December 2021

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Gentec highlights

Get involved

  • Submit DNA samples of your animals and receive genetic information (EPDs, profit indexes, breed composition and parentage analysis) for the discounted rate of $15/test. Read more about the project here or contact or visit for more information.

Our favourite BeefTech highlights


January 5. Beef Day.
January 5-6. Ontario Agricultural Conference.
January 6. Enabling successful careers in agriculture.Selkirk, MB
January 11-13. Beef and Forage week. Selkirk, MB
January 11-13. Banff Pork Seminar. hybrid
January 12. BCRC Webinar - Calving Season Data Collection
January 13. Embracing disruptors facing Ontario's livestock industry
January 14-15. Cattleman’s Call. Lloydminster, AB
January 18. Manitoba Ag Days. Brandon, MB
January 18-19. Cdn Agri-food Policy Conference.
January 19-20. Saskatchewan Beef Industry Conference
January 21-22. Canadian Bull Congress. Camrose, AB
January 24-February 10. ABP Producer Meetings. AB
January 25. FarmTech 2022. Edmonton, AB
February 1-3. Cattle Industry Convention & NCBA Trade Show. Houston, TX
February 8-10. Native Prairie Restoration/Reclamation Workshop
February 8, 15, 22. Western Canada Feedlot Management School
February 9. BCRC webinar - Grazing Game Plan - How to develop a grazing plan
February 9-10. AgriVisions. Lloydminster, AB
February 17. Soil Health Conference & Sask Soil Conservation Association AGM. TBA
February 17. Saskatchewan Livestock Expo

Kill the culls! Sex selection saves lives

Peter Ellis and a team at the University of Kent and the Francis Crick Institute have found a reliable, ethical way to get 100% male or female offspring in lab mice. The implications for agriculture are enormous. Find out more here.

Restricting heifers' feed may affect performance and growth of their offspring

Residual feed intake (RFI) is a desired heritable trait in beef cattle. Animals with lower RFI are more feed-efficient. Altering the pre-natal diet, such as restricting feed, may improve the feed efficiency of offspring. Read the summary here and the research paper here.

The beef vs. methane challenge

Gentec-affiliated researcher Tim McAllister talks about how cows benefit the landscape--but there's still the issue of how much methane they belch. Read here how producers are bringing those numbers down and what else can be done.

Groundbreaking research could help producers optimize free-range grazing

A UAlberta  team including Gentec researchers Edward Bork and Carolyn Fitzsimmons will pinpoint genetic traits that could increase grazing efficiency while protecting pastures. Read more here.

New professorship at IAState increases opportunities to collaborate with Gentec

Iowa State University—a leader in ag research and extension—has created the Rothschild Endowed Professorship in Global Food Security and Animal Science. Max Rothschild, after whom the professorship is named, is retiring after a long career performing groundbreaking research involving animal genetic improvement and identifying the genes that affect animal production, especially in developing countries. He was a valued collaborator on Gentec projects. If you are interested in contributing (companies or individuals) please contact Nick Van Berkum.

Closer to home, the new BCRC-Hays Chair in Beef Production Systems at UAlberta provides a similar opportunity to apply genomics to benefit Alberta producers. Gentec will continue to strengthen our relationship with the local Chair, and develop linkages with the new professorship to share resources and knowledge that can bring value to Alberta producers.

Fixing the labour crunch in agriculture

As agriculture evolves into a high-tech business, automation and machinery do a lot of the heavy lifting, giving producers and employees the ability to “operate” data and robotics to improve animal welfare and farm profitability. That means changing the perception of farm work for incoming employees, and competing with other sectors who also want them for their technical skills. Read more here.

Journal of Animal Science converts paper by Gentec authors into easy-to-digest infographic

Keen to understand the science behind genomics for animal production but don't have time to read an academic paper? The Journal of Animal Science is repurposing some papers into infographics, which are a great way to communicate complex information easily and visually. Check out this infographic, which is a distillation of this paper by Gentec and other authors. If you like what you see, find more infographics about animal science here.
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