June 2016

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Industry Profile: Canadian Cattlemen's Association

CCA's Tom Lynch-Staunton has made a new link with former employer Gentec, one that benefits the whole livestock sector. Read how here.

Interview: Jane Halford talks to Gentec

Jane Halford was recently elected to Delta Genomics's Board of Directors. In this article, she shares her views on the role of genomics in the future of the beef industry with Gentec.

Who suffers in outbreaks of livestock diseases?

Gentec researcher Ellen Goddard tracks the history of BSE and swine diseases in Canada to find out who won big, who didn't, and how the government responded. Read more here.

Breeding technologies benefit producers. So what's the "beef"?

Gentec researcher Ellen Goddard provides the first study to address producers' incentives to adopt genomic selection for feed efficiency in the whole supply chain. Here's what she found out.

Register... Learn... Network: Field Day at the Kinsella Research Ranch

This one-day event features must-have learning that will benefit your operation. Come and attend presentations, tours and hands-on demonstrations on
  • animal-handling (pen and chute),
  • Genomics in action
    • Angus and Charolais herds
    • Breed effects: feed efficiency and rumen bacteria
    • Kinsella Composite: efficient vs. control
    • Technologies for measuring efficiency
  • Beef and biodiversity
  • Management and meat quality: Beta-agonists and steroid implants: At what cost? At what benefit?
  • The future of genomic predictions in commercial cattle.
Register for this July 20 event here.

Novel low-cost vaccine could transform poultry industry

VaxAlta Inc (which we profiled here) is ready to take a new vaccine to prevent C. jejuni contamination in poultry to the next level. See here also. In this recent article, company co-founder Christine Szymanski talks about the research, what's to come, and how Gentec will be involved.

Bovine methane emissions and antibiotic use

As reported in Canadian Geographic, John Basarab and a team of researchers at UAlberta, UManitoba, AAFC and GrowSafe have won $1.6 million from CCEMC and ALMA to study cow emissions using new technology. While methane has a shorter life in the environment than, its effect on the environment is 25 times worse.

Here's another good reason to breed for genetically disease-resistant livestock and curb our use of antibiotics in agriculture. Cows fed antibiotics poop more methane. Read more here. "We need more research on this," says Gentec CEO Graham Plastow. "Especially to establish whether antibiotics also affect cow burps."

But there is a bright(er) side. Canadian-based Avivagen says its natural product will keep farm animals healthy and thriving without the use of antibiotics. Read more here. And DSM markets a feed additive that reduces GHG emissions while improving weight gain and milk production. Read more about that here.

Report from Uruguay and the World Hereford Congress

Gentec associate and CBBC director John Crowley reports from the congress (notably presentations by other Gentec-associated researchers Mike MacNeil, Dorian Garrick and Donagh Berry) and related projects on feed efficiency from Uruguay where, it seems, he found local customs much to his liking. Read more here.

Technology and practical methods to combat emissions in livestock agriculture

In this short video (watch for former UAlberta/Gentec student Hal Nixdorff at 2:04), Gentec partner GrowSafe explains why the livestock industry needs to reduce its carbon footprint, and how technology can help it do so.

This article provides the practical advice on which management and nutrition methods will provide a win-win situation for producers and the environment.

Events calendar

July 17-21 Cross Border Livestock Health Conference, Calgary, AB
July 17-19 5th Grazing Livestock Nutrition Conference, Park City, Utah
July 19-21
Ag in Motion: Western Canada's Outdoor Farm Expo, Langham, SK
July 20 Livestock Gentec Field Day, Kinsella, AB
July 21-23. 77th American Convention of Meat Processors (AAMP) & Suppliers’ Exhibition. Omaha, Nebraska.
July 12-14. Pork 101. University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario.
August 4 Saskatchewan Pasture Tour. Harris, SK
August 9-11 Canadian Beef Industry Conference. Calgary, AB
August 20-28 International Limousin Congress, Ireland

Zoetis and AGI’s Beef Cattle Genomic Calibration for GE-EPDs

Angus breeders and commercial users of Angus genetics can now make even more dependable and informed decisions using DNA test results incorporated into weekly genetic evaluations. Read more here.

McDonald's completes its sustainable beef pilot program

Back in April 2016, we mentioned that Gentec associated researcher John Basarab had taken part in McDonald's Verified Sustainable Beef Pilot Program. The pilot is now complete, and results are in. Find out more here.

Verified Beef Production Plus program officially launched

After months of hearing about the benefits of the Verified Beef Production Plus (VBP+) program, producers can now see for themselves how validating their sustainable production practices provides an opportunity to share their stories with consumers and beef retailers. The program provides training and auditing for animal care, biosecurity and environmental stewardship along with on-farm food safety practices within the cow-calf and feedlot sectors. Read more here.

Uncertain future for gene-edited products in Europe

The potential benefits of gene editing have taken agriculture by storm, but those benefits may not reach Europe. Read here what is stalling the process.
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