June 12, 2024


Canada's agriculture minister announces funds to improve genetic tools for domestic cattle




Canada's Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Lawrence MacAulay, announced up to $1,627,270 to the Canadian Angus Association (CAA), through the AgriScience Program – Projects Component, to help improve genetic evaluation tools for Canadian beef and dairy cattle.


Genetic selection tools allow producers to increase their return on investment, while accurately predicting traits that benefit the environment and respond to consumer preferences. With the development of these tools, the challenge of collecting large volumes of data and managing the complexity of the collected data has increased.


With the federal support, the CAA will leverage cutting-edge technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, camera and computer vision systems to capture large volumes of accurate data on traits that impact producer profitability, animal health and welfare, and environmental sustainability. This research work will provide beef and dairy producers with valuable knowledge on genetic selection and support the development of new systems and technologies to further advance breeding tools. These advancements in genetic evaluation tools will further position Canada as a well-renowned country for genetics within the global cattle industry, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada said.


Investing in innovation to advance efficient and sustainable genetic traits in Canadian cattle will also help maintain the quality of herds, while supporting a more productive and profitable industry for the future.


"Canada's world-class cattle industry contributes significantly to our country's economy," said MacAulay. "By investing in new innovations and technologies, we can enhance the industry's economic and environmental sustainability – putting more money in the pockets of producers, and more top-quality Canadian products on tables around the world."


"The Canadian Angus Association exists to preserve and expand the breed for Canadian cattle producers and beef consumers, doing so in part by leading research and development projects," said Myles Immerkar, chief executive officer of Canadian Angus Association. "We are very grateful to Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada for supporting our project through the Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership. Through this project, and in partnership with Holstein Canada, our goal is to leverage cutting-edge camera and artificial intelligence technology to develop new ways to measure traits for Angus and Holstein cattle. These traits impact producer profitability, animal health and welfare, and carcass quality." 

- Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

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