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Elora getting $18-million Ontario Swine Research Centre

Federal and provincial funding will go towards two projects at the Ontario Research Centres in Elora

CENTRE WELLINGTON – A provincial funding announcement in Elora on Friday includes the establishment of a new $18-million Ontario Swine Research Centre.

The centre will be located just down the road from the Ontario Beef Research Centre on Centre Wellington 2nd Line, just southwest of Elora.

The Ontario government is funding two projects at Ontario Research Centres with the aim to foster innovation and support economic growth within Ontario’s rural areas.

The first announcement was for a new $18 million swine research facility, with $14 million in funding coming from the Ontario government and an additional $3.6 million coming from Ontario Pork.

“This demonstrates how Ontario farmers and our overall agro-food industry is leading by example when it comes to modern technology and efficiencies, and we are going to be a leader at the global level,” said Lisa Thompson, Ontario’s Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, at the announcement on Friday.

“When you take a look at what we are doing here on this research campus, if you include the beef and dairy research centres as well, this is what is important to our farmers, and again it’s going to attract investment and demonstrate as agriculture movies further into the 21st century we are all about precision and efficiencies and the best quality product possible for our consumers.”

Slated for completion in mid-2023, the facility is currently under construction and will see technology used in several research projects including animal health, nutrition and welfare, nutrient management and reproduction among others.

The site is through the partnership with the Government of Ontario through its agency the Agricultural Research Institute of Ontario and the University of Guelph.

“On the technology side we have individual feeding, we have innovating new feeding technologies that are evolving as artificial intelligence and as electronics are developed, on the ventilation front as well the ventilation controls will be state-of-the-art,” said John de Bruyn, chair of Ontario Pork.

De Bruyn said these innovations will allow for the facility will be well-positioned to meet and future standards that will evolve and the facility he expects to be cutting-edge for the next 40 years.

“I think this facility here nestled among the other research facilities is a fair microcosm of Ontario,” said de Bruyn.

In addition, the governments of Ontario and Canada will be investing $1.3 million through the Agricultural Partnership at the Ontario Beef Research Centre. 

The Ontario Beef Research Centre is a partnership between the Government of Ontario through its agency the Agricultural Research Institute of Ontario, the Beef Farmers of Ontario and the University of Guelph.

“I think it is important to keep in mind as we look across this particular landscape we find ourselves in, $70 million has been invested in creating a world-class platform for livestock research on this particular site,” said Malcolm Campbell, vice-president of research from the U of G.

The beef research centre comprises 300 acres of pasture, two barns with technology-driven feeders and can accommodate 288 mature cows and 120 heifers and contains four research laboratories.

“The government of Canada is proud to support the cutting-edge research here with a federal investment of $2 million for genetic research into better feed efficiency for Ontario cattle producers,” said Guelph MP Lloyd Longfield.

The hog and cattle sectors contribute a combined $5.2 billion to Ontario’s gross domestic product through the agri-food chain and supports close to 100,000 jobs in the province.

The investments announced Friday will build off previous funding and programs that support the agricultural industry, including a $500,000 investment for precision fee handling and mixing equipment used at the Ontario Beef Research Centre.


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Daniel Caudle

About the Author: Daniel Caudle

Daniel Caudle is a journalist who covers Guelph and area
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