What if we could bring together every link of the livestock production chain?

That’s exactly what the Livestock and Forage Centre of Excellence (LFCE) will allow us to do. This unique complex of field laboratories will model all aspects of raising livestock on the Canadian Prairies. The centre also includes science labs that connect discovery with translational and applied research.

The LFCE will encompass everything from forage development, grazing management and environmental sustainability to cattle reproduction, cow-calf management and feedlot health, growth and productivity.

There is nothing quite like the LFCE anywhere else in the world. Building on a strong network of partnerships, the centre will improve livestock production across Canada and around the globe. 

About

The Livestock and Forage Centre of Excellence (LFCE) brings together all aspects of beef cattle research into one entity, providing researchers, faculty, students, industry and producers with a broad-based platform for research, teaching and extension activities.

The LFCE promotes new research links and synergies across the commercial supply chain. The centre will be a leader in developing research, teaching and technology transfer programs that provide the livestock and forage industries of Saskatchewan and Canada with new tools and techniques for healthy, sustainable and competitive growth.

The LFCE will focus on the following areas of research, teaching and extension:  

  • Cow-calf production 
  • Beef cattle production 
  • Forage production, grazing and pasture management

A wide range of people from the University of Saskatchewan and partner organizations will rely on the centre’s resources for a variety of purposes:

  • U of S researchers and their national/international collaborators
  • U of S faculty members and instructors
  • Undergraduate and graduate students
  • Livestock and forage producers

For more information, read the LFCE fact sheet

Our Vision

Our vision is to develop a Livestock and Forage Centre of Excellence (LFCE) as a collaborative initiative, integrating livestock and forage research and development of resources for efficient and effective facilitation of internationally-recognized education, research and extension.

The LFCE will be a global leader in innovation, promoting increased profitability and sustainability for the livestock and forage industries.

Benefits

Consumers have questions about how western Canadian livestock producers raise animals. Through the LFCE, researchers will investigate different aspects of livestock production and “test drive” new options that will help to enhance animal welfare, animal health, product quality and food safety on Canada’s farms.

As input costs increase, livestock producers must adopt the most efficient methods of managing their herds. But what methods make the most sense when you consider economics as well as other factors? Because the LFCE reflects every stage of the cattle production chain, scientists can analyze the pros and cons of adopting a single cost-saving measure — or a combination of several tactics — in a real-world setting.

The LFCE provides U of S environmental researchers with a unique opportunity — the chance to study the impact of intensive livestock operations on a “green field” site over five years of development and production. Nothing like this has been done in Canada, and based on their results, the research team will  develop “best practices” — identifying what makes the best site for a feedlot and what modifications are necessary to minimize the impact on soil and water resources.

Students will have access to the newest technologies, advanced handling facilities and a large number of animals — cow-calf pairs and feeder cattle — all located close to Saskatoon. The centre will also include overnight accommodations so students can participate in calving.

By bringing scientists and producers together, the LFCE allows the research community to be more responsive to the needs of the livestock and forage sectors. Another positive outcome will be more research collaborations involving scientists from around the world.

The centre will connect agricultural, environment and veterinary researchers with producers and industry. Students, researchers, clients, producers and trainees will benefit from the hands-on demonstration and training facilities in the LFCE.

Partners

Representatives from the University of Saskatchewan, the Saskatchewan Government, and the Saskatchewan and Canadian forage and livestock sectors have worked together to develop the LFCE. All of our partners are formally represented on the LFCE Steering Committee.

LFCE Steering Committee

Committee Co-chairs

Aaron Ivey
Chair, Saskatchewan Forage Network

Ernie Barber
Provost, University of Saskatchewan (U of S)

Committee Members

Andrea Brocklebank
Executive Director, Beef Cattle Research Council

Janice Bruynooghe
Coordinator, Saskatchewan Forage Network

Mary Buhr
Dean, College of Agriculture and Bioresources, U of S

Doug Freeman
Dean, Western College of Veterinary Medicine, U of S

William Greuel
Assistant Deputy Minister, Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture

Abdul Jalil
Assistant Deputy Minister, Western Economic Diversification Canada

Ryder Lee
Chief Executive Officer, Saskatchewan Cattlemen’s Association

Chad MacPherson
Executive Director, Saskatchewan Stock Growers Association

Murray McGillivray
Cattleman and Adviser

Tim Oleksyn
Chair, Western Beef Development Centre/Prairie Agricultural Machinery Institute 

Elisabeth Snead
Associate Dean, Research (Acting), Western College of Veterinary Medicine, U of S

Michael Spratt
Saskatchewan Cattlemen’s Association

Bob Tyler
Associate Dean, Research, College of Agriculture and Bioresources, U of S

Focus Areas

Cow-calf production
Intensive beef cattle production
Forage production, grazing and pasture management

Research

Dr. John Campbell, WCVM professor and researcher

For years, U of S scientists in agriculture, veterinary medicine and engineering have collaborated with researchers at the Western Beef Development Centre and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. Their work has led to the development of many valuable tools for livestock producers. 

The LFCE builds on Saskatchewan’s rich pedigree of research and teaching in livestock and forage production. This unique centre will allow these researchers to go further in their discoveries by providing them with new facilities and technologies, larger herds and additional acres of forage and grazing land— all near Saskatoon.

Pooling all of this research power will not only benefit livestock producers and the agriculture industry. Undergraduate and graduate students will gain valuable, hands-on experience and opportunities to participate in cutting-edge research investigations. 

In addition, the LFCE will attract world leaders in beef and forage research to collaborate on a wide range of projects. Their expertise and experience will help us to find new ways to improve the global food chain.

The centre will also offer interactive outreach programs — field days, demonstrations, industry presentations and seminars — to help introduce new techniques and technologies to producers. The LFCE will be a centre for public awareness, helping to bridge the communications gap between the agriculture industry and consumers.

News

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