September 2019

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Happy Birthday, gEBVs!

To mark the 10th birthday (August 2019) of gEBVs in Canada, we asked Steve Moore, Filippo Miglior, Brian Van Doormaal and Doug Blair, some of the key people involved in their development and use in Canada, look back at how the tool changed the cattle industry (dairy, in particular) and ahead at what might yet be to come. Read more here.

Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea (PED) in Alberta

Veterinary Epidemiologist for Alberta Agriculture and Forestry, Julia Keenliside, shares some insight about PED, how it reached Canada and risk factors that may have allowed it to contaminate four farms in Alberta. Read more here.

Dan Hays Visitor Centre at UAlberta's Roy Berg Kinsella Ranch

As of September 16, 2019, the Visitor Centre at the Roy Berg Kinsella Ranch has been named in honour of Dan Hays to  recognise his generous and impactful contributions to beef research at UAlberta over the years. He and his family donated Hays Converter Cattle to the Kinsella ranch and provided significant financial support to the Kinsella Research Centre.
Caption: Dan Hays and Gentec CEO, Graham Plastow

Watch this space

BovReg--the latest Europe, Canada, Australia collaboration on bovine genomics--has just been launched.

Gentec is handling the Canadian end of the project, using the Kinsella herd. With the Lacombe herd, they were used to develop Delta Genomics's EnVigour HX (TM) tool, so they are are well characterized in terms of feed efficiency and, as cross-breds, mimic the commercial herd.

Next month's newsletter will feature an article about the project and what it means for Canada.

Olds announces new school that blends agronomy, tech, data

Gentec partner, Olds College, has announced the launch of the Werklund School of Agriculture Technology, giving students access to new agricultural technology and programs. The new programs will prepare students for careers that require an understanding of the link between agronomy, technology, and data sciences. Students will have access to “hands on, high tech learning experiences through the Olds College Smart Farm, the Smart Ag Innovation Centre, and the new ag tech learning hub.” Read more here.

McDonald's stands up for beef

McDonalds Canada CEO, John Betts, has just issued an open letter to its partners in the beef industry in which in reaffirms its commitment to beef and the traditional beef patty. The letter, not available online, states that it is responding to customer demand by introducing the new PLT (plant-based) patty but that "Continuing to grow our beef burger business will always be at our core."

High tech is transforming one of the world's oldest professions

Yes... drones, genetics, precision ag.... But it's when you see the self-driving tractor that you really get how far agriculture has come in less than 100 years. Will crop farmers start driving their desks instead? Find out here.

At Gentec, we anticipate much more phenotyping of livestock using these technologies in the near future. See our article on gEBVs.


October 1-5. World Dairy Expo – Madison, WI, US
October 8. Canadian Agricultural Safety Association annual conference. Quebec, QC
October 9-10. Alberta Livestock Expo. Lethbridge, AB
October 19-21. Leman China Swine Conference. Zhengzhou, China
October 23-23. 129th World Food Science & Food Technology congress. Toronto, ON
October 27-19. Advancing Women in Agriculture Conference – East. Niagara Falls, ON
November 1-10. Royal Agricultural Winter Fair. Toronto, ON
November 4-6. AIC Conference – Artificial Intelligence, Robotics and Agri-Food. Saskatoon, SK
November 6-10. FarmFair International. Edmonton, AB
November 12-15. Cdn Grassland & Forage Assoc. conference. Moncton, NB
November 13-14. Canadian Public Trust Summit 2019. Saskatoon, SK
November 13-14. Pig Welfare Symposium. Minneapolis, MN, US
November 19-20. Regenerative Ag Days. Brandon, MB
November 25-30. Canadian Western Agribition. Regina, MB

The lighter/historic side

Staying with last month's history theme, this story from the 1930s shows how research at USask saved the Canadian prairies from a US-style dust bowl. Enjoy here.
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