Research investment supports innovations to help keep farm animals healthy
Ontario’s government is supporting agriculture innovation by investing in research on livestock nutrition, biosecurity and production to help keep our farm animals healthy and safe. The $1.1 million investment will help develop new livestock technologies, practices and on-farm solutions while fostering innovation and competitiveness in the livestock sector.
“Our government is committed to advancing animal health and making the livestock sector more productive,” said Ernie Hardeman, Ontario’s Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. “This investment will provide farmers with the latest knowledge and tools they need to keep farm animals and food safe while continuing to be global leaders in the agriculture sector.”
Through the Ontario Agri-Food Innovation Alliance, the province is funding livestock research to support the development of innovative products, approaches and best practices with research projects that include:
- Assessing health and precision technologies to improve dairy cow fertility.
- Investigating nutrition strategies to improve the health and growth of pigs.
- Research to guide antibiotic use in the goat industry.
- Enhancing natural fertility in dairy cows through health and precision technologies.
- A machine learning approach to illness surveillance in swine populations.
- Assessing alternative feeds to improve health and productivity in chickens.
“The University of Guelph is deeply committed to animal health and welfare, as highlighted by world-leading research that promotes animal well-being and the productivity of livestock” said Malcolm Campbell, Vice-President (Research). “This OMAFRA support will enable University of Guelph to sustain its leadership in livestock research, underpinning the health and safety of farm animals, ensuring the security of our food systems, elevating the competitiveness of the Ontario agri-food sector, and consolidating our place as Canada’s food university.”
- The Ontario Agri-Food Innovation Alliance, a collaboration between the Ontario government and the University of Guelph, helps the province’s agri-food and rural sectors grow and innovate.
- The $1.1 million earmarked for new livestock health, welfare and productivity projects is part of the province’s Ontario Agri-Food Innovation Alliance annual investment of $5.8 million, which supports research at the University of Guelph. The Alliance funds research in areas of environmental sustainability, animal and plant health and production, as well as agri-food and bio-product development.
- Ontario’s livestock sector contributes approximately $15.4 billion to the GDP and supports more than 326,000 direct jobs.