One of the pillars of Canada’s National Beef Strategy — a strategic plan released in early January, 2015 — is connectivity. Saskatchewan’s Livestock and Forage Centre of Excellence fits nicely with this goal, by “bringing together every link of the livestock production chain.”
Plans for the Centre were announced in July of 2015, when it received $10 million in funding under Growing Forward 2, $7 million from the University of Saskatchewan and $1 million from the Saskatchewan Cattlemen’s Association.
Ryder Lee and Janice Bruynooghe joined Debra Murphy for an update on the Livestock and Forage Centre of Excellence at the Canadian Beef Industry Conference in Calgary last week.
According to Ryder Lee, chief executive officer with the Saskatchewan Cattlemen’s Association, the Centre started with the need to move the feedlot out of Saskatoon, and grew into a discussion about the various sectors that might move in with it.
“It will be the bricks and mortar of…that integrated system,” explained Janice Bruynooghe, coordinator for the Saskatchewan Forage Network and fellow member of the steering committee, “right from forage seed production through forage, grazing, range management, how livestock makes use of that (so right through cow/calf through to the feedlot).”
And the Centre will be based “…on a scale that looks like cattle production on the prairies now,” said Lee. “It’s combining real-world with the lab.”
The Steering Committee is looking for partners to further the initial building investment, and also to support the Centre’s research, programs and students.
The group is hoping to have some of the infrastructure in place by March 2018, with shovels set to hit the ground this fall.