DRAYTON VALLEY, Alberta - The Government of Canada is investing $1.7 million (US$1.73 million) in research to the Canadian Simmental Association (CSA) that will benefit the beef industry by enhancing the quality of beef cattle. Rob Merrifield, Member of Parliament for Yellowhead, on behalf of Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz, made the announcement.

This three-year project, using DNA and other genetic data, will help cattle breeders identify, select and breed cattle that have higher fertility and mothering ability, growth and feed efficiency and produce a more desirable beef product. The results will be shared through various beef sector groups including the Canadian Beef Breeds Council.

"As a result of the government’s financial support, the CAS and our project partners are able to continue to work together to ensure Canada’s seedstock sector is at the forefront of genetic research and global competitiveness" said Rick McIntyre, CAS president. "This project will assist Canadian producers in our ongoing efforts to supply premium quality genetics, cattle and beef to both the domestic and international marketplaces."

This investment is from Canadian Agricultural Adaptation Program (CAAP), a five-year (2009-2014), $163-million (US$165 million) program with the objective of facilitating the agriculture industry’s ability to seize opportunities, respond to new and emerging issues and test solutions to new and ongoing issues.