Beef Cattle Research Council

The Beef Cattle Research Council’s (BCRC’s) mission is to lead the Canadian beef industry as the most prominent supporter of cattle, forage and beef research with a producer-led Council who invests producer funds into research and technology transfer to support growth in beef demand, increase productivity and earn public trust.

The BCRC currently funds more than 100 research and extension projects led by researchers nationwide, in partnership with more than 40 funding agencies, being conducted at more than 30 research facilities including Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) research stations, universities and other research institutions.

In 2022/23, the BCRC received on average $0.67 (unaudited) of every $2.50 of the Canadian Beef Cattle Check- Off collected by the provinces. This funding was leveraged under the Beef Science Cluster program with AAFC Canadian Agricultural Partnership funding, where industry contributed 28% ($666,494) and AAFC contributed 72% ($1.67 million) in 2022/23.

In addition, the BCRC leveraged the Canadian Beef Cattle Check-Off for an additional $3.7 million in research funding and $250,000 in-kind from government and industry partners through initiatives outside of the Beef Science Cluster.

Key Highlights – 2023

  • The third Beef Science Cluster ended in 2023. In total 26 projects were funded through the third Cluster with
    industry and AAFC investments totalling $21.6 million. A sample of results included:
    • Calves given an 8-hour rest during long-haul transport had higher numbers of Bovine Respiratory
      Disease-causing bacteria in the respiratory tract than calves that were not rested during transport
      indicating that rest stops might contribute to increased health and welfare risks. This research was led by
      AAFC Lethbridge.
    • Prevalence and impacts of a variety of health issues and management practices on commercial operations
      with research led by the Western College of Veterinary Medicine. Understanding how these diseases and
      management practices impact animal health and welfare helps prioritize Check-Off research investments,
      guide technology transfer and help industry stakeholders and policymakers make informed decisions.
    • Several new practical online tools were developed for cattle producers on various topics. Content related to
      drought-related strategies and mitigation were the most popular.
    • 2023 marked 25 years as Canada’s national industry-led funding agency for beef, cattle and forage research.

Priority heading into 2024:

One of the BCRC’s top priorities is managing the fourth Beef and Forage AgriScience Cluster under the Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership – AgriScience Program, which totals $21.7 million, with $12.1 million in federal investment and industry contributing $9.6 million primarily through the Canadian Beef Cattle Check-Off. Funding is allocated to 23 projects until March 31, 2028. Projects include a focus on: