Province renews funding for livestock research

GUELPH – The governments of Canada and Ontario have reached a $2 million funding agreement with Livestock Research Innovation Corporation (LRIC). 

The agreement will provide support for LRIC’s activities, on behalf of the livestock sector, for the next five years through the Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership (Sustainable CAP) – a five-year, federal-provincial-territorial initiative. 

“This Sustainable CAP funding will help the Livestock Research Innovation Corporation drive innovation within the sector,” said federal agriculure minister Lawrence MacAulay.

This funding agreement will allow LRIC to continue its work in several areas, including industry intelligence-gathering, stakeholder engagement and collaboration, providing research services and activities supporting knowledge mobilization and getting research into practice. 

The agreement also helps support the Grow Ontario Strategy to strengthen the agri-food sector, fuel economic growth, ensure an efficient, reliable and responsive food supply and address ongoing agri-food sector vulnerabilities through new innovations.

“Our government will continue to support the Ontario livestock sector by taking innovative actions to strengthen its production capacity, resilience and sustainability.  We value the work of the Livestock Research Innovation Corporation and look forward to continuing work with LRIC,” Ontario agriculture minister Lisa Thompson said. 

For LRIC members, this includes an end-to-end research management and support system, communication of research discoveries in the context of the realities of the livestock industry, creating collaboration and cross-sector opportunities and identifying and raising awareness of emerging trends affecting the livestock industry. 

“Ontario’s livestock industry is a key pillar of Ontario’s economy, environment and food security, and we appreciate the provincial government’s ongoing support of our sector through the renewal of this critical funding agreement,” said dairy farmer and LRIC chair Don Gordon.

LRIC’s founding members include Beef Farmers of Ontario, Dairy Farmers of Ontario, Ontario Pork, Chicken Farmers of Ontario, Egg Farmers of Ontario, Ontario Broiler Hatching Egg and Chick Commission and Turkey Farmers of Ontario. 

“Part of LRIC’s role is to work toward impactful improvements of the innovation system,” said LRIC research committee chair Jim White.

“Improving the system can only happen when industry, government and academia collaborate with a common objective in mind, with the goal to develop new technologies, practices and solutions for the agri-food sector.” 

Acting Universtiy of Guelph research VP Rene Van Acker said: “LRIC is an important University of Guelph partner when it comes to supporting research in the livestock sector and we appreciate their ongoing efforts to help build relationships and linkages between faculty and farmers.” 

It helps ensure research is relevant and supports industry competitiveness and strength, Van Acker added.