$2.85 million for beef and forage research announced at MBFI Learning Centre grand opening

MBFI chair Ramona Blyth, MB Ag Minister Ralph Eichler, MP Robert Sopuck, and other dignitaries at the grand opening of the MBFI Learning Centre on Tuesday (credit: Keith Borkowsky, Manitoba Beef Producers)

Manitoba Beef and Forage Initiatives (MBFI) celebrated the opening of the Learning Centre at its Brookdale Farm north of Brandon on Tuesday.

Coinciding with the ceremony, the federal and provincial governments announced $2.85 million to support MBFI’s research over the next five years.

MBFI is a partnership between Manitoba Agriculture, Manitoba Beef Producers, Ducks Unlimited Canada, and the Manitoba Forage and Grassland Association.

The Learning Centre was built to host producers and the general public to learn about subjects related to forage and livestock production and innovation. The facility includes a 2,200-square-foot classroom, internet access and audiovisual equipment for distance learning, and a food preparation area.

“The MBFI Learning Center will act as a hub to host and create opportunities for producers, students and the general public to gather, learn and network,” explained MBFI president Ramona Blyth. “We now have the ability to provide a comfortable learning environment in the MBFI Learning Centre that can be paired with hands-on learning from MBFI researchers in our fields to represent a valuable experiential experience for visitors to MBFI.”

The $500 thousand project was funded through a combination of federal, provincial and private contributions, including from Federated Cooperatives Ltd, Manitoba Zero Till Research Association, Farm Credit Canada, DLF Pickseed and others.

Minister Eichler (credit: Keith Borkowsky, Manitoba Beef Producers)

Meanwhile, the federal and provincial governments announced their contribution of $2.85 million under the new five-year Canadian Agricultural Partnership at the grand opening. That follows federal-provincial funding under the previous Growing Forward 2 framework totalling $2.85 million, and $300,000 from the Manitoba government.

“The beef and forage sectors have economic and environmental benefits for our entire province,” said Manitoba Ag Minister Ralph Eichler. “Our investment recognizes applied research, like the work being done at MBFI, is an invaluable resource for producers and the agricultural sector as a whole. MBFI is a prime example of what can be achieved through a partnership between beef and forage producers, conservation organizations, industry stakeholders and governments.”

Together with project partners and industry contributions, funding for the related MBFI projects will total $4.9 million, with a focus on innovation, herd management, land productivity, environmental effects, the benefits of grazing and other technological advancements.

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