On November 11, a group of veterinarians engaged in dairy goat productivity enhancement in Costa Rica were treated to a personal tour of Trent University’s state-of-the-art research facilities. Dr. Brad White, Biology professor, and director of the Natural Resources DNA Profiling and Forensic Centre at Trent hosted the group along with this animal genetics team.
John Knight, manager of Trent research partnerships commented, “Dr. White’s genetics research will have a significant impact in the United Nations FAO “Feeding the Future” initiatives. The FAO has determined that over 80% of the farms in the world are five acres or less. Dairy cattle milk production is impractical for most of the world’s farmers, whereas, dairy goat farming can be practical and promote economic development if these farmers can raise high production breeds. Dr. White’s research will be helping Ministries of Agriculture in several developing countries to establish local, sustainable high-quality milk production systems.”
The visit was arranged through the combined efforts of the Canadian Trade Commission in Costa Rica and the international trade development branch of the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.
Professor White has gained international attention for his work on determining the genes responsible for increased milk productivity in the Ontario Saanen goat breed. He has previously secured two $100,000 grants, funded 50% by the Centre of Excellence in Goat Research & Innovation and 50% by industry partners including Grasshill Farms near Bobcaygeon and the Canadian Livestock Genetics Association.
The Costa Rican delegation was welcomed to Trent and Peterborough by Jeff Leal, Peterborough MPP, and Ontario Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. Minister Leal was interested in learning more about Prof. White’s innovative planned project in working with a cluster of local and international industry and research partners to develop a new world-class international research and training centre at Trent University for the refinement of techniques for goat embryo genotyping, production and transfer. Currently, Prof. White is working on the proposal for this new centre in collaboration with both the Ontario Genomics Institute and a group of Ontario dairy goat breeders.
Photo (from left): Alexander Leon (Canadian Trade Commissioner in Costa Rica), Dr. Brad White (Trent University), Shannon McCarthy (international trade, Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs), Dr. Pablo Hernandez (Dept. of Agronomy, University of Costa Rica), Minister Jeff Leal (Minister for OMAFRA), Dr. Carlos Pastor (goat breeder and food processor, Costa Rica), John Knight (Trent University), Dr. Froylan Naranjo (veterinarian, farmer)
Posted on Tuesday, November 11, 2014.