The University of Saskatchewan on May 16, 2019, announced details of a 10-year, $250,000 investment from Merck Animal Health for its Livestock and Forage Centre of Excellence (LFCE) – a visionary research facility located southeast of Saskatoon.
The long-term investment will support the LFCE’s capital build project and underlines Merck Animal Health’s commitment to the beef cattle industry and research in Canada.
“We have a long-standing relationship with the university that includes liaison and support to clinicians and researchers, collaboration in research projects, and support for veterinary and graduate students, and this sponsorship further cements our commitment,” said Daniel Beauchamp, general manager, Merck Animal Health. “Through this support of the LFCE, we ensure that we continue to build upon this strong relationship in supporting students, researchers and ultimately, the beef cattle industry, and advancing our companies mission “The Science of Healthier Animals.”
Beauchamp was on-hand to give details about the investment, which will see an equal $25,000 injection given to the LFCE project annually over 10 years, starting in December 2019. The Merck Animal Health Business and Teaching Room will be the central meeting place at the LFCE. In the first four months of 2019, more than 200 livestock and forage producers, university students and industry partners met in this area for presentations and hands-on training sessions.
Merck Animal Health is among several organizations in the agri-business sector that have committed funding to the $38-million project, including the governments of Canada and Saskatchewan, the Saskatchewan Cattlemen’s Association, Farm Credit Canada, and the University of Saskatchewan itself, among others. Additional partners are welcomed to support the vision for this unique facility.
The LFCE includes a 1,500-head feedlot, a forage-cow calf facility, a livestock research unit, two cow herds, and 27 quarters of land. It also features a true-to-life environment for raising livestock on the Canadian Prairies. The focus of the centre is on research, teaching and extension for cow-calf production, beef cattle production, as well as forage production, grazing and pasture management. Scientists are working to improve animal health, productivity and sustainable practices, while bridging the gap between producers and consumers in their understanding of the global food chain.
“Merck Animal Health’s support of the LFCE truly reflects the valuable partnership that has developed between this company and the University of Saskatchewan,” said Dr. Douglas Freeman, dean of the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM). “Merck Animal Health’s 10-year investment backs the LFCE’s vision of becoming a trusted source of innovative research and applicable knowledge for Western Canada’s livestock sector as well as for students and scientists involved in animal health and production. We’re so grateful for the support.”
More information about the LFCE is available at the University of Saskatchewan website.