Feds fund forage centre of excellence

The federal government today announced a $4.47 million investment in the Livestock and Forage Centre of Excellence to be built in Saskatoon.

The Saskatchewan Cattlemen’s Association has already earmarked $1 million for the project. It will partner with the University of Saskatchewan and other stakeholders on the project.

Today’s federal funding is channeled through the Western Economic Diversification department.

The new centre of excellence, budgeted at $37.5 million, is designed to include two new facilities on U of S property and will conduct research into forage, cow-calf, beef cattle and the environment.

The project was first announced in 2015 and involves the integration of research facilities at Termuende (Western Beef Development Centre), the U of S campus, Goodale Farm south of Saskatoon and new university property near Clavet, Sask.

Funding for the project to date includes $10 million through the federal and provincial Growing Forward 2 and $10 million from the U of S, in addition to the $1 million from the SCA.

It is expected to be completed in 2018.

SCA chair Ryan Beierbach said in a news release about the additional funding that the centre will be a valuable resource for the cattle industry and noted other “great opportunities for others to join in this endeavour to create a legacy to benefit current and future generations of cattle and livestock producers in the province and across Canada.”

Karen Chad, vice-president of research at the U of S, said the centre will be a place of innovative research, training and outreach to meet livestock producers’ needs. She said it will build on the strengths of the Western College of Veterinary Medicine, which is based at the U of S, as well as the university’s agricultural department.

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