Ontario Improving Farm Animal Health and Agricultural Productivity

Published on August 04, 2020

Research investment will help farmers safely manage livestock


News Release

The Ontario Government is investing $2.35 million in advanced animal research related to livestock health and well-being while also focusing on increasing productivity and competitiveness in the livestock sector. The findings will provide farmers with the latest knowledge and on-farm solutions for safely managing livestock so they can continue to be world leaders in the agriculture sector.

This research is funded through the Ontario Agri-Food Innovation Alliance, a collaboration between the Ontario government and the University of Guelph to support growth and innovation in the province's agri-food and rural sectors.

"The research we're investing in will provide farmers with some of the latest knowledge and tools they need to keep farm animals and food safe," said Ernie Hardeman, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. "This is one of the many ways we're supporting the growth, productivity and competitiveness of Ontario's livestock sector."

Through the Ontario Agri-Food Innovation Alliance, the Province is funding livestock research projects to investigate innovative methods, practices and products that will help the sector better understand and support livestock health and welfare, including:

  • Identifying genetic markers to reduce disease and infections in sheep and cows
  • Improving access to veterinary services and support in rural and remote areas
  • Developing a surveillance program for milk tanks on dairy farms
  • Examining newborn milk in the development of neonatal dairy calves
  • Evaluating novel methods to prevent bovine respiratory disease
  • Identifying disease-causing pathogens in sheep and goats
  • Validating the use of probiotics to support the health of multiple livestock species
  • Investigating alternative control measures for E. coli diarrhea in pigs

"The University of Guelph is delighted to build on our powerful partnership with OMAFRA to advance livestock health, welfare, and productivity," said Malcolm Campbell, Vice-President (Research). "This research, undertaken by our world-class researchers, will create real-world solutions that support the competitiveness of our livestock industry; that ensure continued production of safe, sustainable, and nutritious food; and that fuel innovation that has positive, global impact."

All projects are designed to ensure Ontario's agri-food sector can quickly benefit from the new knowledge, technologies and solutions developed through provincially funded research.

Quick Facts

  • The $2.35 million earmarked for new livestock health, welfare and productivity projects is part of the province’s Ontario Agri-Food Innovation Alliance annual investment of $8.65 million, which supports research at the University of Guelph. The Alliance funds research in areas of environmental sustainability, animal and plant health and production, as well as agri-food and bio-product development.
  • Ontario’s livestock sector (beef, hog, sheep, dairy, poultry and egg) contributes approximately $16.4 billion to the GDP and supports more than 323,000 direct jobs.

Additional Resources