100 years of research excellence at the Dairy and Swine Research and Development Centre

100 years of research excellence at the Dairy and Swine Research and Development  Centre

On October 2nd the Dairy and Swine Research and Development Centre celebrated 100 years of research excellence in Lennoxville, Quebec. Over 75 government and farm representatives, Centre staff and scientists attended the event.  Various speeches were given by special guests from AAFC, the mayor of Sherbrooke, and past Centre directors to mark the evolution of the research conducted at the farm over time.

100 years ago…

The Centre was opened on April 1, 1914. It used 175 hectares of land at the time, had 13 full time employees, 5 horsemen, three labourers, a herdsman, a gardener, a foreman, an assistant foreman and a secretary (average hourly wage $0.18 / hour). During the summer season, 43 people worked the farm.

Present day…

The farm covers an area of 422 hectares, of which 288 square hectares are used to cultivate perennial and annual crops. There are 20 researchers, 122 employees and about 80 students and trainees. Of the 20 researchers, seven are working in dairy production – nutrition, lactation and metabolism; 4 in the area of genomics; and 3 on greenhouse gases and manure treatment; and six in swine production. In 2010 a new dairy complex was built, including a new tie-stall barn, a metabolic room, two environmentally controlled chambers (used to measure methane emissions from dairy cattle) and a surgery room. There are 111 cows that produce 10,272 kg of milk or 33 kg/day.

Dairy Farmers of Canada has proudly partnering with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada to invest in dairy research at the farm since 1996 under the Production Expert Scientific Advisory Committee (PESAC) program, and since 2010 through the Dairy Research Cluster. Scientists at the Centre are now working on projects to improve hoof health, the eco-efficient management of forage crops and manure, mitigation of enteric methane production from dairy cows, balancing dairy rations for protein and more!

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