December 2022

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Our favourite Gentec stories

Year-end reflections from Graham Plastow

As we look back on 2022, we thank all our friends, old and new, with whom we connected at events or through projects during the year. They have been numerous and rewarding thanks to your fantastic participation. A big Thank You to all the Gentec community, to our Management Advisory Board and  International Scientific Advisory Board (this month Heather Burrow. Others here, here and here) and the students who helped out over the summer, especially Jacqui Gironella (now studying at UCVM), Diego Martinez Mayorga (beginning a Master's here at UAlberta) and Seanna Wengryn (continuing her undergraduate studies at UAlberta). Thank You also to William Torres for his wise contributions to Gentec's “Delicious Bits”. This month, he is looking forward with some great reminders (see below).

Please also remember that the benefits of good genetics are cumulative, building up over time to improve farm profitability. Genomics excels for traits that are difficult to address by conventional selection. Gentec is ready to partner with you to find solutions to the old and new challenges you face. Have a wonderful 2023!

At the Grill with William Torres: The Grill’s top five New YEar resolutions

This month’s At The Grill feature by William Torres (former Research Manager at Cattleland Feedyards and popular presenter at Gentec conferences) gets seasonal, and recommends five best practices for your New Year resolutions. Read more here.

The value of Gentec... In their words

We wrap up our series on “The Value of Gentec ... ‘In their words’” with a few words from our farthest travelled – and longest-serving member of Gentec’s International & Industry Scientific Advisory, Heather Burrow.

Heather is a livestock geneticist focusing on beef by training and a Professional Research Fellow from the University of New England in Australia. Heather has had a vast and varied career on improving agriculture through her expertise, her collaborative approach, and boots-on-the-ground work on virtually every continent. 
Heather outlines how Gentec’s collaborative philosophy and focus on delivering the benefits of technology to producers through tools delivered to industry has been so effective in harnessing data and information tools that can increase digestibility, feed efficiency and profitability while reducing the environmental impact of livestock development / production.

Life after Gentec: What is Cameron Olson doing now?

Former Gentecer Cameron Olson defended his PhD thesis in February 2022 but started a job at Feedlot Health Management Services in January. Read here how his new job can help improve producers’ bottom line.

Canada as a world leader in agricultural sustainability

Genome Canada hosted a panel, of which Gentec collaborator Ellen Goddard was a member, on how best to leverage the power of genomics and the role of different stakeholders to advance the development of sustainable food systems in Canada. Canada is one of the only countries using the power of genomics to address human health agriculture, natural resources and climate change. Watch or listen here.

Hosting the scientists of tomorrow at the DRTC

Gentec was thrilled to host high school students from Lundbreck, AB, at the UAlberta Dairy Research and Technology Centre this month. Kira Hames and Dan Hailemariam were tour guides for an introduction to the dairy industry and Gentec’s cattle projects on health resiliency and greenhouse gas emission reduction (although the calves were the real hit of the tour). Thank you for thinking of us on your whirlwind tour of the science programs UAlberta has to offer. Come back any time!

Shaping the future of swine production with gene editing

Longtime Gentec collaborator Max Rothschild talks about his work in understanding the pig genome and the way new technologies can be employed to perform gene-editing in pigs and make the industry more profitable and sustainable. Listen here.

Our favourite agtech stories


January 4-5. Ontario Agricultural Conference. Several locations
January 10. Cyber Security: How to Protect Canadian Agriculture from a Growing Challenge. Guelph, ON
January 10. Join RDAR for its Feet in the field, eyes on the stars: AN AG RESEARCH SHOWCASE. Edmonton, AB
January 10-13. Banff Pork Seminar. Banff, AB
January 12-14. Beef Industry Convention. London, ON
January 17-19. Manitoba Ag Days. Brandon, MB
January 20. Ladies Livestock Lessons. Cremona, AB
January 21-23. Canadian Bull Congress. Camrose, AB
January 24-26. Saskatchewan Beef Industry Conference. Saskatoon, SK
January 25-26. FarmTech 2023. Edmonton, AB
February 1-3. Cattle Industry Convention & NCBA Trade Show. New Orleans, USA
February 2-3. Manitoba Beef Producers annual general meeting. Winnipeg, MB
February 8. Below Ground: Soil Health and Wealth. Rycroft, AB
February 8-9. Manitoba Swine Seminar. Winnipeg, MB
February 8-9. Agrivisions. Lloydminster, AB
February 9. Ranching Opportunities Conference. Olds, AB
February 8,15, 22. 24th Western Canada Feedlot Management School
February 14-15. Soil Health Conference – SaskSoil. Save the date. More info later.
February 21-23. Prairie Conservation and Endangered Species Conference. Calgary, AB
February 21-23. Alberta Soil Science Workshop. Calgary, AB
February 22-23. Beef Farmers of Ontario annual general meeting. Toronto, ON
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