Beef improvement network remains work in progress

The idea of a Canadian beef improvement network remains on the drawing board, but little recent progress has been made.

John Crowley, director of scientific and industry advancement at the Canadian Beef Breeds Council, said there is a need to link researchers with industry.

“Genetic improvement as an activity to enhance overall production and environmental efficacy in the beef sector at the moment is operating at a sub-optimal level,” he said at the Canadian Beef Breeds Council annual meeting in Calgary March 28.

Studies have been carried out and business plans have been completed but huge hurdles to establishing such a network remain, including funding.

Organizers hope this year to find funding to create the network, which could operate like a centre of excellence for beef improvement.

The network, led by the beef breeds council and Livestock Gentec, would focus on data collection and collation, analysis and education, and share results. Other partners could include breed associations, the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association, the National Cattle Feeders Association and government.

The dairy, pork and poultry sectors have already established a genetic improvement template and are further ahead in development.

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