Picking Replacement Heifers

Canadian Cattlemen reviews project results from Gentec’s John Basarab and Cameron Olson on heifer feed efficiency and lifetime productivity. 

Read the article here.

Summer Job Opportunity at Livestock Gentec

Knowledge and Technology Translator for Genomics Research in Alberta Beef Industry


Livestock Gentec is an Alberta Innovates Centre based at the University of Alberta focused on applied research aligned with industry-identified priorities to validate, demonstrate, and adopt transformative genomic solutions to improve the global competitiveness (economic, social, and environmental) of the Canadian beef and pork sectors. Gentec is looking for a creative communicator to join the beef industry team to help promote the adoption of genomic tools in Alberta’s beef industry. This is a full time, temporary contract with the ability to work from home or at Gentec’s offices on the University campus.


  • Development of infographics and resources to translate research and engage industry audience
  • Curation of social media content to promote Gentec, and Gentec’s research projects, events, resources, etc.
  • Attendance of in-person agriculture conferences and meetings, including managing a booth and connecting directly with industry
  • Contributing to Gentec’s monthly newsletter
  • Working as part of a collaborative team
  • Communicating with Gentec’s stakeholders in academia and industry


  • Degree in Animal Science (or 3rd/4th year of animal science degree)
  • Strong communication skills, written and verbal
  • Experience with social media
  • Ability to work within a team and individually
  • Passionate about the agriculture industry in Alberta

Salary based on experience and qualifications. Employment term May 1 to September 2 (or potentially December 31), 2022.


To apply, please submit your cover letter and resume to lsgentec@ualberta.ca

For any questions, please contact Gentec’s office at 780 248-1740 or lsgentec@ualberta.ca

Canola Supplementation in Late Gestation Cows Increases Calf Growth

The growth performance of beef calves may be improved using prenatal supplementation of canola in cows

Researchers from USask found that canola-fat based pellet supplementation in the diet of beef cows led to greater growth of their calves from birth to slaughter. This may be due to the permanent alteration in the expression of a gene that is responsible for growth and muscle development. The aim of this project is to determine an optimal level of canola-fat inclusion in the prenatal diet that optimizes calf growth. Understanding the biological and epigenetic pathways that underlie connections between prenatal nutrition and postnatal growth and development can lead to increased predictability of calf performance and novel strategies to improve postnatal growth.

Download the full project summary here.

For more information on this project, please contact Livestock Gentec:

Phone: 780.248.1740

Institution: Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Primary Investigator: Carolyn Fitzsimmons

Co-Primary Investigator: Bart Lardner (USaskatchewan)

Term: 2021 - 2026

Funding: $137,000 from BCRC

Challenges in Sustaining Beef and Temperate Grasslands in Alberta

Developing tools to help producers select cattle and manage grazing to maintain productivity and build public trust in sustainability

Grazing is regarded as the most beneficial use of temperate grasslands from both an agricultural and ecological point of view. However, scientists and consumers are often conflicted about the environmental footprint of beef production and the complex relationship between cow-calf production and grassland conservation. The aim of this project is to understand how the variation in pastures, forage grasses, cattle genetics and pasture microbes work together to influence sustainable beef production. Tools will be developed to help producers decide which cattle are better for the grasses on their land and to align forage availability with cattle nutritional needs. The environmental benefits of grazing grasslands will be measured to help build public trust in the beef industry

Download the full project summary here.

For more information on this project, please contact Livestock Gentec:

Phone: 780.248.1740

Institution: University of Alberta

Primary Investigator: John Parkins

Co-Primary Investigator: Cameron Carlyle (UAlberta)

Term: 2021 - 2023

Funding: $197,936 from New Frontiers in Research Fund