You get what you pay for
CEO Commentary by Mike McMorris
I have heard industry, funding agencies and even researchers say that we need more cross sector (beef, sheep, etc) research. That makes sense because the big challenges facing livestock sectors are pretty much the same: adapting to a world with less use of antimicrobials, climate change (reducing impact and adapting to changes already here), the environment and soil health. To date though, the record shows that available funding tends to be awarded to sector specific projects.
With support from Grand River Agricultural Society, Western Fair Association, Ontario Agricultural College and Ontario Veterinary College, the LRIC board established an Early Career Research Award with the express purpose of incentivizing cross-sector research. Further, the selection committee awards higher marks to projects that bring researchers from different disciplines (health, nutrition, engineering) together. Proposals were welcomed from participants in our Mentorship program for early career faculty.
This year’s winners were announced at LRIC’s annual meeting June 13. They include work on a One Health approach to reducing the use of antimicrobials (Nicole Ricker, Ontario Veterinary College), pulling on past work in many sectors to develop a better nutritional model for equine (Jennifer Ellis, Ontario Agricultural College), and the development of a pipeline for antivirals that can be used to limit the spread of disease, regardless of what species is affected (Sam Workenhe, Ontario Veterinary College). Each of these projects has the potential to have a very big impact on livestock in Ontario.
Shown in the photo, from left: Joe Dales – Western Fair District, Brian Miller – LRIC, Jamie Martin – Grand River Agricultural Society; Nicole Ricker, Sam Workenhe, Jennifer Ellis, Rene Van Acker – Ontario Agricultural College.