CALGARY, Alberta – Canadian Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Lawrence MacAulay, announced an investment of up to $14 million to the Beef Cattle Research Council (BCRC) for the development of a Sustainable Beef and Forage Science Cluster.

Research focus areas for the Sustainable Beef and Forage Science Cluster will include improving the sustainability of Canadian beef and forage production and growing exports of Canadian beef, among other activities. The BCRC is a division of the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association.

“The science-based knowledge and innovations that result from this investment will work to responsibly increase production while enhancing industry competitiveness and public trust, advancing the economic, social and environmental sustainability of Canada’s beef sector,” said Ryan Beierbach, chair of the Beef Cattle Research Council and rancher near Whitewood, Saskatchewan. “A prosperous beef sector not only benefits farmers and ranchers across Canada, it maintains grazing lands that are important to preserve for their role in carbon sequestration, biodiversity, and wildlife habitat.”

MacAulay made the announcement while attending the Calgary Stampede which is an annual rodeo, exhibition and festival held every July in Calgary. In addition to the federal funding under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, AgriScience Clusters, the BCRC will contribute an additional $7.6 million, for a total investment of up to $21 million.

“Canadian farmers and ranchers know the importance of innovation in maintaining their competitiveness, and that's especially true in Canada’s beef sector,” MacAulay said. “Investments in research deliver real results and help to ensure our beef farmers continue to raise top quality beef that consumers have come to expect. Today’s investment will help our industry capture the exciting opportunities that lie ahead around the world.”

Canada’s Beef Cluster engages scientific expertise for research to help Canada's beef and cattle industry address challenges the sector has faced. Focus areas of research have included reducing production costs, increasing feed efficiency and decreasing the impact of animal-health issues. The cluster also works to raise the profile global profile of Canadian beef on the global market. The Beef Cluster was funded under two previous agricultural policy frameworks.