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May 31, 2011

Lakeland College Receives Grant for Livestock Feed Research

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The Natural Sciences and Engineering Council of Canada (NSERC) awarded Lakeland College a grant of $125,918 as part of the council’s Applied Research Tools and Instruments (ARTI) program.

The college’s School of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences will use the funds to purchase new equipment that will aid in the research of residual feed intake (RFI) in both sheep and cattle.

RFI monitoring equipment measures the exact amount of feed an animal is eating. This helps determine which animals consume the least amount of food but still grow quickly. When combined with DNA testing, this information may help determine which animals produce the best grading carcass.

"Reducing feed costs and increasing feed utilization efficiencies are key factors for the Canadian beef industry to remain competitive in the global market," says Brian Chrisp, a representative of the beef industry group, All about Beef.

But beef producers won’t be the only ones to benefit from this research.

"The sheep industry is an industry with tremendous opportunity for expansion and Alberta is currently leading the country in developing electronic systems for sheep traceability and value-added services to the industry," says Phil Kolodychuk, chair of the Alberta Lamb Producers.

Students will perform the research on Lakeland College’s Student Managed Farm.

For more information on the research project, please visit www.lakelandcollege.ca/applied_research.


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