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OVC Experts Advance Agri-Food Research And Innovation

Ruminant Field Service veterinarian with student veterinariansExperts at the University of Guelph’s Ontario Veterinary College (OVC) play a leading role in ensuring food safety and security in Canada, in enhancing animal health and welfare, expanding our understanding of disease and advancing sustainable production systems to support and strengthen our agri-food sector.

Research centres and networks, including Dairy at Guelph, the Ontario Swine Research Network and the Poultry Health Research Network, bring together expertise from across the U of G campus and beyond, fostering collaborations, advancing knowledge and improving outreach, to make research accessible to farmers, producer associations, government agencies and industry.

What does this research look like? Here’s just a sampling.

Researchers are involved in long-term surveillance of beef cattle to strengthen health management and create resources on herd nutrition and management, animal welfare, diseases and antibiotic use and inform on-farm strategies; they are focused on calf health to improve understanding of disease development and are developing innovative screening tools to help beef producers in combatting herd illness.

Our experts are expanding knowledge about poultry health, from basic biology, to environmental concerns, to poultry disease, production and welfare, integrating cutting-edge research with high quality education for the next generation of poultry specialists and researchers. Recent research has explored enhancing natural immunity in poultry and learning more about biosecurity with backyard chickens.

Dairy researchers are embracing advanced technology available at the Ontario Dairy Research Centre at the Elora Research Station to evaluate methods, technologies and products that the industry is using, and get that knowledge into the hands of dairy producers and veterinarians. They are advancing knowledge in reproductive health, in technology to build a healthier herd that is naturally more resistant to disease and contributing to new on-farm protocols for best practices in calf health and welfare.

Training the next generation of rural veterinarians is also key. OVC student veterinarians pursuing food animal medicine or rural community practice gain real-world skills during a variety of opportunities in their final clinical year of study, including on-farm training in herd and flock heath management with the college’s Ruminant Field Service. They hone their skills in making a diagnosis, developing a treatment plan, developing their critical thinking skills and polishing the communication skills that will be vital when working with their agri-food clients.

Learn more about some of the innovative agri-food research at OVC and U of G on the Ontario Agri-Food Alliance website and in the most recent issue of the Agri-Food Yearbook.