Ontario Investing in the Future of the Livestock Sector

Ontario Investing in the Future of the Livestock Sector

Building Ontario’s Research Capacity Will Increase Innovation and Drive Economic Growth

November 05, 2021

Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs

ELORA – The Ontario government is investing in two projects at Ontario Research Centres in Elora to foster innovation in Ontario’s livestock industry and support economic growth across rural Ontario.

With $14.4 million from the Government of Ontario and $3.6 million from Ontario Pork, construction is now underway on a new $18 million swine research facility that will use state-of-the-art technology to build Ontario’s capacity and expertise to support cutting-edge research that drives innovation in the swine sector and contributes to the sector’s competitiveness and productivity.

In addition, the governments of Canada and Ontario are advancing beef nutritional research with an investment of $1.3 million through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership (the Partnership) at the Ontario Beef Research Centre. The beef nutrition research investment supports the purchase of 96 Insentec feeders, a digitized precision feeding system that tracks and adjusts the nutrition for each individual cow as needed. Results from the research will produce healthier cattle and reduces waste, making beef farmers more competitive in the global marketplace.

“Investing in nutritional research is critical to helping Ontario livestock farmers grow and thrive,” said Lloyd Longfield, Member of Parliament for Guelph. “The Beef Research Centre supports our beef industry in staying innovative and competitive, with the latest technologies and findings on health, welfare and production.”

“Our government is making the critical investments necessary to support cutting-edge technologies, like Insentec feeders and a new swine research facility, because they fuel innovation and help Ontario livestock farmers be more competitive in the marketplace,” said Lisa Thompson, Ontario’s Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. “By investing in agri-food research and supporting the livestock sector, our government is building Ontario to ensure the continued economic growth of the industry and rural Ontario.”

The investments announced today build on previous initiatives and programs that support the livestock sector, including:

  • $500,000 for precision feed handling and mixing equipment which supports nutritional research for the expanded beef and dairy research herds at the Ontario Beef Research Centre – Elora.
  • $7 million in the Meat Processors Capacity Improvement Initiative for provincially licensed meat processors to help them purchase equipment to increase productivity and efficiency, and prevent slowdowns.
  • $10 million in the Agri-Food Workplace Protection Program to help provincially licensed meat processors maintain a safe workplace.
  • $5 million in emergency drought support for livestock farmers in Northwestern Ontario in addition to $2 million to cover immediate needs like feed, water and fencing with an additional investment of up to $15,000 per eligible farms for permanent water projects in northwestern Ontario.
  • Financial assistance provided to beef and hog producers to help offset the feeding costs during processing delays caused by COVID-19.

Since June 2018, both the federal and provincial governments have committed over $100 million in cost-share support to more than 5,000 projects through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership (the Partnership) to help eligible Ontario farmers, processors, businesses and sector organizations innovate and grow.

Quick Facts

  • Ontario’s cattle and hog sectors contribute $5.2 billion in GDP through the agri-food value chain and supports over 98,500 jobs.
  • The Ontario Beef Research Centre – Elora is a partnership between the Government of Ontario through its agency the Agricultural Research Institute of Ontario (ARIO), the Beef Farmers of Ontario (BFO) and the University of Guelph. The site includes 300 acres of pasture, two barns with state-of-the-art feeders to accommodate 288 mature cows and 120 heifers with four laboratories, including a sample storage lab and a clean lab for genomics research.
  • The Ontario Swine Research Centre – Elora is a partnership between the Government of Ontario province (through ARIO), Ontario Pork and the University of Guelph. The facility will have capacity for a wide number of research disciplines, including animal health, nutrition and welfare; consumer-oriented research; environmental factors; genetics/genomics; nutrient management; and reproduction.
  • The Partnership is a five-year, $3 billion investment by Canada’s federal, provincial and territorial governments to strengthen and grow Canada’s agri-food and agri-products sectors. This includes a $2 billion commitment that is cost-shared 60 per cent federally and 40 per cent provincially/territorially for programs that are designed and delivered by provinces and territories.

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