At the Grill with William Torres: The value of research

This month’s At The Grill feature by William Torres (storyteller, empathetic connector and resonate catalyst) talks about the research organizations working to support Canada’s beef industry.

Research money, where does it go? Well, the simple answer is, To you!

I’ve been asked a few times, all this research that all the colleges, universities, and organizations do, where are the results? I think that we (the producers) expect our scientists and representatives to walk onto our operation and be like, “Howdy, do you have time to talk about the latest findings in cattle genomics?”

The reality is, it’s nearly impossible to visit every single farm, ranch, and/or feedlot operation in the province. However, the information is there and it’s available to you. Whether you want to know about cattle genomics, forage options, heifer and sire selection, our researchers put together symposiums, farm days, and a variety of events to share the latest information with the public. Additionally, there are multiple provincial and federal sources on the internet where you can easily search and access your specific topic of interest (Gentec’s newsletter provides a current list every month).

Show me proof! No problem, lets start right here;

Livestock Gentec is the “Centre for research and commercialization of genomics technologies for livestock competitiveness and sustainability.” Established in 2010, it is a “trusted source of industry-led research and knowledge and tech transfer services, partnering with existing entities and targeting genetic improvement in beef and pork.” Who can you contact? John Basarab is the Head of Beef Operations. Jenny Patterson is our Pork Liaison. You can phone 780.248.1740 or send an email to the general inbox for information.

The Beef Cattle Research Council (BCRC) is also an excellent choice of Canada-based information. BCRC is “Canada’s national industry-led funding agency for beef, cattle, and forage research. The BCRC’s mandate is to determine research and development priorities for the Canadian beef cattle industry and to administer Canadian Beef Cattle Check-Off funds allocated to research.” The Function and Funding page provides a breakdown of where all the research funds go. Since these are your check-off dollars, it’s nice to see how your money is being spent to benefit our industry and keep Canadian beef at the forefront of the markets. Who can you contact? Reynold Bergen is the Science Director ((403) 451-1180). He also has an ability to translate PhD into lay language. Tracy Herbert ((306) 850-5026 ) is the Extension and Communication Director, her role is to focus on accelerating the adoption of innovations.

Olds College Technology Technology Access Centre for Livestock Production is another great source for information, and where to visit live applications of established and new technology at the forefront of our industry. Plus, it hosts an annual gathering of all cool things technology every August. Sean Thompson is the Manager ((403) 556-8314).

Lakeland College Lakeland College Applied Research. Lakeland’s tactical focus for applied research activity is to advance real-world agricultural productivity and sustainability in key commercial crop and livestock sectors. It has a dedicated research centre with multiple facilities, dedicated scientists, and instructors at the forefront of training the next generation of producers and farmers. For contact information, reach out to Obioha Durunna ((780) 853-8481), research scientist, and Susan Markus ((403) 741-6850), research scientist.

Finally, several events are coming up where you can take advantage of face-to-face meetings and interactions to reach out and get answers to your questions, plus learn more about our industry. As I said, see Gentec’s letter for an updated list.

Bottom line is, there is plenty of access to information that can benefit you and your operation.














Posted in Consumer.