Adapt existing platform technology for on-site genetic detection of E. Coli and expand to detect Salmonella enterica serovars, Campylobacter species and Listeria species using a gel cassette PCR. This has worldwide importance for food safety.
Examine the on-farm effectiveness of a medication administered to newborn beef calves for the alleviation of pain associated with a difficult birth to determine evidence-based management practices to mitigate the impacts of a difficult birth on calf health, survival, and growth.
Provide a mechanistic basis to enhance health and performance by providing animals with a consistent source of safe drinking water, and test the effectiveness of a proprietary oxidation platform to achieve this goal.
Demonstrate additional beneficial properties of ovotransferrin peptides against metabolic syndrome, based on a previous study that demonstrated the antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-hypertensive properties of egg ovotransferrin peptides.
Characterize anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties of cathelicidins, which are small peptides naturally secreted by the foot skin. This innovation aims to reduce losses due to lameness, while concurrently reducing antibiotic use and promoting animal wellbeing.
Develop a broadly cross-protective vaccine that is capable of preventing H. somni infection and eliminating H. somni from immunized cattle potentially providing producers with an effective tool to eliminate H. somni infection in feedlots, reducing the overall use of antibiotics and substantially improving cattle’s productivity and welfare.
Employ a protein secretion system and its secreted antibacterial proteins to reduce pathogen colonization in animals, and produce a number of products for controlling Salmonella, E. coli and other pathogens.
Test fly ash amended concrete, a coal combustion by-product, under Alberta conditions to see if it can stabilize and improve feedlot pen drainage, thereby reducing mud, lameness and manure tag, and enhance animal welfare and food safety. Environmentally, the amended pen floor should improve manure nutrient value and air quality, and reduce demand for clay.
Fractionate egg yolk components, such as neutral lipids, phospholipids, phosvitin and egg yolk proteins, for niche market applications in functional food, nutritional, aquaculture, cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries.
Evaluate how pre-partum feeding strategies influence calf performance and improve our understanding of beef cow nutrition and physiology prior to, and after, calving to help improve the financial profitability of cow-calf operations.
Establish validated methods to detect VTEC strains of pathogenic E. coli using current methods, and compare novel molecular technology termed cassette PCR to one of the widely used commercial systems. Undertake a provincial survey for the prevalence of E. coli O157:H7 and non-O157 VTECs on beef carcasses at two points in the processing operation to provide faster and lower cost testing with increased accuracy for industry in Alberta and elsewhere.
Design vaccines that react against all variants of a surface protein that is essential for survival of A. pleuropneumoniae, A. suis and H. parasuis in pigs and provide an inexpensive approach to reduce the current use of antibiotics.
Determine the combination of temperature and pressure that ensures safety and storage life of an uncured, ready-to-eat poultry product; determine the impact of clean label antimicrobials on the lethality of L. monocytogenes subjected to HPP; and investigate the mechanism underlying the increased tolerance of L. monocytogenes to HPP treatment.
Study the association of subclinical mastitis with the six periparturient diseases and immune status of transition dairy cows, and isolate potential probiotic bacteria to be used against mastitis pathogens in cows that enter into dry off. This will serve to develop a probiotic treatment for lowering the incidence rate of multiple periparturient diseases.
Determine the flu strain circulating in pigs within the provinces of Western Canada, and work with producers and veterinarians to provide insights into the evolution of the virus within the herd and develop more effective control strategies.
Compare the lifetime productivity of broiler breeders managed with precision feeding and conventional feeding systems to achieve unprecedented levels of broiler breeder flock uniformity to move commercialization efforts forward.
Develop a novel genomic testing platform combining the natural affinity of mycophage towards their bacterial host with the robustness of polymerase chain reaction to circumvent the need of pre-incubation, allowing diagnosis within a day.
Characterize the biology and biochemistry of an identified novel infectious prion protein to determine whether the novel prion agent has the potential to infect other species including deer, elk and humans.
Determine if sheep with the genotype ARQ/ARQ are susceptible to H- and L-type Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE), and characterize the disease in affected animals. Use the research results for risk assessments for the possibility of BSE infection in sheep, provide data on the distribution of the disease agent within sheep tissues, and may provide evidence of the origin of classical BSE.
Quantify concentrations of trenbolone acetate (TBA) and melengestrol acetate (MGA) in feedlot manure, manure-amended soils, and catch basin water. Assess the effectiveness of windrow composting to decrease TBA and MGA residues and their fate in manure-amended soils.
Study naturally occurring variations in deer prion proteins and test how these changes affect the protein’s ability to adopt different shapes. Determine whether any new shapes that develop may pose a greater risk for crossing into humans.
Investigate practical dietary strategies to reduce ammonia emission intensity of egg production, including productivity, egg quality and profitability metrics to provide a balanced, holistic evaluation of the prospective strategies.
Develop a vaccine that can reduce Chronic Wasting Disease and its spread using an approach that teaches the immune system to make antibodies against this normal protein to block prion propagation and prevent prions from reaching the brain.
Design vaccine candidates that specifically mimic an infectious prion protein shape and immunize mice with vaccine candidates and screen for those that develop an immune response against Chronic Wasting Disease prions.
Activate enzymes native to beef by a stepped selection of cooking temperatures, with the expectation of tenderness increases greater than with one-step sous-vide cooking. Study how this stepped selection of cooking temperatures impacts the growth/survivability of naturally-occurring bacteria on meat, likely storage times of the cooked meat, and flavour.
Investigate the residual effect of the cattle feed additive nitrooxypropanol (NOP) on manure decomposition, nitrogen and phosphorus availability and greenhouse gas emissions during storage, composting, and after land application to forage crops and on manure biogas production potential. From the results, develop and recommend best management practices that reflect current and future beef industry feeding practices.
Investigate red osier dogwood (Cornus sericea), a native Canadian plant, for its potential to improve feed digestion, modulate the immune system, improve the health of beef cattle, and to reduce the use of antibiotics.
Investigate the optimal rate for using nitrification inhibitors following liquid manure applications, and report the potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions at farm and regional scales. The net reductions in greenhouse gas emissions can be converted into carbon credits in the Alberta carbon offset market.
Reduce Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) in beef cattle by identifying critical activities that lead to resistance and investigating nasal probiotics to enhance immunity and confer protection against Bovine Respiratory Disease pathogens.
Develop new tools to allow pig behavioural traits, such as aggressiveness, tail biting and social interaction, to be included within selection programs. The project will create a new collaboration between leading researchers in Canada and Europe.
Provide data to assess the risk for public health that is associated with heat-resistant pathogens such as Salmonella and Escherichia coli, and support the design of novel intervention strategies by the meat industry.
Evaluate biomarkers of methane production in beef cattle, investigate correlation between methane production and other methane related traits within our own smaller, well-characterized populations, and contribute this information to the larger databases currently being compiled world-wide with the aim of increasing sample size and power to detect relationships between methane production and genomic profile of beef cattle.
Identify superior cereal forage varieties from new and currently registered ones in small-grain species grown in an agronomic trial based on a forage evaluation spreadsheet. Carry out train the trainer workshops across the seed to livestock value chain to educate seed growers and companies, feed and livestock industry and producers.
Determine the causes of mortality in Alberta feedlot lambs and what risk factors, including source, days on feed, days to fill a pen, gender, incoming weight, breed/type, pre-entry medication practices, and ration, etc., may be associated with disease occurrence that could be managed to reduce disease losses.
Participate in missions to Korea and China; ensure that the relationship with Canadian, Alberta governments, and embassy and trade staff continue to solve elk’s market access issues in China and S. Korea; gain market intelligence in both S. Korea and China through the use of professional in-market representation.
Develop strategic alliances between eight of Alberta’s livestock and poultry organizations to collaborate on overarching issues, maximizing industry influence and providing the greatest value to members from scarce resources.
Deliver six strategic international programs designed to attract qualified buyers to Northlands' agricultural shows and facilitate business transactions between domestic and international stakeholders.
Conduct a benchmark study of Alberta Turkey farmers to obtain input costs, feed efficiencies and bird mortality rates in order to educate producers on where they rank in relation to their peers. The project includes an in-depth analysis of 23-25 (commercial) turkey producers building on the Cost of Production model that was completed in 2010.
Develop intervention strategies within Edmonton Public and Catholic schools focused on increasing knowledge and awareness of the role meat products play in a healthy diet amongst youth aged 11-18. The team is working with students and teachers to develop the materials and strategies that consider cultural, ethnic diversity and budgetary constraints.
Expand the course offering and hold the two day workshop in Leduc, Drumheller, and Grand Prairie to educate rescue personnel and livestock owners in the practical considerations, behavioral understanding, specialty equipment, techniques, methodologies and tactics behind the safe extrication of a live large animal from entrapments in local emergencies.
Pilot a surveillance program for 3 high priority pathogens; develop and pilot proactive mitigation measures to control the impact of Salmonella species (vaccination program) and; educate producers on the benefits of proactive disease risk management strategies as highlighted through the 40 volunteer producers learnings through this pilot project.
Develop and compare two prototype designs for detecting Bovine Respiratory Disease in receiver calves using infrared scanning systems. Compare the two systems based on data quality and cost effectiveness.
Codify the type of governance structure, policies and processes which reflect the leadership mandate of the Alberta Cattle Feeders Association; provide advice on the appropriate governance model, decision-making protocols and policies; roles of Board, any committees of the Board and the Chief Executive Officer; and provide a seminar for the Board on good governance principles, policies, protocols and practices.
Promote and outreach campaign to increase producer enrolment in the Commercial Angus Identification and Performance Program (CAIPP). The program is an extension of the Alberta Livestock and Meat Agency'-funded pilot, “Demonstration of a value added DNA tracking system for brand verification and breed improvement in the Alberta beef industry”, which demonstrated that DNA verified traits such as carcass weight, marbling, lean meat yield, etc. could be used to inform breeding decisions and increase profitability.
Demonstrate a pilot project to improve the Low Atmospheric Pressure Stunning (LAPS) technology depopulation process in terms of validating feasibility findings and improving efficiency/reducing cost. It includes a technology-transfer program to encourage implementation of a sustainable depopulation service and educate poultry farmers on the benefits and feasibility of the technology and service.
Constructed Alberta's first Net-zero egg barn at the Brant Colony that includes a microsite for the Net-Zero barn, including online 360-degree view into the egg barn. This will help increase awareness about the Net-Zero barn and act as a catalyst to build public awareness and education about Alberta's egg industry and modern egg farming practices.
Evaluate the level of animal tag scans needed to meet the epidemiological requirements of a fully-functional livestock traceability system in Canada based on the Canadian Cattle Identification Agency’s Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) Systems Applied Research Study.
Build content for a consumer awareness campaign intended to drive awareness that protein, especially meat protein, is an important part of a balanced diet and provides a range of important nutrients, provide balanced information that allow consumers to place risk in perspective and make informed choices, and showcase the benefits of deli-style prepared meats on a platform of taste, convenience, price and nutrition.
Conduct two workshops in Spring 2016 and late Summer/ early Fall to continue to strategically map out issues/initiatives common to Alberta industry organizations and develop a framework for ongoing collaboration.
Provide opportunities for Alberta Food Processors Association members to collaborate and educate participating Chef’s on preparation of non-traditional cuts of Alberta based protein products with the target of adoption within the Alberta food service industry.
Educate rescue personnel and livestock owners in the practical considerations, behavioral understanding, specialty equipment, techniques, methodologies and tactics behind the safe extrication of a live large animal from entrapments in local emergencies.
Update members on current industry and feeder program issues and benefit presented through key note speakers who provide insight into using industry and societal trends to improve their business. The Youth Day component provides youth with the support and encouragement to enter the industry and become the future industry leaders.
Present information through the 2015 symposium including soil health, the "health" of the farm management team through improved communication, improved animal health through conscious selection for structural soundness and genetic resistance to disease.
Participate in a three day development course that provides the opportunity for 20 future leaders to grow their leadership skills, business knowledge and network, while simultaneously allowing them to better understand their own personal skills inventory. The session exposed participants to the experiences of current leaders and provided additional education and insights into key responsibilities and activities of a Board.
Conduct the Western Canadian Association of Bovine Practitioner's 25th annual conference, featuring some of the top-ranked speakers from previous years along with some new speakers that are "the best" in their particular areas.
Industry & Market Development
The Western Canadian Association of Bovine Practitioners
Deliver a 1.5 day forum focused on seven themes: Canada in a global context, entrepreneurs: seizing the future, agri-food as a Canada’s economic engine, rethinking competitive advantage, positioning for success, the importance of uniqueness: local, national, global, and strategic choices for Canada’s agri-food future.
Inform and challenge those in the dairy industry to take a leading role in the development of the industry through the adoption of the latest technologies and available information, and to discuss current issues challenging the dairy industry.
Address challenges facing the beef industry including inter-generational transfer, evolution of the grading system, impacts of “natural” beef in mainstream marketing and planning for future trends in the red meat industry.
Communicate priority messaging to industry members, as well as the broader stakeholders that typically participate in the daylong event; provide opportunities for the different commodity producers to network with the broader poultry supply chain through the industry tradeshow, reception and banquet.
Provides a forum for industry engagement and learning opportunities across the beef supply chain that support the National Beef Strategy. The Beef Cattle Research Council, Canada Beef, Canadian Beef Breeds Council and the Canadian Cattlemen's Association hosted the inaugural event.
Provide opportunities for Alberta Food Processors Association members to collaborate and educate participating Chef’s on preparation of non-traditional cuts of Alberta-based protein products with the target of adoption within the Alberta food service industry.
Add the technology within the broiler breeder operation to grade and sort the hatching eggs based on size, sort out eggs that are outside of the hatchery parameters (small & large eggs), collect and analyze on-farm egg production data to make on-farm management adjustments, utilize UV disinfection of outgoing hatching eggs and add traceability into the supply chain of eggs from this broiler breeder operation.
Validate novel technologies in swine barns, collect data using these technologies, alongside routine measures already collected, and provide recommendations to the industry in Alberta and across Canada on the use of these technologies.
Build a prototype version of the tag reader that can read both UHF and LF tags in a single unit. The reader, together with the prototype smartphone cases and software developed in phase one, illustrate the user interface for data entry and reporting involving cattle identification and management information.
Develop new and value-added certified-organic pork products in Alberta. The products are unique and their development is market driven, as the current supply of certified organic pork in Alberta is minimal.
Agri-Processing Product and Market Development Program
Providing detailed insight into how Nitric Oxide (NO) disrupts the lethal viral-bacterial synergism that causes insidious respiratory disease called BRDc in cattle. NO, when administered to cattle arriving at the feedlot, reduces the incidence of BRDc and, as a new class of antimicrobial, is a naturally occurring molecule produced by mammals to protect themselves against bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites.
Extending genetic selection research to investigate the relationship between feed efficiency and cow/calf production under extensive open-range production systems. Existing programs measure efficiency (and its relationship with greenhouse gas production), largely in drylots, and thus the development of new tools for identifying cattle on range will lead to a more profitable cow herd.
Toe Tip Necrosis Syndrome is a condition of recently arrived feedlot cattle wherein bacteria infect the bone and soft tissues of the hoof, leading to lameness. Advanced cases are extremely difficult to treat, therefore prevention is critical to controlling this disease. ALMA-funded research into the role of micronutrients such as copper and zinc play in the development of this disease. Funding was also used to assess the biomechanical properties (hardness and elasticity) of the hoof.
SheepBytes is a web based ration-formulating computer program based on the 2007 NRC nutrient recommendations which include dynamic variables like environment and animal body condition. The accuracy of the predicted versus the actual dry matter intake and average daily gain will be evaluated at two locations over two years using GrowSafe systems individual feed intake technology to determine feeder lamb performance, carcass quality and costs of production on barley based rations.
Determining the most humane handling aids for cattle on farm and at the packing plant. Even though the use of electric prods for handling beef cattle is very common, little scientific information exists on the effects of electrical stimuli on the behaviour and stress-related responses of cattle.
Delivering user-friendly and cost-effective diagnostic tests that can streamline detection and characterization of influenza viruses in the laboratory. These tools can enhance disease surveillance and rapid detection of high priority influenza subtypes and improve our ability to respond to influenza threats.
Developing processes for the enzymatic modification of egg and crude canola lecithin to impart desirable physical properties plus dietary choline and omega-3 fatty acids. Lecithin is a widely used food emulsifier but most commercial food lecithin is sourced from soybeans. Exploring ways to create commercial opportunities for lecithin derived from Alberta grown eggs and canola.
Employing an integrated approach to develop genomic tools that can accurately predict efficient cattle with desirable carcass traits at birth based on their DNA markers. The genomic prediction tools will be made available to the industry to produce beef more efficiently.
Providing information on the welfare and bone density of hens in various housing systems used in Alberta. The Egg Farmers of Alberta have committed to not allowing the installation of new conventional cages after December 31, 2014. However, producers need reliable and unbiased evaluations of potential advantages/disadvantages of alternative housing systems available.
Developing laboratory assays to evaluate new products for prevention of Digital Dermatitis before testing in the field. With new treatment options, cows are more likely to be cured, thereby breaking the chain of new infections in dairy herds. Lameness is a common disorder in cows, often caused by infectious agents causing Digital Dermatitis, which is painful and difficult to treat.
Developing a new technology to detect and quickly trace the contaminants of Listeria and E. coli to source to mitigate the effect on public health. Recent incidents cost the meat processing industry millions of dollars including the loss of 23 lives with the Listeria outbreak.
Demonstrating the cost-effective use of live animal infrared scans at an abattoir for the purpose of identifying animals likely to produce meat quality aberrations. Demonstrating the nutritional therapy treatment of these identified animals which will reduce the incidence of dark cutting beef and the subsequent beef quality discounts endured by producers.
Benchmarking litter management philosophies in Alberta broiler barns, the evaluation of methods available for assessing foot pad quality at different levels of the production chain, and investigating new developments in bedding blends and poultry flooring for the purpose of improving overall broiler well-being and foot pad health.
Investigating the effect of aertotolerant Campylobacter jejuni on poultry contamination and develop measures to control C. jejuni contamination by interfering with the aerotolerance of C. jejuni. C. jejuni is a major bacterial cause of gastrointestinal diseases in humans, most frequently transmitted via contaminated poultry.
Evaluating non-pathogenic E. coli for their ability to outcompete Shiga-toxin producing E. coli (STEC) causing human disease. Once highly competitive, non-pathogenic E. coli (White Knights) are characterized, mechanisms they use to eliminate STEC will be investigated for future applications in human medicine and livestock production.
Identifying peptides representing neutralizing epitopes of Porcine Circovirus 2 (PCV2) . The peptides will serve as lead candidates for highly efficacious vaccines. Several veterinary vaccines induce only partial protective immunity resulting in mitigation of disease but not elimination of viral infection and transmission. A vaccine capable of strong induction of neutralizing antibodies against PCV2 will lead to prevention of viral infection, disease and shedding.
Inventing a novel method to mitigate methane production from ruminants by targeting rumen methanogens specifically in vitro. The long-term goal is to convert this new technology to regular feeding process, to help farmers improve animal production through sustainable management.
Developing a pasture management strategy for rapid improvement of high performance grazing in different eco-climatic zones of Alberta. Improving profitability of cattle production in the area while generating information on economics and soil property dynamics of such a production system for determination of its sustainability.
Determining which strain types of flu viruses are circulating in pigs within the provinces of western Canada and working with producers and veterinarians to provide insights into the evolution of the virus within the herd and developing more effective control strategies.
Providing scientific validation of cooling processes so that processors can meet CFIA and USA requirements for cooked meats. Cooling processes for cooked meat products require validation to ensure product safety. With new guidelines for cooling from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, processors need scientific data to ensure that their cooling regimes control the growth of Staphylococcus aureus and Clostridium perfringens.
Comparing 700-800 sequenced genomes to see if there is a genetic variance in M. bovis between geographical regions. If genetic variances are identified then the study will look to see whether these changes are conserved among geographically distinct isolates and then determine if these genetic changes are sufficient to alter the structure of the proteins. If so it will look to design new ELISA antigens with increased sensitivity for the diagnosis of M. bovis infection.
Developing effective vaccination strategies that begin early during the life of a calf and provide protective immunity against BRD during the weaning period. The key to this new vaccination strategy is to change the route of vaccine delivery from an injection under the skin (SC) to an intranasal (IN) injection.
Streptococcal exotoxin vaccination offers protection from induced laminitis in 80% of horses. Given the similarity of the disease in cattle, it is reasonable to expect that the same vaccination protocol might produce similar protection in feedlot cattle
Developing natural peptides secreted by animals (i.e. host defense peptides) as a novel therapeutic for important intestinal diseases in livestock. An overarching goal is to advance these peptides as a cost-effective, safe, and non-antibiotic innovation for Alberta producers (i.e. to reduce direct and indirect losses from intestinal disease in livestock).
Building on previous success in identifying feed ingredients and functional glycans with activity against enteric pathogens. The swine industry will benefit from this project by access to an improved toolset for control of enteric disease and provides an alternative to antibiotic use in swine production.
Developing a treatment with immune modulators, CpG ODN and/or poly(I:C) incorporated in cellulose nanoparticles to achieve this and reduce losses due to Bovine respiratory disease (BRD) at feedlot entry and/or a BRD outbreak at later times. Induction of early, innate immune responses would bridge the susceptible period between vaccination and development of specific immunity and provide protection from infection.
Bovine Viral Diarrhea Virus (BVDV) is a pathogen of major importance in beef and dairy herds worldwide. We developed a novel experimental BVDV vaccine, which elicits complete protection from BVDV-2 infection. We intend to further develop this vaccine candidate to make it commercially viable by using needle-free delivery, reducing the antigen dose and showing long-term duration of immunity.
Determining how colostrum feeding strategies impact gut microbial colonization and gastrointestinal health and development. Microbial communities and gastrointestinal development will be examined using techniques in microscopy, physiology and DNA sequencing to characterize the impact of colostrum feeding schemes.
Identifying target cells for PCV2 infection, analyzing PCV2- induced cellular defects, and identifying pig genes that interfere with PCV2 replication. Developing new screening tools for selecting pigs more resistant to and excluding those highly susceptible for infections with PCV2.
Developing and evaluating new tag technologies for optimizing herd management decisions while improving on industry traceability standards by combining Ultra-High Frequency (UHF) technology and DNA trait analysis for on-farm production improvements. UHF has the potential to increase efficiencies in cattle management, movement and tracking. Tissue tags are the first step in DNA trait analysis for herd improvement, diagnostics and DNA traceability.
Delivering essential information to develop a novel innovation (i.e. designer nanobodies and delivery systems) to achieve a safe, effective, and economically viable on farm strategy to mitigate Campylobacter jejuni , and thereby preserve Alberta’s reputation as a producer of safe and environmentally sustainable foods. C. jejuni is the most prevalent cause of bacterial foodborne illness in Alberta.
Developing probiotics to reduce the use of antibiotics and testing their potential to improve feed efficiency, modulate the immune system and improve the health of cattle. The addition of in-feed antibiotics as growth-promoting feed additives in beef cattle diets has been shown to improve feed efficiency but concerns over the use of antibiotics in livestock production continue to grow.
Quantifying the greenhouse gasses (GHG) flux in rangelands and examining how cattle grazing alters the microbial community and associated GHG emissions. Rangelands provide ecosystem goods and services that benefit all Albertans, including carbon storage. Soil micro-organisms, which vastly out-weigh cattle in these systems, regulate carbon storage and GHG.
Tailoring the type of and the amount of feed provided to individual free-run birds based on their individual body weights, measured at the time feed is provided; giving entirely new performance and behaviour insights. Precision feeding, or feeding the right feed to the right bird at the right time, can improve layer uniformity, egg production efficiency, and shell quality. This project is the first ever to pay attention to the nutritional needs of individual birds.
Developing innovative equipment to efficiently erect temporary fencing that is suitable for a variety of terrains and weather conditions. Temporary fencing will help livestock producers take advantage of alternative grazing options which have been shown to reduce winter feeding costs and provide for a more sustainable method of grazing management.
Determining the yield, nutrient composition and basic agronomic characteristics of purple prairie clover as a novel and high nutritive forage by conducting field growing experiments and laboratory analysis.
In collaboration with Alberta Farm and Animal Care (AFAC), developing alternative strategies for managing and communicating beef industry Farm Animal Welfare values and practices that are in line with the needs and demands of Canadian consumer and industry stakeholders.
Developing a data-based decision making system (targeted heifer replacement/cow breeding and feeder cattle sorting tools) as a joint effort between AAFC, UofA, Livestock Gentec, Agriculture and Forestry and CCHMS. Users will be able to compare different scenarios for their herd thanks to research generated prediction values for animal performance, carcass merit traits, GHG emissions and profitability. This system will help to solidify Canada’s leadership in sustainable beef production.
Developing a rigorous and practical methodology for assessing the positive and negative impacts of the beef production life cycle. Using existing and new biodiversity data to contribute scientifically credible information to life cycle analysis practitioners and others seeking reliable information on the relationship between biodiversity and beef production.
Identifying specific indicators for recognizing sustainable beef production practices and include a mechanism to verify and trace sustainable beef operations throughout the supply chain. The Pilot aims to recognize current sustainable practices and provide a foundation for continuous improvement, as well as inform the Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef's sustainable beef journey.
Characterizing BRD pathogens in morbid and healthy feedlot cattle and evaluating microbial risk factors for the development and outcome of BRD. BRD is a significant animal health issue facing the beef industry and accounts for economic losses greater than all other diseases of cattle. Despite the importance of BRD, there is limited information on the prevalence of BRD pathogens in Albertan feedlots and the outcome of cattle treated for BRD.
The objective of this proposal is to conduct a field trial to determine the effect of differing maturity at harvest for swath-grazing of barley, oat and triticale on animal intake and performance. The proposed approach will be to seed paddocks of all three cereals and to swath them at the recommended stage (soft dough for barley and triticale; and late milk for oat) as well as at hard dough stage (~ 20 d later); swathed cereals will be grazed by beef cows over winter to determine animal performance and system economics. The expected outcome is development of new recommendations for the stage of maturity at harvest for oat, barley and triticale that maximizes the yield of digestible nutrients without negatively affecting cow performance or profitability.
Evaluating the relationship between green-house gas (GHG) emissions and productive efficiency for Alberta dairy farms. Factors affecting trade-offs between economic viability and GHG emissions are assessed using historical production data for a sample of Alberta dairy farms.
Examining the use of polarized NIR light to predict cooked beef toughness from the raw product. Methods commonly used to measure meat toughness are time consuming and destructive; consequently, meat toughness is rarely assessed in industry because sacrificing of valuable product is seen as untenable. Invention of a non-invasive method of assessing meat toughness will allow for classification of carcasses or cuts into quality categories and facilitate product differentiation.
Studying the utility of oligodeoxynucleotides containing CpG motifs (CpG-ODN) in neonatal chickens at poultry hatcheries. The use of antibiotics to control early broiler chick mortality was discontinued from May, 2014 in all Canadian broiler hatcheries. Alternatives to antibiotics are priority in the broiler chicken industry. There is a significant protective effect of immunostimulatory CpG-ODN against lethal bacterial infections in chickens.
Demonstrating a novel technology to transform low-value materials from dairy processing facilities, into high-value prebiotic non-digestible food ingredients. The successful implementation of this technology will provide producers in Alberta and in Canada with a flexible tool to target the rapidly growing international market of functional health foods while reducing their operating costs.
Applying a mathematical model to identify rumen markers that are able to enhance nutrition models used for formulating diets and predicting animal performance by incorporating variables that account for genetic merit, thereby enhancing the ability of producers to sustainably manage feeding programs and improve production efficiency.
Developing an innovative glucosamine-based ingredient that can help increase the quality of processed meat products. Some non-meat ingredients (i.e. nitrites) used in the preparation of processed meat products have been associated with negative health image. In light of this, the meat industry is constantly looking for new "natural" ingredients to replace nitrites. Glucosamine, a natural molecule found in animal tissues, appears to be a valuable candidate in this regard.
Developing Near-Infra-Red Spectroscopy (NIRS) capability for the rapid and accurate prediction of moisture, protein, fibers (ADF, NDF, lignin), fiber digestibility starch, fat, and macro minerals in intact undried forage and total mixed rations. These NIRS calibrations will be distributed throughout the Alberta Feed NIRS Network.
Determining whether whey protein, and its components, synergize with fiber to produce greater reduction in food intake and body weight with improvements in glucose control than either intervention alone. The project may lead to the development of novel nutraceutical or functional food products for weight loss and diabetic control.
Demonstrating additional beneficial properties of ovotransferrin peptides against metabolic syndrome to further increase its application and marketability. Metabolic syndrome afflicts ~20% Canadian adults. As hypertension is a classical feature of metabolic syndrome, an antihypertensive agent with additional benefits on metabolic syndrome is highly desirable.
The second phase of a collaboration designed to enable development of beef and beef products enriched with healthy polyunsaturated fatty acid biohydrogenation products (PUFABHP). This involves a multidisciplinary approach covering beef cattle nutrition, genomic testing, rumen microbiology, the use of NIRS to rapidly measure PUFA-BHP’s, and studies to examine health effects of PUFA-BHP’s and their modes of action.
Identifying the rumen microbial fatty acid (FA) metabolism and host tissue FA synthesis pathways, to determine their impact on meat FA profiles and quality. The long-term goal is to differentiate meat products through marker assisted breeding in combination with desired nutritional regimes to improve beef FA composition, ultimately leading to higher profitability.
Providing data on alternative chilling strategies and the impact that they have on the microbiological quality and eating quality of horse meat. Ensuring market access for Alberta horse meat and providing the basis for policy changes for cooling of horse meat.
Exploring the dose response of cattle to a new feed additive designed to reduce methane emissions from feedlot cattle. Using this new additive to lower methane production could lower the carbon footprint of beef production in a cost effective manner if animal performance is also increased.
Conducting research required for registration of a product that can be used topically for short term and long term pain in castration and tail docking of piglets in Canada. The product was developed by Alberta Veterinary Laboratories. Industry is looking for an analgesic/anesthetic to address pain associated with these procedures where currently no registered product exists.
Focusing on grazing whole plant corn with an emphasis on evaluating methods to mitigate digestive upset, minimize feed wastage, and maximize profit for livestock producers. Generating new information for beef cattle producers with respect to recommended grazing techniques to reduce rumen acidosis and maximize forage utilization when grazing whole plant corn during winter months.
Investigating integrative conjugative elements (ICEs) in the development of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and evaluate the effect of antibiotic use on ICE-mediated AMR transfer in the Alberta beef and poultry industries, particularly related to antimicrobials with relevance to human and animal health.
Piloting an efficient procedure for in vitro production of embryos from live cattle and establishing this technology in Alberta for improving genetic selection and productivity of cattle. Reproductive technologies are critical for increasing the number of progeny from genetically superior cattle. In that regard, repeated collection of eggs from elite cattle by an ultrasound-guided approach and its use for laboratory (in vitro ) production of embryos is highly innovative.
Investigating parasite prevalence, developing new faster methods to detect drug resistant parasites and enabling producers to make informed decisions regarding if drug treatments are required and which drug to use as part of their parasite control programs.
Developing new highly digestible feed ingredients and feeds is required to overcome the loss of plasma protein as a feed ingredient for young pigs. Feed intake following weaning is the most critical factor for a successful swine feed program and plasma protein provided a required boost. However, plasma protein has also been associated with a new infectious disease in Canada; hence, replacement ingredients and complete feeds are required.
Using a pre-clinical swine model to study the benefits of vaccenic acid (VA) in early and established conditions of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). A newly discovered natural trans fat called VA found in beef and dairy is known to reduce inflammation in the intestine and may be beneficial for IBD.
Building the most automated and user friendly goat rotary in the world thereby revolutionizing the goat milking industry in Alberta by allowing farms to manage more animals per person and achieve higher returns.
Attendance and participation in agricultural/livestock shows in India and China to meet government officials, industry companies, and independent producers relative to frozen semen and live pigs products.
Connecting Alberta industry stakeholders with highly qualified buyers to source Alberta cattle, genetics, and other agricultural goods and services. The Northlands International Program consists of a highly integrated set of programs designed to seek out and attract qualified buyers and facilitate business between domestic and international stakeholders.
The Poultry Research Centre (PRC) Advisory Board has determined that it is important to set a strategic direction in order to position itself as a leader in the poultry industry. Developing a strategic framework through which the PRC can maintain financial sustainability and capitalize on future research, technology transfer and learning opportunities.
An annual two day forum held in June with a theme of how to improve consistency and quality in a carcass to ultimately add value to that product. The event is hosted in conjunction with Certified Angus Beef.
Evaluating the use of the Low Atmospheric Pressure System (LAPS) as part of a self‐sufficient long term business to provide routine and emergency depopulation for the Alberta poultry industry. The collaborators recognize that in order for this service to be viable and self‐sufficient, a valuable use for the end product (spent hen/fowl) needs to be established.
Bringing a 1 week training session to Alberta key account managers from distribution and sales to sell the story of our ranchers, feedlots, packing plant and beef production. Heritage Angus Beef provides what health‐conscience consumers are demanding in beef: a safe, wholesome food that can be savoured and trusted.
The development and demonstration of new selection tools that will enhance the longevity and sustainability of the Canadian cow herd. Optimal value is only realized with maximum producer up take, and an extensive producer engagement campaign will be undertaken by all partners.
Pursuing a modernized, Canadian, industry‐specific herd management software‐ incorporating mobile functionality‐ that will facilitate broader adoption of data collection and analysis and enhance information exchange along the supply chain.
Creating a strategic plan to reflect current industry situations and provide benefit to members within the resources available. Contracting a facilitator to provide a one day joint workshop for board directors of the Canadian Sheep Federation and Alberta Lamb Producers and senior staff of the member organisations.
The Alberta Elk Commission (AEC) has taken a lead role working through the Canadian Cervid Alliance (CCA) in a coordinated effort with the Canadian Trade Secretariat to develop a clear plan of action to move towards achieving market access into China. AEC and CCA are both invested in a common goal of improved market access for our products.
Creating a portable gallery for the purpose of educating the public about family farming, by sharing powerful #FarmVoices stories and information that illustrate its importance to the food system. The #FarmVoices stories will be organized into various themes and professionally designed to fit within 8 portable pop‐up banners.
This is a unique marketing opportunity for purebred cattle producers ‐ with several components ‐ Marketing‐ (private treaty sales), Purebred Cattle Show, 4‐H Judging Clinic, Taste of Beef Banquet and Steak Challenge, Ag. Based Trade Show and School Education Program. In 2014 the Canadian Bull Congress revamped it's school program to include more informative and hands‐on based station.
Industry & Market Development
Camrose Regional Exhibition and Agricultural Society
Developing a five year National Strategy showing how various organizations can work together to best position the industry to compete for a larger share of the world market and to become the high quality beef product of choice in the world. The strategy is being developed by the National Beef Strategy Planning Group (NBSPG) which includes all the provincial associations, the Canadian Cattlemen's Association, National Cattle Feeders' Association, Canadian Beef Breeds Council, Canada Beef Inc. and the Beef Cattle Research Council.
The showcase will consist of a combination of static and interactive displays. Booth space will be allocated to participating groups, which could include live animals. Product marketing was permitted in the showcase area, which is an important program component for showcasing value‐added products and generating show sales for specific participants.
Training through classroom teaching and hands‐on application by participants. At the same time, under the training opportunity supported by the National Meat Training Centre at Olds College in corroboration with Cargill’s resources as a meat packing plant, the partnership will be able to design a program that will fulfill the needs and meet the gaps of labour force shortage in the meat packing industry.
The Porkapalooza BBQ Festival focuses on creating a unique pork experience for Albertans; increasing consumer awareness of Alberta pork products; providing a platform for local food vendors to showcase their talent and Alberta meat products; integrating other Alberta proteins into the festival; and creating an event where the consumer can interact with the producer.
Developing a Recruitment Campaign, tailored toward the specific needs of ACFA, and the beef industry. The success of the initiative hinges on showing people what the industry looks like instead of telling them with the use of social media channels.
Evaluating and prioritizing current stored tissue, blood, hair, and extracted DNA cattle samples currently being stored in labs across Canada, for the beef breed associations. Transitioning viable and priority samples to Delta Genomics’ biobank in Edmonton, AB, or the lab of choice for the beef breed associations. Developing a long‐term biobanking and sample pulling strategy for the breed associations. Developing an Information Management System for easy and cost effective access to individual samples, ID’s, and animal trait data.
An annual convention to update members on industry issues and developments and to take advantage of learning opportunities that benefit themselves and their families. The youth delegates are free to attend the whole convention as an opportunity to network with experienced members who have been feeding livestock for many years.
Creating an agriculture business management program within the post-secondary system. Business risk management will be one of the first initiatives to be developed and launched in close collaboration with industry. Lethbridge College and the Alberta Cattle Feeders' Association have partnered on the Business Risk Management Project and would like to be considered co-applicants.
Stakeholder engagement is a critical means for EFA to maintain and enhance its social license to operate. It begins with the understanding that stakeholder issues are not external issues that the organization must react to, but instead they are forces that can influence the organization’s future. If properly addressed through formal stakeholder engagement, these issues can provide valuable insights into future strategic risks, which can be transformed early on into strategic opportunities.
Advancing market access objectives specific to South Korea, following the advice of trade specialists in the Canadian Trade Secretariat and our own contacts both domestically and internationally, as well as at the invitation of Honourable Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade.
Bringing Alberta producers together, along with industry leaders & government dignitaries in a non‐formal setting to foster relationships that will benefit Alberta & Canadian agriculture businesses and livestock producers.
An annual University of Calgary Veterinary Medicine (UCVM) Beef Cattle Conference to address pertinent animal health and well‐being issues for the beef industry that have direct effects on productivity and financial returns to the producer, bridging the gap between research and the community.
A culinary celebration of the 6th annual Chinese Restaurants Awards. This is an international collaboration of Chinese Master Chefs that are working together to create an exclusive “once in a lifetime” Chinese dining experience for 300 guests. The award‐winning Chefs are from Hong Kong, Guangzhou and Shanghai. The international Chinese Master Chefs will be joined by four award-winning Canadian Chinese Master Chefs to orchestrate an unforgettable dinner.
Graduate students from the University of Alberta, and researchers from Alberta will present and discuss their research at this meeting, gain new knowledge generated around the world, and network to strengthen current collaboration and establish new collaborations with colleagues from Canada, the US and from around the world.
Providing cow‐calf operators, feedlot managers , cattle producers and industry stakeholders with up‐to‐date information on the global economy and how this affects the beef industry, currency trends and how they affect the beef industry.
The conference normally starts with a pre‐conference symposium entirely sponsored and organized by industry, a plenary session that focuses on current issues (nutrition & health in livestock), a breakout session for either ruminant or monogastric nutrition with more detailed nutrition information, and finally a plenary session with topics on consumers and market perspectives on nutritional management.
An Annual Convention and Show and Sale ‐ “Building Blocks for Success”. For the bison industry to grow producers must understand the world around them, be able to develop business plans to achieve their goals, understand the importance of leadership and succession in agriculture, understand the nutritional attributes of bison meat, learn from producers who are leaders in the industry and listen to marketers in order to understand current market realities.
An annual conference to participate in discussions that will shape the future of the goat breeding organization and industry. Traceability, biosecurity, marketing skills and animal health, were on the agenda.
The event will feature Canadian cuisine crafted from exclusively local ingredients. The event will include a presentation of the Pure Prairie Eating Plan by one of the authors while enjoying a multi‐course meal of locally sourced ingredients.
Celebrating the harvest and showcasing foods grown and raised in Alberta, providing networking opportunities for agricultural producer groups, corporate Alberta, government and primary producers and informing guests of the programs in which Ag for Life invests.
Delivery of a Platinum Brooding® Workshop to Alberta Chicken Producers on sound brooding practices for implementation within Alberta broiler producer's facilities to limit the challenges associated with changing genetics, nutrition and health management as well as to enhance antimicrobial stewardship throughout the poultry supply chain in Alberta.
“Going Beyond Sustainability” to address future challenges and understand the opportunities facing ruminant livestock producers and stewards of the land. The focus is on creating soil, increasing carbon capture, improving soil‐water‐air quality and addressing the profitability and quality of life needed for young people to choose to be part of our future beef industry.
This conference is aimed at progressive primary producers, agri‐business, agricultural entrepreneurs, and post‐secondary agriculture students. It is organized by a volunteer committee of people from a wide cross‐section of the agricultural industry in Southern Alberta.
Addressing the major issues facing the pork industry such as increasing exports, increasing domestic processing, increasing domestic consumption, reducing feed costs, improving production efficiency, reducing disease risks, improving animal nutrition, retrofitting existing farm facilities to meet new animal welfare guidelines, improving industry communication and management, supporting research and technology transfer, and training of highly qualified personnel.
A one‐day conference on “Advances in Protein Nutrition Across the Lifespan.” While our knowledge of dietary protein continues to grow, so too does confusion surrounding the latest scientific discoveries. This meeting is geared towards all health professionals including physicians, dietitians and researchers.
PlaniT Beef‐ Make it Canadian ‐ fulfilling a strategy to grow the business around a unique and differentiated Canadian beef offering. Bringing our differentiated Canadian product to the world. Session topics focus on ways individuals can plan for the future, give insight into consumer demands, upcoming global trends, and how your industry leaders are working for them to move Canada's superior beef products overseas.
An annual institution in the fabric of the 4‐H organization. Approximately 300 4‐H leaders and staff from across Alberta, along with guests from across Canada and Montana, gather for three days of intense learning, invaluable networking and a whole lot of fun. This event has occurred for 71 years!
A symposium following a traditional format for veterinary continuing education conferences. That is, a welcoming reception allowing participants to engage each other, followed by a program of invited speakers presenting information in their particular area of expertise
A series of professional nutrition education events hosted annually by Alberta Milk. The seminar is dedicated to health professionals and educators. Dietitians, public health nurses, pharmacists and some physicians attend as well as home economists, teachers, wellness coordinators and fitness instructors.
An annual Livestock Care Conference in partnership with Alberta Veterinary Medicine Association (ABVMA). This conference provides an opportunity for researchers, industry, students, government and the public to address challenges and trends in animal care.
Exploring options for funding opportunities and generation of sustainable income for the BPA. This will be facilitated through the hire of a business advisor/consultant to help establish viable options for a diverse base for program funding and support that will ensure long‐term success for the BPA.
The bison industry's presence at ANUGA is very important recognizing the future potential in Europe. A trade booth represented by the Canadian Bison Association and Canadian Rangeland Bison and Elk will share with the Canadian elk industry as represented by AWAPCO.
Developing a producer‐driven and evaluated program that has a low entry level aim to improve production, longevity and welfare of cows. Enzootic Bovine Leukosis (EBL) caused by bovine leukemia virus (BLV) has long been considered as a production limiting disease, and its impact on production has recently become more clear. This is associated with decreased milk production, an increased risk of being culled and the potential development of leukosis.
Growing an in‐store retail / food service presence through developing more labeling and collateral programs, as well as an integrated marketing and communications plan that delivers key messages of taste and superior production methods, and pursuit of increased product sales and long‐term investment in the brand.
2014 conference, with focus on how to transfer new research insights including those from genomic research into tangible results for the Albertan and Canadian livestock industries. This year’s topics include sessions on feed efficiency and forage as well as emerging evidence on the cost / benefit of genomics and (GE‐EPDs) as applied to commercial (as opposed to purebred) cattle.
Developing an executive summary brochure as a resource for packers, food service and retail trade partners in Canada. In collaboration with Health Canada the findings will be incorporated into consumer resources to be developed and distributed by Canada Beef Inc.
AgriClear (ACR) is an electronic trading platform combined with physical clearing. ACR’s vision is to aid both buyers and sellers with a transformational and mutually beneficial means of transacting business which will reduce transaction costs; develop a transparent and highly dynamic market-based pricing mechanism for livestock; establish failsafe transactional security and build trust between industry sectors.
Providing detailed strategic and financial analysis and a decision document for the partners as knowledge regarding the required outcomes, the current state of the services, and collaborative opportunities to stakeholders in animal health services in western Canada.
CAPI reported on China's market for high-quality food and beverage ingredients and products from Alberta and Canada. A mission focused on connecting with senior-levels of leading Chinese retailers, identified key barriers and opportunities and CAPI summarized and published its learnings and their policy implications for the benefit of agri-food stakeholders overall.
The CRSB is a multi-stakeholder organization that works to advance continuous improvement in sustainability of the Canadian beef industry. The CRSB will ensure that the beef industry moves ahead in a coordinated, acceptable and relevant direction.
The National Meat Case Study will achieve logistical efficiencies and enhanced opportunities for knowledge acquisition by being conducted in parallel with the retail portion of the National Beef Quality Audit (NBQA).
Improving production efficiency, consistency and output with the purchasing of new equipment (dicers and thermoforming packaging machine) to fill an immediate opportunity with Loblaws and Federated COOP.
Implementing a new system to eliminate the drawbacks of outdated designs while dramatically improving convenience, safety and cleanliness. Additionally installing a dry ingredient mixer and micro system to improve process automation, process improvement and technology upgrades.
Determining the detection rate of specific bacteria and viruses involved in intestinal and respiratory diseases causing illness and death in cattle and pigs. Provide guidance to veterinary practitioners and diagnostic laboratories regarding sample collection, test selection and the overall significance of detection of these pathogens in these disease syndromes. Improve the diagnostic significance of testing.
Determining if sheep with the genotype ARQ/ARQ are susceptible to atypical BSE by either oral or intracranial inoculation and characterize the disease in affected animals by defining the relative susceptibility of ARQ/ARQ sheep. Provide the needed information on incubation period and disease progression if the inoculation is successful. Generate a bank of samples from sheep inoculated with BSE and provide information on pathogenesis that differentiates BSE from Scrapie infection in sheep.
Establishing new processing methodologies for fresh meat products processed using high pressure processing technology and provide useful technical information to improve fresh meat products quality attributes and establish the safety of HPP treated fresh meat products with extended shelf life. Develop product-oriented guidelines for commercial production of high pressure processed, fresh marinated beef steaks, pork chops and fresh sausage with an extended shelf life. The information generated from this project will be useful for novel product approval from Health Canada.
Minimizing yolk sac infections and improve broiler chick quality and broiler performance through the pathogenesis and characterization of enterococcus species in chicken embryos and neonatal broiler chickens. Control of the emergence of enterococcal species using oligodeoxynucleotides contacting CpG motifs.
Developing simple, efficient and environmentally friendly methods of extraction of lipid and protein biopolymers from poultry by-products and effectively utilize these biopolymers for the preparation of bionanocomposites. Investigating their potential as alternative to traditional food and non-food packaging materials to reduce our dependency on fossil fuels and divert waste from landfills.
Developing a risk-based Alberta Phosphorus Management Tool (APMT) for farm-scale application that identifies areas at high risk for Phosphorus loss, and direct practical and effective management actions; demonstrate industry’s proactive leadership and social responsibly in addressing the P issue in collaboration with government; integrate previous watershed knowledge from Alberta research on the risk of P loss and in-field assessments of BMPs; and provide guidance under the province’s Cumulative Effects Management System and Land Use Framework.
Studying how a new oral vaccine improves herd health and performance by targeting three main periparturient diseases mostly affect culling of dairy cows: infertility, mastitis and lameness.The study will validate the efficacy of a newly developed oral vaccine; evaluate metabolic and immune status of transition dairy cows vaccinated with the new vaccine, the health and productivity of dairy cows treated with the vaccine; evaluate whether the oral vaccine combined with the subcutaneous injection would confer better protection compared with the oral vaccination alone, and the health of offspring from cows vaccinated with the new vaccine.
Determining if a new cooking technology can cook beef and pork portions to 71 °C faster than a typical clam-shell (top and bottom grill platens) cooking grill; determine the best platen needle type for the meat cooker system to tenderize beef and pork while it cooks; and compare cooking times and cooking losses between pork and beef cooked from frozen (< -10 °C), tempered (about -2 °C) or thawed (about 4 °C) states.
Using 'taste contrast' to create high quality, reduced sodium meat products. Increase the perceived saltiness of reduced sodium meat products by creating internal sodium concentration gradients via encapsulation. Providing a novel method of sodium delivery that will improve the sensory properties of reduced sodium products while maintaining desired functionality and microbial stability. This strategy is a valuable, effective and economical approach to producing reduced sodium Alberta meat products with improved consumer acceptability.
Reducing the cost of adhesive preparation using whole spent fowl carcass and other co-products from the livestock industry; improving the functionality and performance by developing biomimetic adhesives and formulation especially adding nanofillers; furthering mature the technology by demonstrating its scalability and application of making wood composites using protein-based resins developed in the project; and identifying competitive market applications and engaging industry partners to develop strategies for commercialization.
Developing a strategy for beef producers to economically reduce the carbon footprint of beef production. Demonstrating 'proof of concept' that feeding a slow release form of calcium nitrate (experimental proprietary product) could be a cost effective means of reducing enteric methane by 25 per cent, without decreasing animal performance, and this form of calcium nitrate can be used in beef cattle diets to replace urea as a source of nitrogen for the rumen microorganisms, making rations less costly while reducing methane emissions.
Identifying the procedures for achieving efficient deamination of canola meal and wheat DDGS, with particular attention paid to efficacy, safety and regulatory compliance. Establishing the feeding value of delaminated canola meal and DDGS for ruminants using an in-vitro fermentation assay and for poultry using a broiler bioassay.
Applying a new diagnostic technology for the production of pen-side tests to three important production limiting diseases in the dairy industry. Identify and incorporate optimal antigens for Leukosis, Leptospirosis and Neosporosis in antibody-induced enzymatic bio-switch tests and validate serum/milk bio-switch tests on field samples, resulting in a novel platform of easy-to-use diagnostics for several production limiting diseases, with either a viral, bacterial and protozoal causative agent.
Surveying insect pollinators across Alberta to identify these beneficial insects and suggesting management practices that support their populations as a first step to establishing management practices that promote pollinators and enhance production in rangelands.
Establishing the basic parameters (methodology, selectivity and sensitivity) for a future blood-based live-animal BSE test. Provide insights for developing testing systems for other zoonotic diseases, such as Johne's Disease and Mastitis, which are targets for CNA Diagnostics Inc., the company co-funding this proposal.
Establishing a new method for measuring soil quality using a tri-dimensional high resolution laser scanner. Conducting field and laboratory tests across Alberta to identify management choices that improve soil quality in farming systems including cropland, forage, rangeland and tame pasture systems. Contributing to increased awareness regarding soil quality amongst the general public and farming communities.
Evaluating the role of phage ecology in the persistence of STEC in cattle and beef. Providing improved tools for the efficient management of health risks and cost-benefit analysis of policies and practices.
Exploring the potential of a new feed additive to reduce methane emissions from feedlot cattle, while improving animal performance. Determining the effects of feeding the new additive to backgrounding and finishing cattle on growth rate, feed intake, feed conversion efficiency and methane production. Determining if there are residues or metabolites in tissues, to ensure the meat poses no risk for human consumption.
The University of Alberta, in partnership with Champion Petfoods, Elmira Pet Products, Western Economic Diversification, Alberta Livestock Meat Agency, and others, is launching an Animal Nutrition and Ingredient Development Program. Explore the opportunities that extrusion processing offers to add value along the entire plant-animal-food value chain.
Identifying and developing best management practices for manure injection into soils with specific focus on efficiency of nitrification inhibitors, timing of manure additions, associated quantities of nitrous oxide losses and plant nutrient utilization.
Combining novel data generated by this study with data from the ALMA funded ‘Carbon Benchmarking in Rangelands’ project to develop a mechanistic understanding of how cattle grazing specifically alters C cycling and stores in northern temperate grasslands. Identifying specific grazing management practices that increase C storage in grasslands. Promoting innovative policy and market instruments that reward cow/calf producers for C storage.
Developing breeding and management practices that will maintain optimum genetic diversity within the Canadian beef cattle population and maximise the benefit of using genomics and heterosis to improve production efficiency and profitability. Using genomic tools to assess genetic diversity, and identify and investigate at a genomic level the non-additive genetic effects that contribute to heterosis in beef cattle in Canada. Improving genetic merit of Canadian beef populations and increase profits for Canadian beef producers by providing the beef industry with enhanced genomic tools for genetic evaluation, develop optimal mate selection, and prediction of hybrid performance.
Investigate the effects of pre-natal nutrition during early to mid-gestation, and selection for feed efficiency, on subsequent bull calf sexual development and reproductive potential in the Western Canadian beef cattle production system. Determining whether cattle with divergent potential for feed efficiency can differentially mitigate consequences of nutrient restriction during pregnancy upon post-natal growth and reproductive development and function of their male progeny.
Investigating the effect of dairy-derived trans fat (vaccenic acid or VA)specifically on diabetes using the rat model and using large animal models (swine). Delineating the role of dairy products in the prevention and management of type 2 diabetes. Add to the growing body of knowledge that dairy products are healthful. Providing the scientific platform required by Health Canada to expedite the translation of research findings on vaccenic acid into actionable policies on TFA, new product technologies as well as dietary interventions for humans.
Assessing current animal care and health management practices used on cow-calf operations in Western Canada and their association with health and welfare. Determining the perceptions of, and rationale for use, given animal care strategies. Improve animal care by optimizing on-farm management practices.
Co-funded project with Climate Change and Emissions Management Corporation to collect data on Residual Feed Intake (RFI) and methane emissions in Beef Cattle to provide a vaildated protocol for carbon offsets in low RFI cattle.
Identifying and understanding microbial risks in rural drinking water wells, including pathogen detection in water samples, source tracking fecal contamination in E. coli positive wells, understanding producers’ perceptions of risk, and risk factor analysis. Developing water policy for Albertans, engaging various stakeholders. Inform decision makers on the implications for human, animal and environmental health.
Generating resistance prevalence data for making effective use of antibiotics in feedlot facilities and mitigate risk of developing antibiotic resistance. Examining H. somni phenotypes and genotypes from cases of Bovine Respiratory Disease in Alberta feedlot cattle collected 30 years apart, identifying differences in antibiotic resistance and virulence genes selected for by changes in antibiotic usage and management and which cause changes in clinical disease and treatment failure.
Helping the beef industry recognize and communicate areas of proficiency, set targets and outline beneficial management practices for areas of improvement and help shape future research and policy; overcome its current strategic challenges and seize short-term and long-term opportunities by providing a comprehensive baseline assessment of the environmental and socio-economic impact of beef production in Canada; identifying key strengths and weaknesses that should be the focus of future research, communication, policy, beneficial management practices (BMPs); developing modeling and methodology tools for future benchmarking of sustainability indicators; and establishing key performance indicators, targets and recommended BMPs to address the areas of concern or opportunity.
Improving the understanding of the effects of dietary oilseeds during late gestational period on postpartum reproductive function, health and immunity. Investigaging the role of fatty acids on embryo development. Evaluating the effects of prepartum diets enriched in long chain fatty acids on postpartum reproductive and immune function, uterine health and neonatal immunity. Studying the effects of dietary fatty acids on embryo development in vivo, embryonic and reproductive tissue gene expression, genes regulating conceptus-maternal crosstalk and pregnancy recognition, and fatty acid distribution in reproductive tissues.
Understanding how pigs develop a protective immune response following vaccination and identifying early gene expression and protein activation patterns in the blood to predict how well an individual animal will respond to a vaccine. Identifying biomarkers for response to vaccination in swine.
Using modern genomic approaches to detect parasites in cattle and bison that are resistant to the important antiparasitic drug fenbendazole. Developing diagnostic tests to help producers choose the most effective drugs for parasite control. Developing a novel quantitative molecular tests for fenbendazole resistance.
Using an experimental approach to understand the role of grazing systems in maximizing forage production and minimizing loss during drought in Alberta’s rangelands. Identifying site characteristics that indicate the most appropriate grazing system for producers to use and locations that may be more susceptible to drought. Developing new tools and indicators of root health that will help producers monitor the health of their rangeland.
Developing and testing the effectiveness of nasal-delivered probiotics to mitigate the Bovine Respiratory Disease (BRD) pathogen M. haemolytica in feedlot cattle. Developing a probiotic to be administered to cattle during processing at feedlot entry.
Developing a robust technology - Novel Enteric Symbiotic Technology (NEST) - to effectively mitigate important zoonotic enteric pathogens in mammalian livestock and validate the technology in vivo. Enhance the competitiveness/sustainability of the Alberta livestock and agri-food industry, and the health and well-being of the public.
Developing an enzyme delivery system that will efficiently bind feed enzymes, retain enzyme activity, maintain enzyme stability during storage and feed processing, protect enzymes from degradation throughout transit of the rumen and small intestine, and improve total tract digestion of feed in ruminants.
Delivering low-cost, highly-sensitive and specific molecular assays for rapid pen-side/on-farm detection and differentiation of Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea (PED) and transmissible gastroenteritis (TGE). Addressing the urgent need for a rapid highly-sensitive and specific pen-side/on farm diagnostic test for detection of PEDv.
Evaluating the use of gaseous nitric oxide to prevent and treat Bovine Respiratory Disease in feedlot cattle. Providing an innovative non-antibiotic solution to feedlot producers that could significantly reduce the overall use of antibiotics in the beef industry.
Identifying single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) associated with the formation and post mortem degradation of collagen, if any, and preliminary development of a SNP panel for testing for favorable polymorphisms.
Providingenough light for broiler breeder pullets to access feed from a Precision Broiler Breeder Feeding Station 24 hours a day without triggering early sexual maturation and determine the best light combination (main versus supplemental lights) to maximize and sustain egg production in adults.
Developing an efficacious, easily administered, cost effective product for the control of inflammation and pain registered for use in food producing horses. Collecting the relevant information required by the VDD to conclusively demonstrate the efficacy, safety and economics of the use of an oral suspension formulation of meloxicam. Submitting the studies for registration of Meloxicam oral suspension for food producing horses in Canada.
Partnering with the Alberta Prion Research Institute to support research directly related to prion diseases (i.e.: Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD), Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE)) geared toward providing solutions for the economic, environmental and social consequences of these diseases.
Developing new technologies to benchmark Canadian lamb carcass and meat quality, and determining the most influential parameters to include in an improved grading system for lamb carcasses in Canada by improving methods for estimating lamb quality on-line and lamb classification systems.
Increasing the uptake of residual feed intake and genomics as a means to increase profit for cow-calf and feedlot producers. Comparing the profitability of a genomics-selected feed efficient beef herd to a herd selected without genomic input.
Alberta Animal Genetics Consulting Group Ltd. (AAGCG) markets live breeding pigs, fresh and frozen boar semen, and provides consulting services to international swine breeders. China and India are significant markets for these products.
Providing cow calf operators, feedlot managers, cattle producers and industry stakeholders with up-to-date information on the global economy and currency trends and how they affect the beef industry. Information includes the U.S. beef industry’s outlook and the international market outlook to discuss issues that are happening with Free Trade agreements with the European Union, Korea, etc., and perspectives from the retail market leaders, and the issues of competing meats.
Bison meat meets all the current consumer trends in terms of leaner, healthier meals with smaller portion size. Bison is indigenous to Alberta and is produced sustainably on family farms. In collaboration with the production company, CEG Consumer Education Group, (http://ceged.net) a TV program was developed to showcase bison meat, its benefits and versatility in the kitchen, together with the celebrity chef TV program “In the Kitchen” with Roger Mooking. A signature recipe will be created using a lower value bison cut to promote great taste at an affordable price and demonstrate the simplicity of preparing a healthy, nutritious meal using bison meat.
The LAC Summit is jointly organized by Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development and the State Agricultural and Rural Leaders (SARL) group. Bringing together U.S. state legislative agriculture chairs, Canadian provincial ministers of agriculture (or their designates), and other elected officials to engage in dialogue to broaden understanding and cooperation between the U.S. and Canada on agricultural issues. The Summit enhances our relationship with our largest trading partner and supports a key Government of Alberta strategic objective of diversifying markets to expand the Alberta economy.
This annual workshop serves to transfer the latest research and information from the University and industry to individuals working at farm-level or directly servicing the swine industry. By keeping those working the industry up-to-date with the latest research and technologies, we aim to help producers remain viable and competitive. This year's SBMW will bring together a group of experts who will help workshop delegates understand the welfare considerations of alternative sow housing, as well as the management challenges they will face in adapting these new systems of production.
Bridging the gap between research and the community. This two-day conference will address pertinent animal health and wellbeing issues that have direct effects on productivity and financial returns to the producer.
Western Feedlots is meeting with key investors and distributors in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to explore a beef value chain solution that would dedicate Canadian beef supplies to this region.
In collaboration with Egg Farmers of Alberta, Alberta Milk is developing a comprehensive teaching resource to be housed on the Alberta Milk website www.moreaboutmilk.com. The tool will provide teachers with a comprehensive curriculum-linked resource to equip them to teach foods courses more consistently while educating students about meat and livestock products as part of a balanced diet. The students will act as “apprentice chefs” and model the process a chef or cook would use to select foods, understand their nutritional implications and create and prepare dishes that use these foods.
Developing and implementing a comprehensive communications strategy, primarily focused on social media. The project will expand their communications/PR efforts and regularly put farmers in the spotlight.
To explore ways to efficiently grow and evolve the Association's Loan Guarantee Program to meet the changing needs of the livestock feeding industry. In addition, the FAA will develop a breeder financing program that provides longer-term capital to members allowing the seamless and efficient transfer of feeder heifers to the new program.
Educating consumers about chicken farming in Alberta and ignite excitement in elementary children about a career choice in chicken farming. The exhibit will demonstrate modern day agricultural practices incorporating the daily duties of a chicken farmer.
Connecting Alberta industry stakeholders with highly qualified buyers at Farm Fair International to source Alberta cattle, genetics and other agricultural goods and services. The international buyers program consists of a series of programs designed to seek out and attract qualified buyers and facilitate business between domestic and international stakeholders.
Developing and implementing a national feedlot animal care assessment program. The program will be built upon the 2013 Beef Code of Practice. The 2013 Beef Code of Practice contains national guidelines for the care and handling of beef cattle. These guidelines are intended to promote sound management and welfare practices through recommendations and requirements for housing, management, transportation, processing and other animal husbandry practices. Recommended practices strive for continuous improvement and encourage a higher level of care. The program that will be an assessment program designed to demonstrate that the guidelines in the 2013 Canadian Beef Code of Practice are being followed by feedlot producers.
Modifying, publishing, printing and marketing a healthy eating guide that highlights the nutritional properties of typical Alberta-grown foods (meat, dairy, eggs, grains, pulses, canola, flax, fruits and vegetables). The menus are based on the serving recommendations for meat and alternatives, dairy and alternatives, vegetables and fruit, and grains in Eating Well with Canada’s Food Guide. As such, they provide a balanced approach to the inclusion of foods in the diet by focusing on appropriate portion sizes. The guide, which includes menus, recipes, grocery lists, healthy eating tips and knowledge nuggets from scientific research, will provide consumers and health educators with an easy to use four week healthy eating plan.
Enable Northlands to assist start-up value added food manufacturers ready to leave the AARD Leduc Food Processing Development Centre and the Agri-Food Discovery Place and help convert commercial product potential towards market ready products. This project will develop this process, eventually becoming a self-supporting centre for private sector value-added product development using Alberta-sourced primary production and related food product value chains. An institutional buyers group will also be developed.
Taste Alberta partnered with Save-on-Foods and the Alberta Livestock and ALMA to launch Edmonton and Calgary versions of Gastropost in late 2013. This concept was introduced in Toronto and has also launched in Vancouver. Gastropost consists of weekly missions fulfilled by consumers through a wide variety of social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and their respective websites. In their words: get a mission, do a mission and Gastropost it. Weekly winners are selected to have their photos published in the Calgary Herald or Edmonton Journal. With hundreds of followers on Twitter and a growing amount of submissions each week for each city’s Gastropost, Taste Alberta has found another way to encourage consumer engagement and demand of local foods.
Redesigning the Alberta Chicken Producers' website to draw consumers into the site with streaming video/audio, a comprehensive cooking and recipe section including video demonstrations, and quick access to information on chicken farming. The site will benefit producer and the public's need for information, educate consumers, and build public understanding of the industry, its societal responsibilities and culinary opportunities.
Since access to the duty free market was granted to Canada for high quality, hormone free beef, Alberta companies stand to benefit tremendously from market development in the EU. There also exists opportunities for bison and elk meat as premium game products garnering high prices for premium cuts. Anuga is the worlds biggest meat fair: meat, sausages and poultry each have their own hall. More than 62,000 visitors from the trade and the food service and catering market attend the show and 83 per cent of them are decision-makers. This project is a partnership between Canada Beef Inc., ALMA and Alberta companies to jointly promote Alberta proteins at SIAL. The beef and bison companies that attended include Prairie Heritage Beef, Kobe Classic Beef, Canadian Beef Back Bacon and Carmen Creek Bison.
Industry & Market Development
Canadian Beef Cattle Research, Market Development and Promotion Agency
Based on research, Organic Alberta has developed a 2 -year organic education and marketing plan that will build awareness, understanding, loyalty and increased sales of local organic food. Organic Alberta has also put together a comprehensive program for increasing supply and producer access to those markets. This two pronged approach will allow Alberta organic producers to take advantage of the strong marketplace to increase profitability and grow the local organic sector.
Completing the implementation of LEAN concepts to the current Milk and Quota Management process to ensure producers and stakeholders receive the right information at the right time in the right format to assist them in making day-to-day management decisions. This will allow for increased productivity both on farm and at Alberta Milk, while improving services and information provided to producers and stakeholders.
Enhancing industry collaboration, improve lamb quality, improve access to markets, increased leadership in industry, and improve the competitiveness in production efficiency and advocacy. This will be accomplished through the development of resource modules on predation and marketing, five industry business training sessions, development of flock production models, SheepBytes training, attendance at the American Sheep Industry conference, lamb feeding trial, online nutrition training, and research on carcass assessment.
Refrigerated ISO containers, also known as reefers, account for a growing share of the refrigerated cargo being transported around the world. This research will look at how cold chain networks are integrated through the reefer in container networks, identify issues of concerns and should lead cold chain participants towards effective solutions.
Taking the lead on facilitating communication between different commodity sectors and addressing the needs and concerns facing the Alberta livestock industry on animal welfare. A united front will help to keep the industry strong and sustainable while also fostering ties between sectors and support for animal care practices across commodities.
Developing a nutrition education program for junior high school students that will meet Alberta curriculum outcomes and be engaging for students. Through the program, students will improve their food choices by acquiring knowledge about how and why to eat well through self-monitoring, self-awareness and understanding that eating well can be challenging. They will identify and implement meaningful strategies to make healthier food choices. They will also learn to critically interpret and analyze nutrition messages in the media.
The Farm Masters 2.0 program will introduce managed grazing to a new generation of farmers in a medium that they are accustomed to: online. The project will see the knowledge, wisdom and experience of extraordinary grass managers collected and compiled with the intention of offering this education to young farmers thirsty for such knowledge. To be successful, young farmers know they need to learn skills and understand as quickly as possible, but often face a challenge of translating their learning into practical steps.
Leading this project in a joint submission on behalf of all of the DRECA partners. The project will focus on three objectives: promote awareness and facilitate adoption of the proAction initiative, particularly in areas related to biosecurity, animal welfare, environment and traceability; increase knowledge exchange within the dairy industry; and promote communication and collaboration among DRECA partners for better research and communication to assist the Alberta dairy industry.
The Passion for Pork Partner Relations Program will focus on five key strategic areas over the next year to change the fundamental relationship between all the players in the Alberta pork value-chain so they can all profit, while improving the eating experience for our consumers.
Addressing the technology transfer problem, by helping to fund a Breed Improvement Program administered through the Canadian Beef Breeds Council (CBBC) for the purebred industry. Ensuring that industry has access to the knowledge and tools that are required to successfully incorporate new technologies into their breed improvement decisions, which will in turn strengthen the quality, health, and production efficiency of Canadian cattle. This should further our genetics export goals, our domestic profitability goals and the well-being of Albertan cattle producers.
The Alberta companies will showcase products and meet with buyers at Gulfood 2014. Additional awareness will be driven by Canada Beef at a Canadian tasting event organized in cooperation with the trade commissioner’s office in Dubai. The focus will be to the premium market sectors of food service and retail. The beef and bison companies that will be attending are Prairie Halal (representing Heritage Angus Beef), Kobe Classic Beef and Maple Beef Bacon.
Industry & Market Development
Canadian Beef Cattle Research, Market Development and Promotion Agency
Addressing the associated ethical, environmental, economic, legal and social (“GE3LS”) concerns with livestock genomics. Additionally, there is a growing disconnect between the public’s understanding and perception of livestock genomics technologies and what these technologies actually entail. Phase 1 will consist of a workshop to bring together experts from industry, academia and consumer groups to discuss the GE3LS issues most relevant to Alberta’s livestock sector and develop concrete ideas for future research projects on these issues. Using the information arising from the workshop, Phase 2 of the project will consist of an interactive travelling roadshow across Alberta to engage with the public on the areas of greatest disconnect.
Investigating methods to process eggs into value-added functional foods and nutraceuticals. More specifically, his research involves protein/bioactive peptide preparation, purification, characterization and bioactivity evaluation using chemical methods, cell culture and animal models. Dr. Wu has partnered with Afinity Life Sciences on a feasibility study to further develop and commercialize these egg peptides.
In 2012 Alberta Milk joined a national collaboration, the Strategic Milk Alliance, seeking to reverse the decline in milk consumption across English speaking Canada. The objective of the Milk Every Moment campaign is to establish an emotional connection with the target audience by bringing back memories of positive moments from childhood that involved milk drinking.
Identification and removal of lymph nodes in specific pork primal and sub-primal cuts and source specific trimmings has become an important issue and a requirement for access into some emerging value-based exports markets for Canadian processors. Failure to meet specs in one part of a delivery results in rejection of the whole delivery and may result in loss of a contract. Current lymph node reference material available to the meat processing industry tends to be non-specific with primary reference points and orientation based on a live animal point of view. Developing a standardized primal cut based reference tools that provide detailed information about lymph node identification, location and systematic removal procedures from a meat processing point of view.
There have been a number of negative, inaccurate and falsified blows to animal agriculture. The industry is standing strong but needs to do a better job of telling its story. Producers are ready to step up and show the world what they do, how their animals are treated and the activities involved in running a farm. This project will strengthen and maintain the social license through awareness and transparency of the industry, resulting in a more positive image of agriculture and a supportive consumer audience.
Alberta Beef Producers in partnership with MindFuel, and with support from ALMA, will develop a learning asset that would function as a digital, alternate reality game focused on food nutrition and balanced diets and also talk about beef as a part of a balanced diet. The digital game will support pre-consumers’ understanding of the science behind food nutrition and help them to make positive decisions about food and ultimately improve the overall food literacy of Canadians.
Beef Innovations 2013 is focused on bringing beef industry stakeholders together to educate the industry on current DNA technologies and how these innovative technologies can be incorporated into the Canadian beef production system to assist in more accurately identifying traits of economic importance. Targeted to all sectors of the beef production chain with a focus on applying these technologies in order to improve the competitiveness of the Canadian beef industry.
This year’s theme “Processing, Performance and Profit”. Canadian and international speakers will discuss the latest advances in new ingredients and new diet formulations for monogastric and ruminant livestock industries. The “Processing” stream will address new research in feed manufacturing, as well as a plenary session involving a debate between a nutritionist and a feed plant manager.
Theme: "Honouring our Past- Creating Our Future". Events and activities of the global marketplace, climatic change, industry consolidation and youth in agriculture have an impact on how the industry grows to meet the strong demand for bison products. This convention creates an opportunity to share and discuss these issues, which have an impact on the future growth of the industry.
Addressing the major issues facing the pork industry. These include increasing exports, domestic processing and domestic consumption, reducing feed costs and disease risks, improving production efficiency, animal nutrition and industry communication and management, retrofitting existing farm facilities to meet new animal welfare guidelines, supporting research and technology transfer, and training of highly qualified personnel.
The event contains a half-day extension session to provide producers with the tools to benefit from existing technologies and programs. Allowing Livestock Gentec to continue educating and engaging stakeholders in the economic benefits of genomics technology adoption in Alberta’s livestock industry. Extending the Livestock Gentec brand as a trusted and reliable industry resource in the exploration, education, and integration of new technologies.
Theme: 'Building Brand Loyalty- A Commitment to the Brand' and the discussions revolve around the importance of a Canadian beef brand, the value that our partners see in incorporating the brand into their business and the role all the players in the industry - from producer to packer and retailer - have in upholding the Canadian beef brand promise.
Theme: “AGBA on the Move -- New Vision -- New Focus -- New Mission” is the foundation slogan of an important industry initiative to begin the development of the Alberta Goat Breeders Association into a professional, forward-thinking and dynamic organization at the forefront of leading the goat industry into the greatest period of expansion and development to-date. Producers will be provided with a chance to learn, network and ask questions. The presentation topics are diverse but the overall theme this year centers on learning and motivation.
Promoting the growth of the forage and grassland sector by advocating a sustainable and environmentally-friendly industry, which includes research and development, market development and innovation thereby enhancing the industry’s ability to profitably produce and supply forage and grassland products that offer superior value to producers and consumers in Canada and internationally. This project will bring together industry stakeholders from across Canada to discuss the impact of previous activities and develop a strategy for the upcoming year.
Theme: "Translating Sustainability: Economic. Environmental. Social." Alberta Milk defines sustainability as meeting the needs of the future without compromising the needs of the present, and building a foundation for the future to meet its own needs.
The one day symposium is made up of several sessions all relating to advancing the overall productivity and strength of the beef industry. Including a tradeshow providing an ideal networking opportunity for participants and industry experts. The primary objective of this project is to bring together individuals in the beef industry with industry experts.
The Ag for Life Harvest Gala celebrates the harvest and showcases foods grown and raised in Alberta; provides networking opportunities for agricultural producers groups, corporate Alberta, government and primary producers; and informs guests of the programs in which Ag for Life invests.
Theme: “Creating Connections”, speaks to the very core value of our Symposium: knowledge transfer. The symposium creates opportunities for people throughout the industry chain - from primary production, through herd health professionals to researchers - to meet and exchange information. This exchange of ideas will help researchers learn what primary producers need or are observing day-to-day.
The ASTech Gala is a black-tie event with more than 600 attendees, including Alberta leaders in science and technology from industry, research, development, start-ups, not-for-profits and government. Promoting the importance of science and technology in Alberta and is measured by a post-event survey and subscriptions to our e-newsletter, Twitter and LinkedIn channels.
Industry & Market Development
Alberta Science and Technology Leadership Foundation
The annual conference is dedicated solely to continuing education focused entirely on beef and dairy cattle health and production. Because of this relatively narrow focus, we provide a premium continuing education opportunity that veterinary practitioners cannot access anywhere else, especially within Western Canada.
Industry & Market Development
Western Canadian Association of Bovine Practitioners
The Alberta Veterinary Medicine Association (ABVMA) is a partner in this conference, which will enable researchers, industry, students, government and the public to address challenges and trends in animal care. Focusing upon the relationship between producers, retailers and consumers, looking at animal rights activist pressures, consumer perceptions and staying on top using social media and innovative farming practices.
Providing assistance through support of audio visual equipment and services for conducting two 'Meeting Places' to be hosted (Eastern and Western Canada). It will bring together senior-level executives to further dialogue toward collectively building a stronger, more viable, competitive and profitable beef industry. This activity will see the development of viable industry strategic plans and further dialogue on key issues and opportunities that have the capacity to positively impact profitability.
The Leaders’ Conference brings three days of intense learning and invaluable networking to approximately 300 4-H leaders, staff and workshop facilitators from Alberta and across Canada. There are more than 30 session topics to choose from, ranging from how to deal with conflict to effective communication.
The meat industry convention is focused on knowledge transfer from networking with fellow industry members and suppliers, as well as from the educational workshops. ALMA is partnering with AFPA on the student education component. Students from NAIT, SAIT, U of A, U of C and Olds College will attend the event to learn from industry experts.
The Western Canadian Dairy Seminar is a forum for the exchange of ideas of benefit to the industry; to inform and challenge the dairy industry to take a leading role in the development of the industry through the adoption of the latest technologies and available information; and, to discuss current issues challenging the dairy industry.
The seminar educates and informs health professionals and educators about current nutrition topics and issues that are important to the dairy industry. Alberta Milk’s goal is to ensure that dairy nutrition is top of mind and to provide these key influencers and multipliers with relevant and credible nutrition information.
The Alberta Beef Industry Conference remains a cornerstone for the beef industry to network with peers and access information regarding industry best practices, trends in services and technology and current industry initiatives.
Chefs from participating establishments prepare a four-course feast for 1,500 attending consumers. These establishments don’t know what they were preparing until they receive their ingredients (black box hampers) just 24 hours in advance. All food items featured are Alberta grown and/or processed in Alberta and the establishments must utilize the meats in their hampers for their appetizers and main course.
The symposium will focus on farm management and antimicrobial stewardship. Expert keynote speaker topics include brooding strategies, nutritional strategies, diagnostics, and alternatives to antimicrobials.
The International Livestock Congress is a gathering of national and international cattle industry members, students and related agricultural industry stakeholders to learn, discuss, and debate the issues that impact the beef industry locally and globally. This year's conference will focus on the opportunities of marketing the whole carcass.
The 2014 conference on climate and food will address challenges that the agriculture industry is currently facing. The conference will focus on how the change in climate will affect agriculture both locally and globally and, alternatively, how agriculture is affecting climate change.
Canada Pork International's annual International Conference provides CPI members with a unique opportunity to listen to international speakers on market access and global pork trade issues, challenges and opportunity.
Olds College Gala brings together key industry stakeholders and showcases Alberta products. This year, with the completion of the National Meat Training Center, the students and instructors will be showcasing the Training Center, the program and the specialty meat items they create.
The Alberta Elk industry is on the cusp of some very important and paradigm-shifting changes. Treating our producers like "regular farmers" is something that they have dreamed about. Our producers longed for the day when they were no longer "different" from their neighbour who farmed bison or cattle or turkeys ....and today is that day. The regulatory foundation of this industry is changing so significantly this year that it will effect how this industry fundamentally functions from here on. This convention is, in many ways, the foundational gathering for this industry as we move into the next 25 years.
This annual conference, AGM and Show and Sale for members is held in central Alberta. The conference will have technical workshops provided by presenters with expertise in bison production, nutrition, health and welfare and marketing.
Analyzing / evaluating / comparing two alternate development processes recently used to develop emerging farm-level policy in the area of animal care and biosecurity. For example, the next generation animal care ‘Codes of Practice,’ and the on-farm biosecurity ‘Standards.’ This information will assist future policy-makers in considering alternate means of developing a particular policy instrument - for instance, through a stakeholder led venue or from within government - and evaluating the most appropriate process for a given situation.
Developing an emergency management capability for the feedlot sector of Alberta's beef cattle industry that takes the form of a Feedlot Sector Animal Health Emergency Management Plan. The plan will identify the roles and responsibilities of the feedlot sector in the event of an animal health emergency, and identify initial actions and responsibilities for individual feedlot operators should such an event occur.
Establishing a baseline of antibiotic sensitivities for feedlot cattle respiratory pathogens across Alberta and pilot a screening management tool for industry implementation to provide an efficacious and cost efficient antibiotic susceptibility surveillance management tool; demonstrate responsible antibiotic usage and improve reporting and communication on the use and effectiveness of antimicrobials in Alberta’s cattle industry.
Developing practical use case scenarios for LF and UHF reader-equipped mobile devices based on feedback obtained from on-farm visits and consultation with stakeholders such as CCIA; completing a market demand study that estimates the price range and volume that could be achieved; developing hardware prototypes for a mobile device case with RFID reader capabilities; developing prototype software to allow the mobile device to communicate with the RFID reader through Bluetooth and software routines for IOS and Android.
Using a complete necropsy examination in a diagnostic laboratory as the “gold standard” and comparing that to a diagnosis made using images taken when an animal cadaver has been dissected by animal attendants at the production site.
An ALMA - Genome Alberta (GA) targeted call for proposals on Livestock Genomics/Epigenomics to increase production efficiencies; improve the health of livestock including increased resilience to abiotic and biotic stresses; adapt production to accelerated climate change; lessen the environment footprint; achieve the safety and quality attributes; and explore translational challenges including social, political, regulatory, policy or economic barriers that deter the responsible uptake of genomics-based applications in the livestock, and investigating strategies that can foster receptivity.
Automate the pet food processing operations through the acquisition of appropriate equipment to ensure its line of cooked and raw products are efficiently and economically produced for Alberta markets.
Target value added processing market opportunities for cut up chicken, boneless cuts and fresh chicken sausage. Purchase sausage and value added processing equipment to address market demand for wholesale food service and retail ready distribution.
Developing the recipes and processes for value added cow cream processing to ensure the proper production of quality organic cultured butter, chevre, whipping cream, coffee creamer, cream cheese, and feta.
Agri-Processing Product and Market Development Program
Diagnostic polymerase chain reaction will be used to identify important reservoirs, and ascertain impacts on human health and the importance of recrudescent infections. Host specificity and genetic hypervariability will be examined in vivo using wild avian and livestock hosts.
Supplying a comprehensive understanding of the roles of rumen metabolic processes and rumen microbes in relation to feed efficiency. The goal is to develop industry acceptable approaches to improving feed efficiency in beef cattle.
“Brachyspira hampsonii” is a recently discovered pathogen causing production limiting, bloody diarrhea in grow-finish pigs. This research is aimed at understanding how “B. hampsonii” infection causes diarrhea, and discovering virulence factors that contribute to disease that could be used to develop novel vaccines.
Evaluating whether systemically administered TbpB-based vaccines are capable of preventing disease by eliminating colonization, or whether addition of toxin-derived antigens are also required to achieve the desired efficacy. Development of a commercial vaccine has the potential to eliminate carriage and circulation of these pathogens.
Improving the quality of beef is an ongoing goal. Precision feeding based on an animal’s genotype can improve carcass quality, specifically marbling. A gene variant in ADH1C was identified, where the TT genotype was fed a lower level of vitamin A and graded AAA or higher. Feedlots could use this marker-assisted management to market animals for high levels of marbling to improve profits.
This approach will target the newly identified C. perfringens pilin glycans - shown to be immunodominant epitopes in other bacteria. To generate 3 vaccine platforms, glycans will be cloned, structurally characterized, and glycoconjugates created using enzymes.
Isolating and characterizing strains of H. somni that cause the various septic forms of histophilosis currently observed in beef cattle in Alberta, and developing a new vaccine for H. somni that will prevent the various septic forms of the disease, in particular, myocarditis.
Mycoplasma bovis is emerging as an important pathogen, causing severe respiratory disease and high mortality in farmed bison. This project investigates the epidemiology of the disease in Western Canada and explores the virulence traits of the organism. The goal is to develop effective control strategies through preventive management and vaccination.
Reducing the Alberta livestock industrys reliance on antibiotics (i.e. antimicrobial growth promoters [AGPs]). Identification of effective alternatives to AGPs will maintain the health and welfare of animals, ensure access to foreign markets, and affirm the public's perception of the livestock sector as producers of safe and environmentally responsible products. Alternatives look to identify agents that mimic the action of AGPs as immunomodulators.
It is the overall aim of this proposal to integrate these Integrating initial, explorative projects to design novel tools for pathogen intervention on meat. Current knowledge on structure / function relationships and the mechanism of action of chitosan and antibacterial peptides will enables the targeted design of new glycopeptides with complementary or synergistic activity.
This project will Compare the ability of several currently available blood tests for bovine tuberculosis (bTB) to correctly identify infected bison. Diseased animals will be selected from naturally infected populations. The experimental blood tests will be performed on each and results compared with the animal’s true bTB status as definitively determined using postmortem tissue culture and molecular (DNA) testing. The outcome will provide a superior test for use in bison federal surveillance programs.
Identifying the sources of microbiological contamination by genotyping E. coli recovered from hide, various parts of the meat plants, equipment in the breaking facilities and meat. The expected results would allow effective measures to be taken to eliminate those sources of contamination.
Creating a live attenuated vaccine which establishes a short infection, while triggering protective immune responses at the natural site of infection by identifying Map genes essential for persistent infection of dairy calves. Disruption of these genes will result in an attenuated Map vaccine strain. Creating immune markers in this Map strain by constructing markers in the vaccine that allow for simultaneous testing for M. bovis and natural Map infection to avoid future regulatory restrictions of the vaccine.
Production practices in the pork industry are coming under increasing scrutiny by both retailers and the general public, with sow confinement and use of gestation stalls being key issues. The Swine Reproduction-Development Program at the University of Alberta will conduct collaborative research with the Cooperative Research Centre for High Integrity Australian Pork on research to maintain the reproductive efficiency of sows managed in a “confinement-free” environment.
Developing strategies utilizing third generation inoculants (TGl) during forage preservation to enhance the feeding value and utilization of forages. The project will first screen a number of TGI on the basis of their ability to improve the nutritional characteristics of different forage during preservation as silage and high-moisture hay.
Employing ovo vaccination at embryonation day 18 or vaccination of chicks on the day of hatch against Salmonella Enteritidis, using a sub-unit vaccine, in combination with existing disease control procedures, to provide individual bird and flock immunity that will result in significant reductions in the risk of infection and contamination at a cost acceptable to the producer.
Shiga-toxin producing Escherichia coli (STEC) cause problems for the meat industry that results in recalls and human illness. Some strains of E. coli, including STEC, are heat resistant and can survive traditional cooking practices. Determination of the genetic elements that confer heat resistance to E. coli is a key outcome of this project. In addition, to the impact of changes in concentration of salt and other processing ingredients on the heat resistance of STEC.
Previous research has examined the varying causes of lameness in feedlots, from injuries to infectious disease, and what treatment options are most effective. These studies provide a starting point for developing effective management protocols; however the challenge still remains identifying the occurrence of lameness in feedlots and the characteristics of these cases.
Developing efficient, cheap, passive (i.e. not requiring a power supply) food compatible indicators in the form of smart labels. These will be incorporated in food packaging and respond to temperature and/or the presence of bacteria, allowing direct monitoring of each product moving through the supply chain. In addition, these smart labels will be readable by the workers who handle the food, providing increased confidence regarding the quality and safety of consumer food products.
Determining how dietary energy sources affect milk protein yield (MPY) and the efficiency of transfer of dietary protein to milk protein, and to explore the cellular mechanisms by which energy source and metabolizable protein supply influence milk and milk protein synthesis. The long-term goals are to improve estimations of the supply and requirement of metabolizable protein and AA, improving on-farm models to remove the systematic underestimation of MPY observed at low protein supply so that the use of lower protein diets will be readily adopted by the dairy industry.
Demonstrating the impact on bio-management by use of autogenous vaccine and improved internal biosecurity measures on the quality of carcasses, specifically at the chest adhesion rate. This project looks at the food safety impact of lowering the processors condemnation and demerits and monitors the impact these positive health changes are having on the use of antimicrobials in finisher pigs.
Improving animal health by identifying the risk factors for subacute acidosis, and by developing mitigation options to minimize the prevalence of sub-acute acidosis in feedlot cattle. Reducing feed costs by improving feed utilization and reduce the need for in-feed antibiotics.
Intranasal (IN) vaccination of newborn calves is an effective strategy to avoid vaccine interference by maternal antibody and provides protective immunity against respiratory viruses. It is not known, however, if IN vaccination of newborn calves can reduce respiratory disease after weaning. We will address the major issue of respiratory disease in feedlots, by determining if IN vaccination of newborn calves provides effective respiratory disease protection within the first week after weaning.
Determining the association between Na/K-ATPase, sperm motility, capacitation, and field fertility, as well as the genetic basis of variations in the Na/K-ATPase gene and its linkage with other production traits.
Demonstrating the ability to automatically and non invasively identify calves at risk of BRD through the use of thermal identification stations. In addition, in collaboration with students and staff at the University of Calgary Faculty of Veterinary Medicine this study will compare the efficacy of two BRD detection systems involving the measurement of either radiated (infrared) or conductive (ear tag) thermal biometric technologies.
Inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), specifically Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are chronic intestinal inflammations, characterized by frequent flares of abdominal cramps and chronic diarrhea. For reasons that are still unknown, Alberta has one of the highest rates of IBD in the world. Dietary intake of certain key nutrients can lead to significant improvement in disease activity in patients with IBD. Using this knowledge we plan to develop and assess a personalized dietary treatment plan that emphasizes Alberta-grown food sources of these key nutrients as a means to prevent flares of IBD. Dietary intake will be monitored and its effects on disease activity will be assessed clinically as well as through a new field of science called metabolomics.
Developing a chute-side diagnostics test (sensitive and specific chip) for the cattle industry. Currently there are no practical, quick, cost effective chute side tests that can be used by bovine practitioners and veterinary epidemiologists to determine the presence of common pathogens associated with common bovine diseases in cattle.
Using pork from hogs involved in a commercial-scale feeding trial designed to validate the net energy (NE) value of reduced-oil corn DDGS. The trial is expected to generate animals with differing fat:lean ratios and soft fat, thus creating unique material to evaluate rapid near-infrared scanning (NIRS) of carcass backfat as a predictor of loin firmness and bacon quality; for ante-mortem real time ultrasound (RT U ) scanning of intramuscular fat (IMF) as a predictor of loin marbling; to validate the new Canadian pork quality standards before release to the industry; and to determine the effect of feeding reduced-oil corn DDGS on carcass and primal cuts tissue composition.
Providing solid recommendations to Alberta egg producers regarding products that are likely to be most efficacious under typical Alberta conditions. Based on the results of Phase 1 and Phase 2, a subsequent test of the most promising candidates under challenge conditions. Providing evidence of whether the prebiotic products can prevent infection and transmission, and much stronger recommendations will be made to the Alberta poultry industry.
Determining the effects of vascular infusion, electrical stimulation and nitrite film packaging on bison carcass traits, sensory attributes and retail display characteristics of steaks and ground meat.
Sialic acid is an essential infant nutrient for brain and mental development. Human milk is rich in sialic acid; typical infant formulas however contain less than one-quarter of the sialic acid present in human milk. Developing a proof-of-concept technology in preparing a sialic acid rich infant formula ingredient to provide health benefits for infants and position Alberta to participate in the growing infant formula market.
Infection with Porcine Respiratory and Reproductive Syndrome virus (PRRSV) costs swine producers billions of dollars world-wide due to impaired pig health and productivity. Efficacious vaccines against the virus are currently not available due to fast mutation rates and immune evasion strategies of PRRSV.
This project is divided into 2 experiments. The first experiment will examine the effects of lipid competition on the enrichment process using graded levels of ground flax, high SDA/GLA flax or a negative control. The second experiment will explore the effects of feed form using ground regular or high SDA/GLA flax in a control ration and either extruding the flax or adding enzymes to increase digestibility.
Three phases (a) collection and identification of surface (tegumental) antigens from adults of Dicrocoelium dendriticum that are recognized by antibodies from infected cattle (b)Llama single-domain antibody (sdAb) library panning, phage ELISA and sdAb expression, extraction and purification for one or more of the antigens identified in the second phase followed by and (c) development of antigen capture assay using the selected antibodies.
Determining the high pressure processing parameters required to achieve a 5-log reduction of L. monocytogenes in an uncured, antimicrobial free RTE poultry product to provide information on the efficacy and acceptance of categorizing an antimicrobial fee RTE meat product into the “no growth” category using HPP.
Campylobacter is the major food-borne pathogenic bacterium in Canada and other countries. Ingestion of contaminated poultry meat is the most frequent cause of human campylobacteriosis; thus, the reduction of Campylobacter levels in poultry is critical to decrease human infections. Constructing oral vaccines against Campylobacter by utilizing its unique physiological features to improve the quality of poultry products and food safety.
Children receive messages about the health qualities of a food from various sources, but little published research evaluates how children assess packaged goods for health (including their understanding of nutrition claims or the nutrition facts table). Using focus group methodology, this study examines: 1) children’s perceptions of packaged foods and how they evaluate the healthfulness of packaged foods and 2) the degree to which media literacy and nutrition literacy informs children’s perspectives.
Determining the effect of varying incubation temperature on embryonic metabolism, chick quality. Understanding the effects of adjusting incubation temperature from 37.5C through to 35.5C after 14 days of incubation may allow for customized incubation temperature profiles to incubate eggs from young, mid and older parent flock ages to optimize hatchability and early chick quality. The results may help establish a relationship between embryonic metabolism and eggshell temperature and assist hatchery managers minimize the metabolic challenges that increase late embryo mortality.
Hosting a new international buyers into Alberta as part of the Farmfair International program. The priority of this program is directly connecting Canadian producers with buyers from key international markets.
Consultation workshops across Alberta to communicate the proposed changes to the OFFSAP program, as well as gain feedback from the affected stakeholders on the impact that these proposed changes would have on them.
A collaborative comprised of representatives of Alberta Milk, Dairy Farmers of Canada, Canada Beef and University of Alberta working together to address the issue of consumer perception that meat and dairy products are not healthy because they contain trans fats.
A one day conference bringing together top notch speakers from across Canada and the US to present on trans fats, conjugated linoleic acids, unsaturated health claims and the Canadian regulatory framework.
Economic awareness presentation including: Alberta’s Economic Outlook; Government Policy, Consumer Ignorance & Farm Economics; Odds for North American Livestock This Year; ) 12 Best Management Practices; Move to DA Electric Barn, and Conversation is Bill Johnson, former President & CEO of McDonald’s Canada.
Providing an opportunity for researchers, industry, students, government and the public to address challenges and trends in animal care. The 2013 LCC will focus upon domestic and global improvements in animal welfare and assessment models, and how these may be implemented in Alberta.
Opportunity for member Canadian chefs to meet, network and discuss their industry and all it entails. The theme of the conference is ‘The Next 50 Years’ and will focus on technology, food trends, and the local and sustainable food chain.
Adopting a grade training improvement program to improve consistency in weights and grades between the 2 processors. The improved consistency will further strengthen and maintain stability in the industry. This exchange of information will also allow both producers and processors to understand the source of downgrades enabling the industry to target necessary changes for improvement leading to improved understanding of the rest of the supply chain and improved productivity.
Informing and challenging the dairy industry to take a leading role in the development of the industry through the adoption of the latest technologies and available information, and to discuss current issues challenging the dairy industry.
Enhancing the competitiveness of Canadian beef and genetics in the global marketplace as well as discuss current circumstances which challenge today’s industry. The conference focuses on and is interested in the development of future leadership within the young professionals for the beef cattle industry.
In addition to a robust tradeshow marketplace, the conferences also provides a forum for participants to learn about current trends and issues in the industry as well as provide their voice to guide their respective member organizations.
Outfitting The Meat Training Centre with state-of-the-art processing equipment, the multi-purpose facility built to HACCP scalable standards will enhance knowledge and training opportunities to promote the Alberta meat industry both locally and internationally.
Narrowing the gap between the consumer and the producer. Other objectives are to educate people as to what is available to them locally, how much better local/fresh product tastes and the benefits to the producer and to the economy by purchasing local product.
Industry & Market Development
Economic Development Alliance of Southeast Alberta
Developing a business case for consolidation of procurement and initially to provide cost savings to the CEO Club members. The proposal will be leveraged to establish opportunities for the strategic procurement of widely used items, materials, services and ingredients used by the food processors group.
Assisting in increased understanding by producers. By defining ecosystem services, giving examples of market-based instruments (both in Alberta and the United States) and payments for implementation of beneficial management practices, as well as information on conservation offsets, it will help livestock producers relate/connect the information to their industry and operations.
Facilitating knowledge exchange, build capacity and collaboration and enhance communication of research results, which are vital to the Canadian and international scientific process and their use in society.
Leveraging the interest around Chinese master chefs in the Vancouver area to highlight dishes using Alberta proteins through a one hour television segment and 8 one minute ‘shorts’ that will aired on OMNI Television.
Developing a bovine jugular sampling model for UCVM, allowing students to master the techniques on simulators in a low stress atmosphere (students not worrying about getting hurt and not worrying about hurting the animal).
A discussion and lab-based workshop involving presentations from University of Alberta R&D staff and experts from around the world. Limited participation (max. 48 registrants) encourages in-depth interaction among Workshop presenters, producers, and industry professionals. The theme of the 2012 workshop is “Productivity and Longevity of the Breeding Herd.”
Holding an annual conference is to bridge the gap between research and the community. Knowledge transfer in the area of beef cattle health is much needed in the province of Alberta and UCVM plays an important role in this area.
Growing the industries reputation, bring all stakeholders together in a common goal and create a platform from which to gain consumer understanding and trust in the industry and to communicate and connect more effectively with our consuming public.
Supporting an 8% growth in primary lamb production over 2 years. Another strategically important result is to secure lamb processing capacity for the future by increasing supply to existing processors helping to accommodate overhead costs.
Bringing together Alberta technology developers, business leaders, industry supporters, and innovative companies to discuss growing business opportunities driven by MNT. Participants can network to discover new market opportunities and learn about the latest innovative products and applications.
Alberta will be showcased over three days during the London Olympics in the United Kingdom, and the proposed project intends to capitalize on this high profile, international opportunity to showcase Alberta’s meat industry.
Building a more sustainable livestock industry, increased exposure to new information allowing for greater openness to change and competitiveness. This conference is a catalyst to a proactive industry.
Promoting Alberta organic products through a promotional marketing strategy while simultaneously supporting the development of the capacity of the Alberta organic beef and dairy sector to supply that market.
A series of learning modules will be developed to promote “best practices” of bison production as a whole. The improved success of bison production through increasing the knowledge base of producers will ensure the sustainable growth and development of the bison industry.
Building a curriculum for prospective cheese makers, modeled after the curriculum used by the University of Vermont’s Institute for Artisan Cheese and will work with regional partners (e.g., Leduc Food Processing Centre, University of Alberta) to offer a full range of courses related to cheese processing specifically and food processing more generally. NAIT faculty will be trained in delivering the curriculum beginning in the second year of the project.
Educating Albertans about the food produced, processed, sold and served in Alberta. The partnership includes: Agri-food industry, producer associations (AB Pork, AB Milk, Canola Commission, Alberta Beef Producers, Alberta Chicken Producers, Egg Farmers of Alberta), News Media (Edmonton Journal, Calgary Herald), Save on Foods and Agri-Food industry leaders. These leaders with varied interests have collaborated to maximize expertise, knowledge and limited resources.
Reaching consumers through educational networks and influencers. The HFS target audience includes foodservice professionals directing operations in Canadian hospitals, nursing and retirement homes as well as Registered Dieticians and academics from Universities and Colleges.
Industry & Market Development
Canadian Beef Cattle Research, Market Development and Promotion Agency
The Banff Pork Seminar is an internationally recognized conference that will help producers and other delegates advance their learning in a number of areas of pork production including nutrition, disease preparedness, genomics, lowering costs of production but also animal welfare and communications.
Providing insight into the global agriculture sector, current economic conditions that affect the beef industry as well as a more specific look at some of the programs and work being done by Canada Beef Inc.
Industry & Market Development
Canadian Beef Cattle Research, Market Development and Promotion Agency
Developing the Alberta Goat Breeders Association into a professional, forward thinking and dynamic organization at the forefront of leading the goat industry into the greatest period of expansion and development to date.
An inaugural Canadian food promotion that will provide an opportunity for influential guests to learn more about Canada’s meat producers (elk, bison, horse, beef and pork), animal nutrition, environmentally sustainable production methods, animal welfare and traceability.
Creating educational and outreach materials, including two professionally produced videos centered around genomics technology, to engage youth and adults within the livestock sector in the research and uptake of genomics tools.
A partnership between CPI, Canada Beef Inc and Alberta companies to jointly promote Alberta proteins at the show. SIAL 2012 is one of the leading trade shows for food in European retail and hotels, institutions and restaurants.
Alberta Innovates Bio Solutions through the Alberta Prion Research Institute and the Alberta Livestock and Meat Agency are requesting submission of research applications for proposals focusing on Chronic Wasting Disease, Specified Risk Materials, and Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy.
Deliver a report that includes an outline of a cost-benefit measure for DNA profiles, traits that could deliver cost-effective benefits using genomics, a basis for livestock genomics strategy for the cattle industry and a competitive analysis of genomic benefits.
Determining the microbiological effects of a commercial hide decontamination operation in an Alberta packing plant and where applicable recommend enhanced approaches; validating and enhance procedures for operating and cleaning beef tenderizing equipment in use by the Alberta industry to minimize microbiological contamination of product with E.coli O157:H7 and other pathogens; determining cooking procedures for ensuring the microbiological safety of mechanically tenderized steaks and roasts; and, determining the microbiological effects of current industry practices for decontamination of offal meats, and of pilot scale pasteurizing of offal meats and trimmings.
Meeting Canada’s need for certification of RFID (radio frequency identification)devices which meet stringent international standards as well as certain requirements arising from the Canadian climate. RFID-based animal traceability was mandated by the CFIA in June, 2010.
Enhancing animal health testing and diagnostic services in Western Canada for the introduction of a new organic toxicology service that will meet the needs of a variety of clients including food animal producers, wild life interests and public health providers.
Establishing the Institute for Applied Poultry Technologies (IAPT), a not-for-profit entity, to evaluate novel and innovative cost saving poultry health technologies that will enhance biosecurity, prepare for disease outbreaks before they occur, reduce input costs, improve product quality and consumer confidence, aid in safely exploiting niche high value add commodities such as Antibiotic Free/Animal welfare approved products that will open/expand international market access.
The objective of the proposed 2-year Pork Pilot is to adapt and apply the Pork and Energy Efficiency Protocol’s innovative mitigation strategies to monetize carbon reductions in select hog operations in Alberta.
Assessing beef tenderness using computer vision grading systems already utilized by Alberta beef processors and testing of a new instrument for identification of animals likely to produce dark cutting beef.
Targeting the development of automated approaches to sampling of combo bins for E.coli O157 for reduced Cost of E.coli O157 Sampling for Alberta Plants; and, more representative samples potentially resulting in fewer recalls and reduced foodborne illness.
Reduction of abscesses in livers of Alberta cattle to enhance production efficiencies and animal health at the feedlot, increase revenues from offal sales for Alberta packing plants and address the potential of animal welfare concerns.
The lamb industry has experienced increased volatility in recent years and that price volatility in conjunction with large downside price movements has the potential to threaten the sustainability of the whole Alberta lamb supply chain. Maintaining and improving the financial stability of individual producers will greatly assist in improving the industry cohesiveness and long run sustainability and competitiveness of the brand.
Ultimately trim pasteurization may enhance the competitiveness and sustainability of the sector at a time when increasing microbial testing for E.coli 0157 and a potentially growing list of Non- 0157 STECs present a significant challenge.
The AOHS Collaboration working group has support from related agencies, government departments, academic institutions and private industry in Alberta. This type of project is of great value to surveillance and research and has the ability to great increase the value of information and knowledge from surveillance that is translated to stakeholders including the livestock industries.
Development and implementation of an enhanced marketing and business development strategy to achieve success it will be essential to optimize demand, value and brand awareness to ensure profitability and sustainability.
A new federal processing facility that is fully automated to increase market share. The plant will include a small retail outlet in the corner of the building but the majority of the business will be wholesale of high quality sausage.
Bouvry Exports implemented a full expansion of the operation, including equipment upgrades to the slaughter facility, processing and packaging. This allow for expansion into new international markets and allow for broader and more diverse product offerings to clients.
Development of a custom ice cream formulation to create a strong and resilient brand. Village Ice Cream is focused on making Alberta a better place by producing quality products made with locally sourced and organic ingredients when possible.
Expansion of the Canadian and U.S. markets are the main objectives of this project as well as to explore the EU market by contacting distributors and attending Food/Trade shows in Germany, Russia and Italy.
With an ever increasing market demand for “High River Chicken” wholesale poultry products, High River Farming Company Ltd. has identified an opportunity to expand it processing operations to include a fully automated, state of the art, slaughter, cutting, and packaging facility, replacing a smaller, outdated facility.
A facility upgrading to increase production volume, manufacturing efficiency and food safety standards consistent with lean manufacturing principles. Capital Packers will also launch six new pork based sausage products to the domestic market.
A facility expansion to create a highly functional processing environment with appropriate flows to accommodate increased volumes, simultaneous processing and packaging operations, and improving product quality, shelf life and yields through advanced thermal processing, packaging, ingredient usage, and labelling.
Project to provide and supply customers with new and innovative products so they can be exclusive and stand apart from the competition in the marketplace as well as for the company to continue to stay ahead of the competition in the growing sector of the petfood manufacturing industry.
HPP technology in response to the increased demand from the market. Meat products produced by HPP will allow the company to penetrate markets requiring this technology in view of the obvious advantages when compared to traditional thermal techniques.
Increasing value added processing capacity of value added meat products. The installation of an additional smokehouse and an advanced vacuum packaging machine will ensure all facility value added equipment can maintain utilization by eliminating bottlenecks at the cooking and packaging steps.
This project is the third stage of the plant upgrading. The company is looking for increasing the efficiency of the poultry processing line with special focus in the chicken and turkey deboning operation.
Fulfill the vision of continuous improvement in all areas, product diversification, market diversification & strengthening of existing position, and raise operational efficiency by practicing lean principle and process automation.
Increase the Lethbridge Pork Processing Facility throughput by approximately 14%. This expansion will fill Japanese customer’s demands, increase the efficiency of the operation and improve product quality.
Increase the domestic sales volume by expanding the distribution of case ready meat products to the retail and food service sectors within Alberta and Western Canada by enhancing the processing capacity and efficiency.
The project involves modernizing the wetter cutter machine and also the addition of a Bastra smoke house (Liquid smoking system) this will enable company to increase weekly productivity by 20% from the present 11 tons per week to 13.2 ton per week. New bison products are currently being developed because of increased demand.
Installation of additional equipment to facilitate the production of large volumes of fresh meat slurries from frozen and/or fresh raw material. This is necessary to meet growing demand for these products from pet food companies.
Developing 11 value added products for distribution to the wholesale marketplace in Alberta. Activities will include product formulation, nutritional evaluation, shelf life determination, and label development.
New processing equipment will be purchased to expand production of current fresh and frozen ready-to-eat products and to explore the food service market by developing and manufacturing new bulk products for camps, catering companies and hotel chains.
Use model systems to investigate effects of reuteran and levan on the adhesion of enterotoxic E. coli and other pathogens relevant in swine production. Produce reuteran and levan and determine the anti-diarrheal activity of glycans
Collect and genotype Canadian MAP isolates, complete genome sequencing of selected isolates, conduct phenotypic screening of MAP isolates through macrophage infections and kinomic characterization of MAP phenotypic variants
Use results of a feeding trial to determine economic value of feeding higher lentil levels and use of crystalline tryptophan relative to other ingredients. Determine chemical characteristics and digestible nutrient profile of the lentils used
Generate and characterize a variety of soluble PrP oligomers from recombinant cervid prions using in vitro methods, perform vaccination studies and identify partners to move the best vaccine candidate forward
Among other objectives, determine the production potential and quality of three hybrid low-heat-unit corn varieties intended for grazing and comparing the growth performance of calves with different diets
Deliver “proof of concept” that fibrolytic enzyme additives can be used in grass and legume forages to increase fibre digestibility, which will lead to improvements in feed intake, growth rate and feed conversion efficiency of beef
Validation of the CFIA residue method for detection of phenylbutazone in horse urine, muscle, liver and kidney and determination of the residue depletion profile from equine urine, muscle, liver and kidney in normal adult horses after treatment
Identify the presence of fetuses persistently infected with BVDV, test (phospho)protein candidates as biomarker for detection of BVDV PI fetuses and evaluate BVDV DNA vaccines for ability to break tolerance in persistently infected calves
Develop an efficient and simple low-cost method for isolation of CS at a laboratory scale, scale up the method developed and, if time permits, develop new food or non-food product(s) from by-product of CS extraction
Use metabolomics, the “study of the unique chemical fingerprints that specific cellular processes leave behind,” to better understand the key metabolic events leading to changes in sow performance and amino acid/energy metabolism
Identify and quantify 500–1,500 compounds in Alberta foods and use bioinformatics and data mining skills to combine information on these compounds, and report attributes in the literature to produce fact sheets for consumers
biologic for the prevention of chicken osteoporosis
Develop an IgY veterinary biologic for the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis in laying hens by suppressing catabolic factors of bone loss without compromising egg production and shell egg thickness
Among other goals, predicting conserved and exposed epitopes on the PRRSV major and minor glycoproteins that will induce broadly cross-neutralizing protective antibodies, and assess neutralizing activity of swine sera and monoclonal antibodies
Contribute relevant, high-impact knowledge to enhance the competitiveness and profitability of the poultry industry along the supply chain, to enhance industry engagement and to access scientific expertise
Accelerate commercialization of a two-stage hydrolysis and pyrolysis technology that converts lipids, such as tallow and canola oil, to renewable hydrocarbons and platform chemicals that are readily compatible with existing petroleum infrastructure
Accelerate the adoption of residual feed intake (RFI) and tenderness genetic technology in the beef cattle industry. Use data collected to quantify the relationships between traits of economic importance and protein profiles and genetic markers, and to validate existing and new genetic marker panels for growth, feed intake, RFI, and carcass and meat quality traits
Investigate the economic, productivity, carcass quality, meat quality, retail acceptability and environmental sustainability aspects of alternative beef production systems that attempt to address increasing farm input costs, increasing feed grains cost due to biofuel production and increasing pressures due to climate change and environmental sustainability. Provide producers, packers and processors with basic information on possible opportunities for differentiated beef products such as guaranteed tender, < 20 mo of age and environmentally friendly beef
Market a differentiated product in partnership with two major retailers. Develop messaging, consistently apply it for all products, and reflect consumer trends in purchasing and retailer trends in selling
Explore the outlook for the beef industry including the global economy, risks and opportunities; the EU agreement; issues related to producers/packers; marketing; trends; costs of production and the vision for the future
Assure a future for the Western Canadian pork industry through: 1) increasing Olymel Red Deer plant throughput to establish long-term cost competitiveness as a pork processor, both in domestic and export markets; and 2) changing the business relationship between hog producers and processors to improve return on investment, bolster confidence and foster industry growth
Build consumer confidence in turkey products through voluntary audits for turkey producers and encouragement to adopt management practices. Focus on food safety, overall production, profitability and risk
Provide local food to more markets, increase domestic consumer confidence in locally produced products, and increase awareness and profile of the local food system. Approximately 25% of the products are meat and livestock
Address topics of interest to scientists or practitioners involved with teaching, extension, research and commercial activities in animal production. Identify gaps in knowledge to meet demand for safe, quality food production
Expose Alberta meat companies to the EU market. Alberta companies will increase knowledge and understanding of the EU market while meeting prospective clients, and seeing how best to position themselves
Present and discuss global trends, consumer information and market trends with leaders throughout the supply chain. Help them differentiate their products, develop new products, and build marketing strategies
Collect another full production year of data, review data and improve flock models and Flock Snapshot benchmarks; further develop electronic data management systems and benefits at the producer level; and inform Alberta producers
Showcase Alberta’s western heritage and elevate the international reputation and image of the Canada/Alberta meat industry. Participants can tour a commercial ranch and feedlot or farrow-to-finish pig production unit
Explore the theme of “Addressing the Gap between Discovery and Profitable Adoption” and the potential for impact across the value chain. Speakers discuss experiences with technology implementation models
Gather important market intelligence on cutting trends and innovations while providing technical support to other Alberta clients who use this custom slaughter facility for processing animals being exported to the E.U. market
Promote responsible, humane animal care for the long-term sustainability of Canada’s livestock industry, both domestically and globally. Speakers identify and address the challenges of enhanced animal care
Implement and evaluate traceability and information flow of cattle attributes positively influencing the value of cattle sold at auction to implement a market-driven application for auction traceability systems
Develop platform technology for rapid, accurate prediction of total carcass lean yield or yield of closely trimmed, boneless retail cuts, which could then be used in grading/classification research or to increase competitive advantages
Expand the domestic and international market share by performing a promotion/advertising plan including website redesign, new brochures, new labels and packaging development, DVD production and highway signage
Reduce per-unit production costs and increase operating capacity to increase competitiveness against US and eastern competitors. The project will also bring BC production to Alberta and utilize Alberta beef, pork and poultry
Conform to CFIA regulations in order to expand existing product line from Alberta chain stores to other provinces; offer additional stable employment in small town; and source additional local Alberta raw product for fabrication
Increase capacity utilization of the new production facility while diversifying product line of goat milk products, introduce new products to the market as requested by retail buyers and improve efficiency of plant operations
Increase production capacity and plant efficiency. Create the capacity for producing oven-cooked products to respond to current demand for “ready to eat” foods in the domestic and international markets
Increase the production capacity and productivity of value-added meat products, meat-ready meals, and meat ingredient products through labour-cost reductions and improvement in operational efficiencies. Improve plant efficiencies, ensure food safety, and increase livestock inputs through automated equipment
Expand production volumes and reduce operational costs with new automated processing and packaging. Increase participation in the domestic market with new products and improve plant efficiencies with equipment
To characterize the expression of PTX3 in normal and inflamed lungs of cattle and horses; characterize the cell signaling leading to expression of PTX3 in normal and activated neutrophils of cattle and horses; and develop an ELISA test to exploit PTX3 for diagnostic purposes.
To design and synthesis of HBD-3 and proteolytically stable analogues of HBD-3; purify microcin J25 after over expression in E. Coli using pTUC202 plasmid; and in vitro evaluation of anti-bacterial activity of all the peptides against Mannheimia hemolytica.
To examine the impact of dietary antibiotics vs. antibiotic replacement products on susceptibility to enteritis infection as indicated by changes to intestinal bacterial communities in a series of experiments.
To determine if the current Canadian SRM regulation-based on C-type BSE- could or should be modified to provide international market access, increase producer revenue, and protect human and animal health from all types of BSE.
To evaluate the trends of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in Alberta from Salmonella Heidelberg and Enteritidis isolates over time by type of bird to determine whether AMR is associated with antimicrobial treatment in poultry.
To test the Davis-Rairdan deep breeding technique on superovulated beef cows and determine if the average number of useable embryos (freezable and transferable quality) can be significantly increased compared with using traditional insemination methods while using commercially available sexed frozen beef semen.
To purchase and install liquidated equipment from QSV to enhance the research capacity at Agri-Food Discovery Place (AFDP) and several University of Alberta research labs in the Faculty of Agricultural, Life and Environmental Sciences (ALES).
To estimate three different beef-cattle demand elasticities: the elasticity of beef demand at the retail level in Canada, the elasticity of demand for Canadian beef at the wholesale level in international markets, and the elasticity of slaughter weight cattle (both fed and non-fed) demand at the farm level in Canada.
To identify the impact of feeding increasing levels of green canola seed on average daily gain, average daily feed intake, feed: gain ratio, mortality, carcass grading, and margin over feed and facilities cost; using results of the feeding trial to determine an economic value of green canola seed relative to other energy and protein ingredients; and determine the chemical characteristics and digestible nutrient profile of the specific samples of green canola seed used for the performance trial.
To provide cost-effective technology to help the cattle industry in Alberta, which will then be able to meet the CFIA’s long-term goal of BSE eradication, protect the environment from possible contamination with the BSE pathogen, and reduce the environmental footprint caused by the disposal of SRM treated by other methods, while generating value-added products.
To optimize the conditions for use of porcine adenovirus as a delivery vector in poultry; produce an adenovirus expressing a Salmonella antigen; produce an adenovirus expressing a Campylobacter antigen; determine if vaccination using the FliC antigen delivered by adenovirus is effective in preventing or reducing colonization of poultry by Salmonella Typhimurium; and, determine if vaccination using the FlaA antigen delivered by adenovirus is effective in preventing or reducing the level of colonization of poultry by Campylobacter jejuni.
To develop an optimum methodology of preparation of gelatin from the collagenous layer obtained during the co-extraction of valuable components from MSPM and other poultry by-products including comb, feet and wattle.
To isolate and genetically characterize BVDV strains that circulate despite vaccination; compare the isolated BVDV strains with vaccine and reference strains, and identify the genetic adaptations that resulted in vaccine escape of the virus; gain a high-resolution picture of the genetic and antigenic variability of BVDV in various body compartments of PI animals; and, Examine antibody-antigen (virus) interactions in vitro between BVDV variants from PI animals and BVDV vaccine-induced antibodies.
To identify a group of 50 C. jejuni isolates within pathogenic lineages in the database of over 1,200 isolates obtained in Alberta and a similar cohort of isolates with no apparent association with campylobacteriosis; perform genomic characterization of a sub-set of 16 clinical and 16 non-clinical isolates via whole-genome sequencing; perform bioinformatic analysis of the resulting genome data using comparative genomics approaches in order to identify genomic elements that may be associated with human disease; develop a series of diagnostic PCR assays based on the detection of genomic elements found among clinical isolates; and, validate the diagnostic PCR assay using the expanded database of human clinical isolates and a cohort of non-clinical isolates.
To develop and apply novel molecular assays to quantify the parasite species in fecal samples and to improve the sensitivity of drug efficacy testing; develop and apply a novel in vitro test for anthelmintic resistance based on automated imaging of larval motility; and, validate novel diagnostic techniques and generate pilot data on parasite prevalence and anthelmintic resistance in Alberta cattle parasites
To develop methods for treating cultures of E. coli before DNA extraction that will inactivate DNA in dead cells for PCR; and to use these methods to demonstrate that generic E. coli and VTEC in cultures representative of the organisms found on beef are similarly inactivated by lethal treatments of the types used for decontamination of beef.
To isolate strains of Mycoplasma bovis from a large feedlot in Alberta associated with polyarthritis and pneumonia; prepare an autogenous vaccine from one or more of these isolates; determine if autogenous vaccination reduces the prevalence and severity of M. bovis infection; and, determine if is economically practical to employ autogenous vaccines for the control of M. bovis infections in feedlot cattle.
To characterize the structure of collagen and the strength of gelatin from bovine bone (leg), hide, livers, lungs, rumen and heart; develop enzyme-based extraction methods that minimize environmental impact of large-scale extraction of gelatin from bovine hide; and develop and test standard operating procedures for a pilot-scale extraction plant for bovine tissues.
To audit each farm’s biosecurity with regard to PRRS risk of reinfection followed by on farm serology sampling based on industry standards. Samples are enough to help classify each site as to PRRS status.
Research & Development
F.T. Marshal Vet Serv. Ltd. o/a Marshall Swine and Poultry Health Veterinary Services
To spread the “good news about eggs” in a modern and visually appealing format. The website will build consumer trust in eggs with reliable information. Producers will have access to forms, information and data they need.
To collect consumer information, primarily from retailers, on beef consumption activities in Alberta; provide retail trade information including barriers and opportunities for increased beef consumption; and to benchmark so that success of the marketing initiatives can be measured.
To provide industry-specific training and mentorship to young cattle producers between 18 and 35 years that would participate in CCA committees, conferences and direct mentoring to build expertise and business skills.
To build the capabilities with youth aged 3 to 20 in public speaking, communications, showing cattle, problem solving, team work, and marketing at a very basic level. Youth are encouraged to increase their knowledge of the industry and to consider a future in agriculture.
To build industry capabilities and understanding of the latest research, emerging trends and practical solutions through nutrition to help the industry potentially differentiate based on feed and nutrition.
Industry & Market Development
Western Nutrition Conference/Animal Nutrition Association of Canada (ANAC)
To strengthen industry’s knowledge and capabilities; address animal health and cross border issues of importance and relevance to Alberta industry; build relationships with relevant and diverse contacts; create a shared understanding of and cooperation with respect to animal health issues and concerns, disease and cross border policies and emergency response to foreign animal diseases; provide an opportunity to network with regional legislators/policy makers and other key government and industry representatives.
To increase public awareness of Alberta’s livestock industry, agricultural issues and products; develop education partnerships; strengthen industry’s potential leadership capacity in students studying agriculture.
To educate the consumer about the quality products and innovative work of the agriculture industry; to help the industry reconnect with Alberta consumers, and help shape their perceptions and preferences, and empower them to make more educated food choices.
To reduce the cost of production by reducing the extent that MAP infection impacts the farm; garner the interest of the value chain and consumers regarding human health risk mitigation; and, prepare to meet national and international standards for food safety related to Johne’s Disease (JD) .
To increase consumer awareness and public confidence in livestock and meat products; and, increase education and health partnerships that could strengthen industry knowledge, leadership and enhance competitive positioning.
To allow two CBA speakers to travel and attend the convention; to videotape the conference proceedings to allow non-attending industry producers to view the conference through the internet and other technology.
To work in collaboration with other agriculture stakeholders, Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development, Alberta Environment and Alberta Sustainable Resource Development on environmental issues of concern.
To develop a public display of culinary arts and the educational experience involving high school students interested in the culinary arts; to stimulate students’ interest in a food service career that will benefit the animal agriculture industry.
To educate the beef and dairy cattle on the latest developments in beef and dairy production limiting diseases of economic significance; provide a global perspective on animal welfare issues; price discovery; the application of tracking software in the cattle industry; and the state and outlook of the cattle industry.
Industry & Market Development
Western Canadian Association of Bovine Practitioners
To produce a business management software application for 55 Local Feeder Associations (LFAs) and Feeder Associations of Alberta Limited (FAA); to increase efficiency in all aspects of the Feeder Associations business; to allow feeder associations to capture, transfer and utilize electronic information to improve business efficiency and communication.