The Agriculture Canada researcher has done extensive work on ruminant metabolism and greenhouse gas emissions.
Agriculture Canada research scientist Dr. Karen Beauchemin is this year’s recipient of the Canadian beef industry award for outstanding research and innovation.
Beauchemin specializes in ruminant digestion, a field that has led her to study feedlot cattle fibre requirements, ruminant metabolism, cattle methane emissions, lifecycle analysis and cereal processing.
The award was announced Aug. 12 during the Canadian Beef Industry Conference, held on-line last week, amid praise from fellow researchers Dr. Tim McAllister, Dr. Greg Penner and Dr. John McKinnon as well as the Beef Cattle Research Centre.
McKinnon noted Beauchemin’s work on the “bible of beef nutrition,” the Nutrient Requirements of Beef Cattle, as the only Canadian invited member on the National Research Council’s committee that developed the publication.
“It is universally used by nutritionists, veterinarians, and feed regulators such as the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. Her participation on the committee ensured the information, feed compositions, and recommendations were relevant to the Canadian beef industry,” the BCRC said in a news release.
BCRC chair Ryan Beierbach said Beauchemin is internationally recognized for her beef industry work and remains engaged with producers. McAllister said the researcher has “never lost sight of the applied aspect” of work that directly benefits producers.
“I think that her research has really informed some of the real challenges for the beef industry. She can interact with both her colleagues and producers,” added rancher Fred Lozeman, during a video presentation about the award.
BCRC vice-chair Matt Bowman said that Beauchemin’s work “has not only led to a better understanding and quantification of greenhouse gas produced by cattle, but she continues to lead the way in researching new ways to reduce the overall impact.”
In addition to her work based at the Lethbridge Research Centre, Beauchemin is an adjunct professor at the universities of Saskatchewan, Alberta and Utah State.
She is a recognized authority internationally on methane research and ruminant nutrition and has been asked to collaborate on projects in those fields around the world, the BCRC said.
She is a member on the science advisory committee for the Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef and has published 390 peer-reviewed scientific papers, plus other articles, book chapters and abstracts.
In her acceptance address, presented by video, Beauchemin said she has had many good students, post-docs and collaborators in her work as well as good facilities, labs and technicians in Lethbridge.
“It’s so rewarding to be honoured for the research we’ve been doing, knowing it’s actually making a difference for the beef industry,” she said.