On Friday, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Marie-Claude Bibeau, announced an investment of $495,000 for the Canadian Centre for Swine Improvement (CCSI) to enable stakeholders to work together to increase innovation and resiliency in Canada’s sheep and goat industries.

“Canada has a strong reputation as a leader in livestock genetics and breeding. This investment will enable sheep and goat farmers to benefit from new developments in livestock genetics and improve product quality and productivity,” said Bibeau.

Through this investment, CCSI is collaborating with project partners on developing a Canada-wide integrated genetic services system to help sheep and goat farmers improve productivity and increase supply.

“Better integration of services will enhance these organizations’ abilities to deliver on their respective breed improvement mandates, while the breeders and commercial producers will benefit from improved genetics. This will also lead to a more sustainable supply of high quality inputs for other stakeholders in the sheep and goat product value chains,” said Brian Sullivan, Chief Executive Officer, Canadian Centre for Swine Improvement.

Farmers will be able to use the new service system to access new developments and industry information on livestock genomics that can improve breeding and provide a more sustainable supply of high quality products along the sheep and goat value chains.

CCSI is working with a number of partners to integrate genetic services, including the Canadian Sheep Breeders Association, Ontario Sheep Farmers, the Canadian Goat Society, Canadian Livestock Records Corporation, Centre for Genetic Improvement of Livestock, Centre d'expertise en production ovine du Québec, AgSights, and the Canadian Meat Goat Association.

The integrated system will include services such as phenotype measurements on traits such as growth rate and milk yield, training for farmers to adopt new technologies, genetic evaluation, and research and development.

The funding is provided through the Canadian Agricultural Strategic Priorities Program (CASPP).

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