April 2, 2014 1:34 PM
Livestock Genomics in Alberta - The GE3LS Implicationstraditional breeding methods to develop livestock with good milk production, which use feed efficiently, produce good tasting meat, or are good mothers at calving time, often wait for several generations to determine of they have found the best breeding crosses. Farmers developing their own crops and determining optimum fertilizer or herbicide inputs have similar challenges and can be derailed by weather conditions. Variations on these practices have been in place for 8,000 years and as a result, today's livestock and crops are very different from the cows, goats, vegetables, and cereal crops that were around when we were becoming more of an agricultural society.
On top of an individual producer's chances of success we're faced with a world population likely to hit 9 billion people in the next 10 to 15 years. That means increasing the food supply by 70% while using less land and less water.
Biotechnology is one way to help deal with the demands of the individual and of the entire population, but with the introduction of biotechnology comes societal, cultural, and economics questions, challenges, and dilemmas.
On April 23rd we invite you to join us at the Delta Airport hotel in Calgary to help identify the challenges and discuss way to deal with them while ensuring a thriving livestock sector that can meet growing food demand.