A new CAD20 million (US$14.7 million) Ontario Swine Research Centre opened on August 24 will enhance the province’s capacity for research, innovation and the development of new technology to benefit Ontario pork producers and consumers.
Representatives of the University of Guelph, the government of Ontario, the government of Canada and Ontario Pork celebrated the opening of the center in Elora, Ontario.
The new facility results from a collaborative investment from the government of Ontario, the Agricultural Research Institute of Ontario (ARIO) and Ontario’s pork industry, and is the newest addition to the provincial network of research centers owned by ARIO and managed by the University of Guelph through the Ontario Agri-Food Innovation Alliance.
“The University of Guelph has a long history of working with government and industry partners to drive innovation and support growth in the agrifood sector,” said university president Dr. Charlotte Yates. “We thank the government of Canada, the Ontario government, the Agricultural Research Institute of Ontario, and Ontario Pork for their leadership in making this critical investment.
“The Ontario Swine Research Centre will allow U of G experts to advance research and knowledge, bring new livestock innovations to the farm and train the next generation of talent, in support of a thriving pork sector in Ontario and beyond.”
“The opening of the Ontario Swine Research Centre is a perfect example of what can be achieved when industry, academia and government collaborate,” said Lisa Thompson, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. “This strategic investment will help fuel leading-edge research to advance Ontario’s pork sector with respect to herd health, consumer demand and production efficiencies.”
The new center will accommodate research in diverse disciplines, including nutrition, animal health and welfare, production economics, consumer-oriented research, environmental factors, genetics/genomics, nutrient management, and reproduction.
John de Bruyn, board chair of Ontario Pork, said: “Ontario Pork’s ongoing investment in research and development follows a long tradition of swine research in Ontario and represents a renewed commitment by pork producers and industry partners in their dedication to continuous improvement in the pork industry.”
The provincial and federal governments also announced an investment of CAD1.75 million through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership for a feed distribution system and electronic sow feeders at the center.
“The new swine research center will contribute to the development of knowledge and improvement of best management practices already being applied on hog farms in Ontario,” said Guelph MP Lloyd Longfield on behalf of Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food. “Investments in research and innovation ensure the hog sector have the tools they need to remain economically competitive and productive in a sustainable way.”
The Ontario Swine Research Centre is the latest addition to a site that houses the Ontario Beef Research Centre and the Ontario Dairy Research Centre. All three facilities reflect successful academic-industry-government partnerships that provide critical research infrastructure and technical expertise for research on today’s pressing livestock priorities.
U of G swine research will be relocated from the Arkell Research Station to the new research center.