Next week, interested producers are invited to check out the herd and facilities that the new Student Managed Farm (SMF), Livestock Research Team will manage.
The Livestock Research team is the newest branch of the Student Managed Farm (powered by New Holland) born from increased enrollments in the animal science technology program, combined with the college’s desire to increase capacity in applied and practice research for the livestock industry.
The producers information session will be held Wednesday, April 20th at 3:00 p.m. at the Livestock Research Centre (formerly the bull test facility) at Lakeland’s Vermilion Campus.
“This new team is quite exciting for us,” says Geoff Brown, program head for the AST program. “It opens up a lot of opportunity for us to connect Lakeland graduates to industry and provides yet another avenue for employment.”
The mandate of the new SMF research team is to manage Lakeland’s livestock research projects, as well as a new herd of cattle, which will be used by the college for research projects and demonstrations.
The commercial beef SMF team was given the task of sourcing 50 replacement heifers that would be suitable for this type of production system. A call for tenders was put out by the college and a short list of offers were visited and evaluated by Lakeland students. In the end, the commercial team was happy to acquire 50 head from former Lakeland graduates Jess and Tanya Parsonage of Maple Creek, SK. The team selected the heifers from this operation because of the maturity of the breeding program as well as the uniformity of the cow herd.
The first project with the research herd is already underway. In partnership with Alberta Agriculture, the heifers are being tested in Lakeland’s GrowSafe feed bunks in a feed efficiency trial aiming to develop an index for selection of cattle for Residual Feed Intake (RFI).
Other SMF teams include crops, sheep, dairy, commercial beef and purebred beef.