The Beef Cattle Research Council (BCRC) announced a new initiative, and it’s far from being “just another mentorship program.” The Beef Research Mentorship Program marries sectors of the cattle industry, bringing research extension to cattle producers and a greater understanding of production to Canada’s applied researchers.
This week, the BCRC upgraded its announcement to include the mentor/mentee matches. These matches will participate in the pilot program, providing valuable feedback inherent to the success of the program.
Emma McGeough, assistant professor at the University of Manitoba, was one of the three mentees selected for the pilot project. Currently co-investigating research projects ranging from forage evaluation to the environmental footprint of the Canadian beef industry, McGeough hopes to come out of the program with a better understanding of production practicies, marketing, policies and regulations. And who better to learn from than Janice Bruynooghe and Sandy Russell, co-founder and partner (respectively) in Spring Creek Land & Cattle Consulting, Inc.
Bill Biligetu, assistant professor with the Crop Development Centre at the University of Saskatchewan, was also selected to participate. Biligetu’s research is largely looking at developing and improving forage species for western Canada. Besides identifying future needs for forage breeding, Biligetu is also interested in learning more about cow-calf production on the prairies and the beef and forage sector. His mentor is Aaron Ivey, a trial-enthusiast, production guru and an operator of a mixed cattle and grain farm near Ituna, Saskatchewan.
Raquel Rodriquez Doce, a post-doctoral fellow at Lacombe’s Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) research centre, was also selected. Rodriquez Doce’s research focuses on cereal-forage crop development and management, with an emphasis on improving utilization in cattle. Her hope is to expand her knowledge of the entire process: from cow-calf to finishing, industry structure to government relations and research priorities and needs. Her mentor is Graeme Finn, a beef producer and active participant in boards, associations and committees.
According the the BCRC’s website, the new program is designed to:
- align research interests with those that are practical and beneficial to Canada’s beef industry,
- build the skills, network and confidence necessary to participate in or lead applied research and technology transfer efforts that enhance and accelerate innovation in Canada’s beef industry, and
- facilitate collaborations that help new Canadian beef researchers establish effective applied research and extension programs.
The support for this program comes from the technology transfer initiative within the second Beef Cattle Industry Science Cluster, funded by BCRC and AAFC.