Mentorship program connects the lab with the cattle ranch


Source: Beef Cattle Research Council Release

via Alberta Farmer Express - September 9, 2019


Two Alberta scientists are among the quartet of researchers in the 2019-20 edition of the Beef Researcher Mentorship program.


The program pairs the researchers with innovative cattle producers and industry professionals ó many from Alberta ó for a one-year mentorship along with a travel budget to attend industry meetings, producer workshops, and farm tours. Among the goals of the program are to give the scientists a better understanding of, and connection to, the beef industry; encourage technology transfer; and help align research interests with the needs of the beef sector.


This yearís mentees are Aklilu Alemu of Ag Canadaís Lethbridge Research and Development Centre, Peipei Zhang from the Lacombe Research and Development Centre, Marianne Villettaz Robichaud of the University of Montrealís veterinary medicine faculty, and Matthew Links of the University of Saskatchewan.


Alemu is developing a Canadian whole-farm model called Holos that helps to implement a holistic approach in evaluating changes in management practices and its impact on total farm greenhouse gas emissions. After getting an undergrad animal sciences degree in Ethiopia, he obtained a masterís degree in ruminant nutrition at the University of Alberta and a PhD from the University of Manitoba.


His mentors are Brenna Grant, manager of Canfax Research Services, and the Fleming family (Duncan, Cecilie and their adult children Cooper and Ricki, and Rickiís husband Justin Pittman), who own and operate Fleming Stock Farms near Granum. Duncan has worked in the purebred cattle sector for 45 years while Cecilie is a former president of the Alberta Angus Association and chair of the Verified Beef Production Plus (VBP+) program.


Zhangís expertise is using a next-generation sequencing technique to solve meat microbiology-related issues, including...