From a news release
The Ontario government, industry and research community joined the University of Guelph Oct. 11 to mark the start of construction of a $25-million Livestock Research and Innovation Centre – Dairy Facility.
Representatives from the University, Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food (OMAF) and the Ministry of Rural Affairs (MRA), Agricultural Research Institute of Ontario (ARIO), Livestock Research Innovation Corporation (LRIC) and Dairy Farmers of Ontario (DFO) attended a ceremony in Elora, Ontario.
The state-of-the-art centre will address research, education and training needs and priorities of the Ontario and Canadian dairy sectors. Construction — involving both renovations and new facilities — is occurring at the current site of the Elora Research Station, operated by U of G under its partnership agreement with OMAF/MRA.
“This unique facility will keep Ontario at the forefront of scientific innovation for livestock and dairy research,” Summerlee said.
The agri-food sector is among the province’s most important economic drivers, contributing $34 billion to the province’s gross domestic product and sustaining more than 740,000 jobs. The dairy industry contributes $5.5 billion to Canada’s GDP and 73,000 jobs.
“Beyond dollars and cents, this is also an investment in people and in the future,” Summerlee said. “This university, government and industry collaboration will enable explorations that will have environmental and health benefits for all Canadians.”
Faculty and students from various U of G departments will collaborate on research projects and initiatives at the facility.
Research and innovation will cover human health; food safety; animal welfare, productivity and reproduction; new products and procedures; and bioengineering and renewable energy.
The project is also expected to provide 25 full-time positions at the Elora station.
The Ontario government has committed $20 million to the project and DFO has committed the additional $5 million.
“The future success of the Ontario livestock sector requires continuous research and innovation,” said Bill Emmott, DFO chair. “We are thrilled that the Ontario government at recognizes this.”
Ralph Dietrich, LRIC Chairman, added that Ontario offers a profitable, competitive environment for growth in the agricultural economy throughout the 21st century.
“It’s clear from the demonstrated commitment to agricultural research that the Ontario government believes, as do we, that research plays an integral role in securing that bright future.”