Government of Canada Invests in the Ontario Beef Research Centre

November 5, 2021


The governments of Canada and Ontario are giving a boost to beef nutritional research with an investment of $1.3 million through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership (the Partnership) at the Beef Research Centre. The beef nutrition research investment supports the purchase of 96 Insentec feeders, a digitized precision feeding system that monitors the quality and amount of feed. The system tracks and adjusts as needed the nutrition for each individual cow, which will produce healthier cattle and reduce waste, making beef farmers more competitive in the global marketplace.


“Investing in nutritional research is critical to helping Ontario livestock farmers grow and thrive. The Beef Research Centre supports our beef industry in staying innovative and competitive, with the latest technologies and findings on health, welfare and production.” 

—Lloyd Longfield, Member of Parliament (Guelph)

“Our government is making the critical investments necessary to support cutting-edge technologies, like Insentec feeders and a new swine research facility, because they fuel innovation and help Ontario livestock farmers be more competitive in the marketplace. By investing in agri-food research, Ontario is showing our support to our livestock sector and ensuring the continued economic growth of the industry.”

—The Honourable Lisa Thompson, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs

The investment’s announced today builds on several previous initiatives and programs that support the livestock sector, including:

  • $500,000 for precision feed handling and mixing equipment which supports nutritional research for the expanded beef and dairy research herds at the Ontario Beef Research Centre – Elora.
  • $7 million in the Meat Processors Capacity Improvement Initiative for provincially licensed meat processors to help them purchase equipment to increase productivity and efficiency, and prevent slowdowns.
  • $10 million in the Agri-Food Workplace Protection Program to help provincially licensed meat processors maintain a safe workplace.
  • $5 million in emergency drought support for livestock farmers in Northwestern Ontario in addition to $2 million to cover immediate needs like feed, water and fencing with an additional investment of up to $15,000 per eligible farms for permanent water projects in northwestern Ontario.

Financial assistance was also provided to beef and hog producers to help offset the feeding costs during processing delays caused by COVID-19.

Quick Facts

  • Ontario's cattle and hog sectors contribute $5.2 billion in GDP through the agri-food value chain and supports over 98,500 jobs.
  • The Ontario Beef Research Centre – Elora is a partnership between the Government of Ontario through the Agricultural Research Institute of Ontario (ARIO), the Beef Farmers of Ontario (BFO) and the University of Guelph and reflects an investment of approximately $12.5 million from the Ontario government, $2 million from the Government of Canada and $1.5 million from the BFO. The site includes 300 acres of pasture, two barns with state-of-the-art feeders to accommodate 288 mature cows and 120 heifers with four laboratories, including a sample storage lab and a clean lab for genomics research.
  • The Ontario Swine Research Centre – Elora is a partnership between the Government of Ontario province (through the ARIO), Ontario Pork and the University of Guelph. The facility will have capacity for a wide number of research disciplines, including animal health, nutrition and welfare; consumer-oriented research; environmental factors; genetics/genomics; nutrient management; and reproduction.
  • The Canadian Agricultural Partnership is a five-year, $3 billion investment by Canada's federal, provincial and territorial governments to strengthen and grow Canada's agri-food and agri-products sectors. This includes a $2 billion commitment that is cost-shared 60 per cent federally and 40 per cent provincially/territorially for programs that are designed and delivered by provinces and territories.

Additional Resources

Media Contacts

Jack Sullivan
Office of the Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs

Christa Roettele, Communications Branch

Oliver Anderson
Office of the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Media Relations
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Ottawa, Ontario