News related to Advancing Research Impact: 2019-20 Agri-Food Yearbook

A tractor travels across a dirt field

Soil: The Next Frontier

The relationship between agriculture and food is a natural one—at least for producers, who nurture it daily. But the agri-food connection is increasingly becoming a “eureka moment” for the public, too. People are waking up to the realization that agriculture precedes food, and that what they see on their plate comes from complex agri-food systems.

Three goats laying together on a bed of hay

What's happening to these kids? Three-year study aims to unravel why goat kid mortalities happen

To support the demand for goat products, University of Guelph researchers are involved in an intensive, three-year, Ontario-wide herd health and management study.

Prof. Cathy Bauman, Department of Population Medicine, and a team of researchers have surveyed or visited almost 60 goat farmers over the past 18 months to investigate mortalities and management practices among their herds.

The researchers are also wrapping up a project to conduct autopsies on all goat kids under four months of age that died on about half of the farms.

Dairy cows in stalls with tractor driving down station alley.

Focus on Sustainability

Feed costs represent about 70 per cent of cattle producers’ total expenses. Cattle are under the microscope for contributing to greenhouse gas emissions.

And breeding could address both matters.

That’s what one University of Guelph researcher is doing, with help from the Ontario Agri-Food Innovation Alliance. Using genomics, she’s identifying cattle that naturally use their feed more efficiently.

Man connecting wires on lab equipment

Less environmental impact found through new analytical method

Veterinary drugs and pesticides detection in food tested at the U of G Agriculture and Food Lab (AFL) has been improved through a new method that increases the number of detectable compounds in samples, while simultaneously using a more environmentally friendly compound to reduce the impact of volatile emissions.

A bright future for HQP Scholars: Nicole Weidner

Tools such as the Highly Qualified Personnel (HQP) program play a big role in developing future leaders who aim to participate fully in research innovation. The program provides industry access, educational opportunities and funding to students with promise in research excellence.