Canada’s agriculture minister attended the annual meeting of Dairy Farmers of Canada and brought with her a large funding announcement.
Marie-Claude Bibeau committed the federal government to funding the third round of the Dairy Research Cluster, which brings together researchers across the country in dairy-farmer-directed research to increase efficiency for dairy farmers and improve the understanding of the health benefits of dairy products. She made the announcement at the annual meeting in mid-July in Saskatoon.
The federal government will put $11.4 million towards the cluster, with another $5.1 million coming from the industry and partners such as Lactanet Canada and Novalait for a total of $16.5 million.
“The investment provided to the Dairy Research Cluster 3 is essential to enable strong, robust and evidenced-based research material that ultimately helps dairy farmers increase efficiency of their farm practices, particularly milk production, animal welfare and sustainability,” said Pierre Lampron, president of Dairy Farmers of Canada. “Results of these research projects will also contribute to expand knowledge about the health benefits of dairy products. Today’s announcement is another important step towards ensuring the continuous improvement of our dairy industry.”
“Innovation on Canadian dairy farms requires cutting-edge knowledge of world-class research. Novalait is proud to be a partner of the Dairy Research Cluster 3 to develop this knowledge. This important investment by Novalait in the quality of milk will benefit the entire dairy sector,” said Charles Langlois, president of Novalait.
“The research funded as part of this cluster will help Canadian dairy farmers continue to benefit from the most advanced genetic technologies and to optimize genetic progress, with a focus on novel traits emphasizing health, longevity and efficiency,” said Barbara Paquet, chair of Lactanet Canada.
Investments will be made in 15 research projects to address DFC’s strategic research priorities identified in the National Dairy Research Strategy.
The four largest funded areas in 2018 included full fat dairy products, dairy cattle genetic improvement, infectious disease mitigation and musculoskeletal health.
A list of all the Dairy Research Cluster 3 projects and investments can be accessed at dairyresearch.ca.