'milkrotron' funding announced for U of S dairy research

Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Gerry Ritz and Saskatchewan Minister of Agriculture, Bob Bjornerud announced $4 million toward a new dairy research and teaching facility at the University of Saskatchewan March 17.

Blaine McLeod, Saskatchewan milk Marketing Board, at the March 17 funding announcement
Photo by Mark Ferguson
See the Government of Saskatchewan news release for more information
Check out photos of the event in the U of S Flickr Gallery
The existing research facility, built in 1972, requires urgent replacement. It no longer meets the standards of the Canadian Council on Animal Care, the national standards body for the care and housing of animals used for teaching and research in Canada.
The new dairy research and teaching facility will be built on campus near East Road and Preston Avenue. It will accommodate 100 lactating cows with both robotic and parlor milking capabilities, animal handling and teaching areas, and research and staff space. The project also allows for feed storage and preparation areas within and around the facility. A viewing gallery in the new facility will accommodate public access and education on modern dairy and agriculture production systems.
Research performed in the new facility will include dairy nutrition and feed development, animal fertility and health, animal management, technology development, application of information technologies, and development of green technologies for improved sustainability.
This advanced dairy feeds evaluation and research capability will make a critical contribution to the large agricultural and feeds innovation research cluster led by the University of Saskatchewan.
Expected benefits for the Canadian dairy sector include reduced production costs, improved animal care and environmental sustainability. Innovative, high-value dairy feeds and new feeding programs promise new opportunities for producers and feed manufacturers for crops such as canola, mustard, flax, pulses, grains, and forages.
Other possible opportunities include new nutraceutical feeds and milk products, specialty products (biologics) derived from milk and new sustainable technologies.
The new dairy research and teaching facility will be used to further research from the College of Agriculture and Bioresources, College of Engineering, the Western College of Veterinary Medicine and VIDO/InterVac. Construction is expected to begin in the fall of 2011and to take about a year to complete.
For more information, contact:
Kira Paluck
Communications Co-ordinator
College of Agriculture and Bioresources
University of Saskatchewan
Tel: (306) 966-6873
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