REPORT: AAFC Lacombe Research Station Field Day 2023

The AAFC Lacombe Research Station held a Field Day on July 26 as an opportunity for producers, industry, academics and the community to learn more about their many areas of livestock, crop and meat science research. The event was well attended and, with excellent organizing and weather, it was a huge success.

In the morning, attendees were taken by bus to different areas of the research station for mini sessions on projects in cattle genomics (including projects with Gentec), grazing and forage management, feed additives to reduce methane emissions, weed control, crop rotation, field pea breeding, crop disease management, and oat varietal development. Each session was led by a scientist, and covered past and current work in their areas of expertise as well as future research directions. It was wonderful to tour with such an engaged group of attendees, resulting in many questions and applied discussions.

The afternoon session was a tour of the research abattoir and meat science building, with mini sessions held with scientists and their students and a variety of topics. One of the many highlights was the federally-inspected research abattoir and the livestock phenomics program (cattle, swine, bison). This fantastic facility and staff have been involved in many Gentec projects for beef and pork. State-of-the-art technologies were on display for investigating automating carcass evaluation, meat classification, optimal cut-out locations, and carcass composition. Other projects discussed included gut microbiology, swine production, pork evaluation, food safety, reducing antibiotics in aquaculture, and reducing food waste with alternative uses of carcass offal. Another highlight was the meat sensory lab and the presentation on objective and subjective (meat sensory taster panel) methods used to evaluate meat quality, tenderness and taste.

Thank you to the organizers and participating researchers for a very well run and extremely informative Field Day! It is wonderful to see first-hand all the incredible work that is taking place at the Lacombe Research Centre

Attendees gathering before the start of the Field Day

Gentec’s Dr. Changxi Li and Dr. Carolyn Fitzsimmons discussing their work in beef genomics, influencing gene expression through nutrition, and adapting cattle to their environment.

Dr. Vern Baron discussing forage management to preserve/improve grassland carbon

Dr. Hushton Block discussing feed additives to reduce methane emissions and delivery methods on pasture

Dr. Bethany Uttaro discussing pork belly firmness and methods to separate cuts.

Dr. Manuel Juarez demonstrating an augmented reality headset for carcass evaluation

Dr. Oscar Lopez Campos discussing Dual Energy X-Ray Absorptiometry (DEXA) to assess carcass composition


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