Edmonton – Genome Alberta got a boost for its research projects.
The Alberta Livestock and Meat Agency (ALMA) invested $5 million, which Genome Alberta will administer.
Some of the projects that will share the funds include those that will demonstrate the use of genomics-based tools to determine how the livestock industry can raise animals that are productive in specific environments and conditions.
Specific research areas include:
• Improving the ability of livestock to handle disease, stress and environmental conditions such as drought, heat and cold.
• Reducing the environmental footprint of livestock production. • Improving traits such as meat quality, feed efficiency or wool production.
• Exploring the social, political, regulatory and economic issues that come with the use of genomics-based technology.
“The science of genomics is playing an increasingly important role in the livestock industry in Alberta,” said Verlyn Olson, minister of Agriculture and Rural Development.
“Through this funding, ALMA is ensuring that our producers will be able to access world-class scientific research and technologies that can help them compete in the global food marketplace.”
Genome Alberta’s site says the ALMA-Genome Alberta call will support sustainability, which is especially key as demand from a growing global population continues to increase.
Each project within the initiative will account for social, economic and environmental concerns to build consumer demand and a sustainably profitable industry. These projects will result in improved competitiveness for the agriculture industry, both domestically and globally.
The Canadian Angus Association and producers have said they welcome the funding and research. David Bolduc of Cudlobe Angus says he’s successfully used genomics tools on his operation.
Genomics “has allowed us to evaluate breeding animals more accurately and at a much younger age,” he says. “Genomics technology has taken us beyond the pretty calves to evaluating traits that really translate to a profitable beef industry and a satisfied beef consumer.”