Beef producers now have a way to donate directly to the construction of new beef research centres in Saskatchewan and Ontario through the Canadian Cattlemen’s Foundation.
The registered charity was established last year as the old Legacy Fund was drying up to give producers an opportunity to help maintain the work of the Cattlemen’s Young Leaders program along with the research and the environmental programs started up by the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association.
Foundation president Bob Lowe of Nanton says the uncertainty over Alberta’s future support for the beef sector once the Alberta Livestock and Meat Agency is folded back into the government may force the industry, and the foundation, to play a greater role in maintaining these programs in future.
ALMA, for example, has been the main funder of the Beef Production Research Chair, currently held by nutritionist Dr. John McKinnon at the University of Saskatchewan, along with a raft of beef- and production-related projects.
Now the foundation is offering to accept donations for the University of Saskatchewan’s Livestock and Forage Centre of Excellence, composed of a research and teaching unit with a feedlot on a 1,760-acre site near Clavet, and the 2,367-acre forage and cow-calf teaching unit housing the university’s 500-head research herd at Floral. The Saskatchewan Cattlemen’s Association has already pledged $1 million to the project.
Environmental monitoring sensors have already been installed at the Clavet site and construction is scheduled to begin this fall.
The second project is the new beef cow barn at the University of Guelph’s Livestock Research and Innovation Centre at Elora. A new dairy research facility was opened last May but funds are still being raised to construct the new beef barn. The current design would make it the major production research facility for Eastern Canada once it is built. Beef Farmers of Ontario has pledged $1 million for the project and in addition already owns the majority of the animals that make up the research herd.
The final size and design of the facility is still being negotiated. The university is planning to move cows into the 400-head capacity facility by 2018.
As a registered charity the foundation can issue tax receipts for donations of $25 or more. Donations can take the form of cash, publicly listed securities, life insurance policies or bequests by will. They can be gifted to the general fund, or targeted to specific projects.
While the cattlemen’s foundation collects the donations, the funds are managed by the much larger Calgary Foundation.
For details visit canadiancattlemensfoundation.ca, or phone 403-275-8558.