Updates From the World of Livestock & Poultry Research


Wand Family of Parry Sound win pasture award 

Klaus, Ursala and Markus Wand received the 2017 Ontario Sheep Pasture Award for their environmental and pasture improvements and management, including rotational grazing to reduce mortality and parasite burden. The Wand Family Livestock Farm, located near Parry Sound, manage a flock of about 650 breeding ewes and 70 beef cow/calf operation.

Sandi Brock named 2017 Outstanding Shepherd

Sandi Brock was recognized for her leadership and contributions to the Ontario sheep industry with the 2017 Outstanding Shepherd Award. Brock owns and operates Shepherd Creek Farms -- a 500-ewe flock for lamb production - with her husband Mark and children Jack and Jessica. She uses social media to help build public trust, and volunteers with 4-H and other agricultural organizations.

Keith Currie continues as OFA president

Collingwood-area hay and sweet corn farmer Keith Currie was acclaimed as Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA) president, returning for a second one-year term of the general farm organization that represents 37,000 Ontario farm members. Currie is joined by Peggy Brekveld, Mark Reusser and Drew Spoelstra as the executive team. Jackie Kelly-Pemberton is the only new member addition to the 18-member OFA board of directors.

  Making News
Alternative protein sources challenge meat industry

Plant-based protein sources are on the rise and challenging the traditional meat industry with "fake meat" including chickpea patties, insects and lab-grown meat. An Australian report warns the meat industry to not be complacent as consumer preference change.

A&W Canada invests in U of S research centre

A&W Canada has made a substantial investment in the Canadian beef industry with a $5-million donation toward the University of Saskatchewan's Livestock and Forage Centre of Excellence (LFCE).

  LRIC Update
Calls for Proposals Currently Open

Details and Letters of Intents are available by  clicking here

Note: Poultry Letters of Intents are accepted on-line year-round.  A response on a letter of intent can normally be expected within 6 - 8 weeks from submission.

Any questions can be directed to

Coming events 

Dec 13, 2017: OABA Energy Management Workshop, Guelph ON,

Jan 3 - 4, 2018: Southwest Agricultural Conference, Ridgetown ON,

Jan 3 - 9, 2018: Grey-Bruce Farmers' Week, Elmwood ON,

Jan 9 - 11, 2018: Dairy Farmers of Ontario Annual General Meeting, Toronto ON

Jan 20, 2018: Farm Smart & Beef Symposium, Guelph ON, 

Jan 21 - 24, 2018: Dairy Forum 2018, Palm Desert CA,

Jan 25, 2018: Eastern Regional Poultry Conference, St. Isidore ON,

Jan 30 - 31, 2018: Precision Agriculture Conference, London ON,

Jan 30 - Feb 1, 2018: International Production & Processing Expo, Atlanta GA,

Feb 8, 2018: BIO Annual General Meeting, Elora ON, 

Feb 9, 2018: Dairy Research Symposium, Ottawa ON,

Feb 13 - 14, 2018: Ontario Soil & Crop Improvement Association Annual General Meeting, London ON,

Feb 21 - 22, 2018: Beef Farmers of Ontario Annual Meeting, Toronto ON,

Feb 27 - 28, 2018: Innovative Farmers Association of Ontario Annual Conference, London ON,

Mar 7, 2018: Veal Farmers of Ontario Annual General Meeting, Tavistock ON,
Details to Come

Mar 20 - 21, 2018: Ontario Pork Annual General Meeting & Banquet, Guelph ON,

Mar 21, 2018: Ontario Goat Annual General Meeting, Woodstock ON,
Details to Come

Mar 27 - 28, 2018: London Swine Conference, London ON,

Apr 4 - 5, 2018: Canadian Poultry Expo, London ON, 

Oct 15 - 19, 2018: World Dairy Summit, Daejon, South Korea

Quick Links to Our Partners, Friends & Members


PigGen Canada

Research and Innovation Driving Livestock Sector Success
Research Snapshots 

Feed: Looking at larvae as a new protein source
Dutch researchers are starting a four-year research project to investigate the potential for using insect larvae as a viable protein source for piglet and broilers operations. In a search for more sustainable feed ingredients as demand for pork and poultry increases worldwide, the research will look into the environmental and animal welfare impact of feeding black soldier fly larvae to chickens and pigs.

Climate change: New heat exchanger protects livestock from heat stress
Livestock raised in confined housing is most susceptible to the effects of climate change, and a new earth-air heat exchanger helps reduce heat stress for poultry and pigs. The exchanger cools in the summer and warms up air in the winter. 

Poultry: Progress made on antibiotic alternatives 
Canadian researchers are making headway in the search for alternatives to antibiotics. A naturally-occurring essential oil compound inhibits the growth of Clostridium perfringens in the intestine. Another alternative inactivates the bacterium's cell signaling system using genetic manipulation.

Poultry: Investigating immune response strategies for IB 
California researchers are studying immune response to look for strategies that could help chickens resist infectious bronchitis (IB). They are looking at the link between innate and adaptive immune response, as it affects resistance, and using the information to develop new IB control strategies.

Swine: Unlocking the full nutrient potential in feed
Eliminating the use of antibiotics in feed has brought new challenges to feed quality and affordability. New
research has identified an enzyme/probiotic combination that consistently improves amino acid digestibility, reducing feed costs while enhancing growth and performance.

Swine: Breaking down fibre to find the nutrients
Fibre-rich ingredients provide cost-effective additions to hog feed, but are not digested well by the animal and can actually reduce growth rates. Adding fibre-degrading enzymes, or carbohydrates, may mitigate the effects of the fibre and help animals access the food energy.

Swine: Creating good gut health in piglets
Without the use of antibiotics, a multidisciplinary approach to piglet nutrition around weaning is necessary for performance and health. Protein is one of the most important factors to help young piglets get off to the best start - consider the right quality and quantity for good gut health.

Beef: Feed efficient young bulls aren't top reproductive performers
Researchers have discovered an inverse relationship between feed efficiency and reproductive performance in young bulls. There is growing evidence that confirms raising young bulls with a focus on feed efficiency, will not pan out when it comes to their sexual performance as sires.
Full Article

Dairy: Growing demand for Ontario cheesemakers
Ontario dairy processors estimate the need for 200 more cheesemakers in the province over the next decade to feed the growing interest in local cheese. That's more than the total number of cheesemakers currently working in the province, uncovering a need for additional training to build this new workforce. 

Dairy: Making milk do even more for human health
University of Guelph researchers have developed a new high immune response (HIR) technology that allows farmers to identify and select for cows with inherently superior immunity and disease resistance. This technology could lead to milk from HIR cows that includes natural, valued-added health benefits for humans.
Full Article - page 36

Sheep: Funding helps Ontario sector improve
Growing Forward 2 funding for Ontario Sheep Farmers has allowed the organization to work on ethnic marketing, animal welfare, traceability, a new pricing tool and continuing education. 

Aquaculture: Evaluating the threat of personal care products to freshwater systems
Traditional toxicity testing underestimates the risk that pharmaceutical and personal care product (PPCP) pollution poses to freshwater ecosystems. A new study calls for added criteria to protect surface water from the pressure of a growing population and escalating synthetic chemical use.

Aquaculture: Fishing seasons may be harming populations
A new University of Washington study suggests the timing of fishing seasons may be hampering the ability of fish populations to reproduce. The study considers how the timing of fishing season may disproportionately target some fish, changing the diversity and productivity of a species' population.
Full Article 

Whatever next?!? A look at the weird and wacky

Did your Thanksgiving turkey come with a story?
Cargill developed a blockchain technology that allowed consumers to get a little closer to the farmers who raised their Thanksgiving turkey this year. The technology was available for the first time on some of its Honeysuckle White turkey brand in the U.S., and meant consumers could enter a package code from the turkey into the company's website to see photos of the farm and a message from the farmer. 

Dutch design first carbon neutral layer operation
With 1,100 solar panels and a diet of leftovers, a Dutch farmer has produced the world's first carbon neutral egg in his laying herd. The white hens are not fed corn, significantly reducing the farm's carbon footprint, and they are housed in a unique indoor/outdoor facility focused on animal welfare. 

Chocolate or cheese...what would you choose?
New UK research finds that half of British consumers surveyed would rather give up chocolate than cheese when asked to choose between never again eating one or the other.