, processors and exporters. This will benefit both consumers and the Canadian economy.
Growing Forward 2 is a cost-shared partnership between federal, provincial and territorial governments designed to support an innovative, competitive and profitable Canadian agriculture and agri-food sector.
For more information, contact:
Jeff English, Director of Communications
Office of the Honourable Gerry Ritz
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada