April 2021

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CBIN: If you build it, they will come

As Gentec CEO Graham Plastow indicated in his article looking back at data collection and use in the beef industry, genomics can bring benefits throughout the value chain. This month, David Sibbald, Interim Chair of the Canadian Beef Improvement Network, describes how CBIN will deliver on the promise. Read more here. John Basarab, Head of Beef Operations at Gentec, has started discussing opportunities with the CBIN team.

CRSB Panel Discussion: Using consumer research to understand sustainability drivers and motivations

At the Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef’s semi-annual meeting, panelists Amie Peck (Canadian Cattlemen’s Association), Michael Young (Canada Beef), John Jamieson (Canadian Centre for Food Integrity), and Clay Holmes (InterCity Packers Meat and Seafood) provided some answers on what goes on in consumers’ heads when they think about beef. Here are their thoughts.

Canada among the first to launch feed efficiency evaluations

Only four months after completing the Efficient Dairy Genome Project, Lactanet brings this world-leading innovation to dairy farms across Canada in the form of genetic evaluations for feed efficiency. The evaluation focuses on selection for improved biological efficiency without affecting production levels or body size, and aims to minimize stress during the transition period. The project, funded by Genome Canada, Genome Alberta and other partners, was led by Filippo Miglior, Flavio Schenkel (both UoGuelph) and Gentec’s Paul Stothard with inputs from Gentec researchers Dan Hailemariam, Zhiquan Wang, Graham Plastow and Mary de Pauw as project manager. Read more here.

New Chair in Beef Production Systems at UAlberta.

Please join UAlberta President Bill Flanagan and Stan Blade, Dean, Faculty of Agricultural, Life and Environmental Sciences (ALES), along with Matt Bowman, Chair, Beef Cattle Research Council and the Honourable Dan Hays for a special virtual announcement in support of beef cattle research. See Events section below to register.

Frank Robinson's virtual farm internships are a hit with students

UAlberta's Frank Robinson finds on-farm internships to help connect students who want to study agriculture with the real thing. See our article on this. COVID-19 put a temporary stop to that this year but Robinson found a workaround--and a live calf birth put the icing on the cake. Read more here.

Canadian Beef Improvement Network (CBIN) announces Executive Committee

Last month, (see article with Gentec here), Sandy Russell, CBIN's Director of Business Development, mentioned that we should keep our eyes open for big CBIN announcements coming up. Well, here's the first one.

CBIN is pleased to announce the members of its inaugural Executive Committee, which will support the establishment of CBIN for the benefit of the Canadian beef industry. Members are: David Sibbald (Chair), Cherie Copithorne-Barnes, Jeffrey Fitzpatrick-Stilwell, Stephen Hughes, Myles Immerkar, Dr. Kee Jim, Michael Latimer, Virgil Lowe, Kim McConnell, Dr. Stephen Miller, Brian Van Doormaal.

Several members (highlighted) are Gentec friends, from Steve Miller, who was involved from our earliest days, to Cherie Copithorne-Barnes, who spoke at our 2016 conference. We wish the Committee full speed ahead in its efforts.

CRSB website wins CAMA's "Best in Show" award

The Canadian Agri-Marketing Association has recognized the Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef's efforts to simplify the beef sustainability story in a way that engages the public. Congratulations to CRSB as the proud winner of CAMA's Best-in Show award in the Public category for its website, Check it out!

USask receives funding from Agriculture Development Fund

University of Saskatchewan-affiliated Prairie Swine Centre and Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization received $3.5 million in operational funding from the federal and Saskatchewan governments. Read more here and here.

Edmonton startup aims to make lab-grown meat more affordable

Future Fields has developed a much cheaper media needed for cells to grow and multiply for producing cultured meat. The company believes it is a first in Canada, and has filed a patent application. Read more here.

New synthetic meat "feels" like meat

Most synthetic meat doesn't feel like real flesh, either in the hands or in the mouth, which is one reason it has a long way to go before being fully accepted by consumers. However, researchers have found a way to change that. Read more here.


May 4. Announcement: New Chair in Beef Production Systems
May 10 & 12. Agri-Food Research and Innovation: Looking Ahead to 2025
May 10-14 Animal Nutrition Conference of Canada
May 25. Meat & Poultry Industry Russia 2021. Russia
June 2-3. 2021 AGRI Tech Venture Forum
June 9-11. World Pork Expo 2021, Des Moines, Iowa
June 16-17. Canada’s Farm Show
June 22-25. Beef Improvement Federation Research Symposium. Des Moines, Iowa
June 23-25. World Meat Congress, Cancún, Mexico

The lighter side: Cattle Cops. It's a real show!

Who knew the RCMP has a (small) Livestock Investigation unit, working mainly out of Alberta? Their activities are the subject of 6 episodes of Cattle Cops. Watch them here.
© Livestock Gentec, 2021

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