Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP) has long recognized the importance of investments in research and innovation to the long-term sustainability of the beef industry.
During the consultations on Growing Forward 2 (GF2), MBP lobbied for increased investments in research and innovation. To be competitive internationally, the beef industry needs ongoing research in areas such as feed, nutrition, genetics, and animal health and welfare, to name a few.
Manitoba beef producers’ check-off dollars help fund a broad range of industry-related research work being undertaken at institutions like the University of Manitoba. MBP research funding contributions are often leveraged by researchers to secure additional sources of project funding, multiplying the benefits to producers and the beef industry.
MBP also works with other industry organizations like the Dairy Farmers of Manitoba and the Manitoba Pork Council to pursue research in areas of mutual interest such as the environment or animal health.
Additionally, MBP is working with research partners in other provinces and nationally, such as the Beef Cattle Research Council, to better co-ordinate research projects. This will help limit the possibility of duplication thereby making the most effective use of research dollars.
Finding ways to improve herd health and on-farm productivity are important aspects of research. It is essential that work undertaken in the lab or in the field is converted into tools that primary producers can use on their farms.
Examples of research projects in which MBP has been involved with include bovine tuberculosis testing, the fertilizer equivalence of manure, residual feed intake, farm management strategies in the Canadian beef sector, and developing a strategy for forage and grassland management in Manitoba through an examination of the multi-functionality of forages.
An equally important function of research relates to the development of public policy. It is MBP’s belief that sound science must shape public policy, not public opinion. It is critical that legislators and policy makers have access to current science-based research when policies are being developed or modified that could impact the beef sector for many years.
Finally, governments are accountable to taxpayers when it comes to how public money is spent. They are seeking deliverables when they make investments in initiatives like EG&S programming. Research funded by MBP can show the value for money when public dollars are invested in various programs.