The Ontario Beef Research Centre has officially opened at the Elora Research Station, adjacent to the Ontario Dairy Research Centre and the soon-to-be constructed Ontario Swine Research Centre.
The new centre supports research related to animal welfare, reproduction, and nutrition as well as meat quality and safety. Research results will be commercialized or shared with beef farmers to be adopted to make animal and production practices more efficient, safer and healthier, the province says.
On hand at the official opening, this week was Ontario Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Ernie Hardeman, and representatives of Beef Farmers of Ontario, the University of Guelph, and the Agricultural Research Institute of Ontario.
A partnership between the Government of Ontario through the Agricultural Research Institute of Ontario (ARIO), the Beef Farmers of Ontario (BFO), and the University of Guelph, the centre’s opening reflects a budget of about $12.5 million from the Ontario government and more than $3 million from the BFO.
Facilities include two 5,530-square-metre research barns, plus handling facilities, and offices and 200 acres of land to produce feed. The new centre will house around 750 cattle, double its current livestock capacity. To upgrade and expand feed storage capacity at Elora, ARIO will also invest in feed bunker silos.
“The new state-of-the-art Ontario Beef Research Centre will play a vital role in contributing to the long-term strength and success of Ontario’s beef industry and the broader economy it supports,” says Joe Hill, Beef Farmers of Ontario president. “We are extremely appreciative of the collaboration and investments made by Ontario beef farmers, the provincial and federal governments, and the University of Guelph to support beef research in the province.”
“We are proud to work with partners to modernize livestock research infrastructure in Elora to enhance the competitiveness, prosperity, and sustainability of Ontario’s agricultural and food sectors and rural communities,” said Lorne Hepworth, Chair of the Agricultural Research Institute of Ontario.