Genome Alberta

Livestock News & Views

April 17, 2014 7:06 PM

Biotechnology news and events

Ranchers and others in the industry looking to beef up their knowledge of feed efficiency will want to tune in to a webinar on May 1st hosted by the Beef Cattle Research Council.

The webinar will look at where researchers are in terms of linking genomics to feed efficiency, where the research is going, and how cow-calf producers can boost feed efficiency in their herds by selecting based on residual feed intake.

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April 17, 2014 7:06 PM
Biotechnology news and events
Ranchers and others in the industry looking to beef up their knowledge of feed efficiency will want to tune in to a webinar on May 1st hosted by the Beef Cattle Research Council.

The webinar will look at where researchers are in terms of linking genomics to feed efficiency, where the research is going, and how cow-calf producers can boost feed efficiency in their herds by selecting based on residual feed intake.

April 11, 2014 8:06 AM
The role of biotechnology in boosting livestock production

Genome Alberta is taking a look at the social, environmental and economic challenges around biotechnology in the livestock sector by hosting a one-day conference in Calgary April 23.

The day includes panels featuring scientists from across North America. Dr. Alison Van Eenennaam is one of those speakers.

Eenennaam, a researcher with the University of California, Davis, is looking at cattle traits such as feed efficiency, fertility and resistance to bovine respiratory disease.The industry doesn’t have good selection criteria for these traits right now and so Van Eenennaam hopes to “harness the genomics revolution to help identify cattle that are superior with regards to these very important economic traits.”

April 4, 2014 3:26 PM
Raw milk: is there room for science in food wars?

Academics and ag industry are jumping into the raw milk debate later this month by holding a one-day symposium at the University of Guelph.

The symposium, titled Science to Policy, is slated for April 22, and will feature scientists and dairy producers including raw milk advocate Michael Schmidt. Conference organizers hope to look at how science should be used to inform public policy. 

April 4, 2014 2:22 PM
Societal and Cultural Challenges of Agricultural Biotechnology
Filed Under: Events Research | 0 Comments
Agriculture is a major economic driver in Alberta but like agriculture in the rest of the world, there are challenges.

Farmers and ranchers have low profit margins as the retail price of food seldom reflects what the producer of the food actually gets. Urban areas in Alberta are expanding into good agricultural land making it more profitable for a farmer to sell his land than raise food on it. The world's population is expanding rapidly and over the next 2 decades or so we will need to increase food production by 70% to ensure a sustainable food supply, and Canada will play a major part in that effort.
Some estimates suggest that the are already upwards of 2 billion people who are malnourished in the world and by 2035 we will have an additional 3 billion people to feed - many of which will add to the numbers of malnourished. Without introducing biotechnology into the system many experts agree that we won't be able to meet the ongoing global food demand.
On April 23rd we're going to look at some of the societal, economic, and environmental challenges faced when biotechnology comes into play in the livestock sector.
March 28, 2014 5:43 PM
Bovine TB controversy: Do deer farms spread the disease to cattle farms?
Filed Under: Pam Baker | 0 Comments

Controversy rages over whether Chronic Wasting Disease (CDW) in deer and elk, specifically found in high occurrences on deer farms, is spreading to cattle farms. In cattle, the equivalent disease is known as “Mad Cow Disease.” Deer farmers are busy compiling and presenting evidence that their farms present no threat to wildlife or other livestock farms. They claim CDW is a “political disease” wherein government agencies are wielding an agenda and fear rather than working towards a real purpose. Meanwhile others, like state veterinarians in the U.S. and USDA researchers, point to evidence that deer farms can be a threat to wildlife and cattle farms.

The video below was made by a deer farmer making his case. The video includes independent, third party agricultural experts giving their opinion on the subject as well. As no video could be readily found on the opposing view, please see the news report in IndyStar for additional information on the situation and for informed opinions on both sides of the argument. It’s a rather long read but well worth your time. For the sake of expediency, some of the opposing side’s argument will be highlighted in this post, after the video.