The University of Guelph as well as Ontario pork producers and consumers worldwide will benefit from a new research facility announced today by Ernie Hardeman Ontario’s minister of agriculture, food and rural affairs.
The new facility to be located at the Elora Research Station will use state-of-the-art technology to meet advanced training and research needs of the swine sector, representing more than 1,200 producers in the province.
The venture is a partnership among U of G, Ontario Pork and the Ontario government through the Agricultural Research Institute of Ontario.
Swine research will be relocated from the current Arkell Research Station, overseen by U of G, to the newly expanded Elora Research Station. Now into the design phase, the new facility is expected to take up to three years to complete.
U of G researchers will use the facility for wide-ranging studies, including animal health, nutrition and welfare; consumer-oriented research; environmental factors; genetics and genomics; nutrient management; and reproduction.
“As Canada’s food university, the University of Guelph brings a breadth and depth of agri-food expertise to sustain and further strengthen our food system,” said president Franco Vaccarino.
“The provincial government’s investment in this new facility will help U of G researchers and our partners explore key questions and develop new solutions to help our agri-food sector maintain its reputation for global excellence.”
Malcolm Campbell, vice-president (research), added: “The University of Guelph is delighted about this incredibly special opportunity to continue our support of Ontario’s strong pork sector.
“This new research facility will integrate the very best, state-of-the-art technology, and will be powered by the University of Guelph’s phenomenal research community working in concert with private- and public-sector partners to support the vitality and sustainability of Ontario’s agri-food sector.”
The project is intended to help foster competitiveness and create jobs in the swine sector, and provide safe, healthy food, said Hardeman. “Our government is committed to supporting the development of farming technologies that create good jobs and help the economy grow. We want to help farmers succeed and better position the pork sector for further growth and competitiveness, now and for years to come.”
Eric Schwindt, chair of the Ontario Pork Producers’ Marketing Board, said the Elora infrastructure will advance knowledge and support the development of new technologies and practices. “This new facility will draw industry investment and research talent to southern Ontario and will ensure that the pork sector remains a vital contributor to economic growth in the province.”
The Province of Ontario has committed $12 million to the construction of a new swine research barn at Elora. Ontario Pork will contribute $3 million to the project and the new barn will replace facilities at Arkell, south of Guelph.
The Elora Research Station is managed by the University of Guelph and has a recently-built barn for dairy research. There is also a beef barn at the site, which is surrounded by fields for crops research.
Photographed at the announcement today were Randy Pettapiece, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs; Malcolm Campbell, University of Guelph VP of Research; John de Bruyn, Ontario Pork Vice-Chair; Minister Hardeman; Dr. Franco J. Vaccarino, University of Guelph President.