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Four men walking down the aisle of the beef research barn. The one on the right is speaking to the other three.

$15.5-Million Beef Research Centre Opens, Most Sophisticated in Canada

The most sophisticated sustainable livestock production research centre in Canada officially opened today. At the Ontario Beef Research Centre, University of Guelph researchers will hone the latest technologies in health, welfare and production to benefit the province’s 6,800 beef farms and others across Canada.

Ontario Government Announces New Elora Research Facility

The University of Guelph as well as Ontario pork producers and consumers worldwide will benefit from a new research facility announced today by Ernie Hardeman Ontario’s minister of agriculture, food and rural affairs.

The new facility to be located at the Elora Research Station will use state-of-the-art technology to meet advanced training and research needs of the swine sector, representing more than 1,200 producers in the province.

The venture is a partnership among U of G, Ontario Pork and the Ontario government through the Agricultural Research Institute of Ontario.

Dairy cows in a rotary parlour milker

Getting results at Elora Dairy

Researchers are starting to gather results at the new Elora Research Station – Dairy Facility, where advanced technology is helping University of Guelph scientists investigate animal health issues, such as nutrition, genomics, calf behaviour, welfare and overall cow health.

Professors David Kelton and Derek Haley from the department of population medicine have utilized Elora Dairy’s facilities since its doors opened in May 2015.

“Elora Dairy offers top-of-the-line, high-end technology that helps us do innovative work no one has done before,” Haley says.

Dairy calf in front of an automated feeder

Automated feeding systems

A growing calf is a hungry calf, but feeding calves to appetite by hand is prohibitive from a labour point of view. Each calf would need to be fed roughly 10 times daily.

At the same time, there’s a growing emphasis on mimicking natural settings and accommodating animals’ natural behaviour on the farm. Consumers want products from animals that are humanely managed, so a balance must be reached between animals having quality life and economic and efficient production systems.