Western Beef Development Centre (WBDC)
From 2005 to 2018, the Western Beef Development Centre (WBDC) was a division of the Prairie Agricultural Machinery Institute (PAMI). WBDC served as a link between "the lab and the land", liasing between the research community and the cattle industry. For 20 years, WBDC conducted practical and applicable research and extended the results to producers so they could make informed decisions on new technologies, practices, and varieties.
Effective April 1, 2018 the Western Beef Development Centre has rolled its research program, staff, researchers and cattle into the University of Saskatchewan's Livestock and Forage Centre of Excellence. The WBDC is now known as the Forage and Cow-Calf Research and Teaching Unit or FCCRTU. For more on the LFCE, visit www.usask.ca/lfce.
Aerial photograph of Termuende Research Ranch - east of Lanigan, SK
The WBDC was incorporated in 1998 as a partnership between the University of Saskatchewan (U of S), Saskatchewan’s cattle producers, and Saskatchewan’s Ministry of Agriculture (SMA). This early partnership continued the research work previously initiated on Termuende Farm, and provided several facility enhancements to the premises. In 2005, after 10 years of operation, WBDC discontinued as a standalone corporation and became a Division of PAMI, head-quartered out of Humboldt, Saskatchewan.
In 2008, a new breeding herd of 300 Angus females was purchased with joint capital funding from SMA and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC). Capital funding was also provided to upgrade farm and research equipment. WBDC operated on a blend of base-grant and contract funding from government, industry, and private sector organizations to conduct research, development, demonstration and technology-transfer activities.
Collaboratively linking lab and land for the competitiveness and sustainability of the cow/calf industry in Saskatchewan.
The focus of the WBDC involved 3 areas:
- Management and economics of cow/calf production
- Grazing management of perennial and annual forages
- Sustainable cow/calf production systems
Funding for the WBDC came from a number of sources. The Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture was a key funder, providing an annual base-grant that covered approximately 20% of the organization’s costs, strategic research program funding that covered another 17%, and project-specific funding that covered 20%. Funding from producer organizations, programs from other regions and industry clients covered roughly 30% of WBDC’s costs, while sales of progeny from the herd covered the final 13%.
As an operating division of PAMI, WBDC was responsible to PAMI’s CEO and Board of Directors. PAMI’s Board appointed a Strategic Advisory Committee consisting of producer, research, and government representatives. This committee provided advice to PAMI’s Board regarding strategic direction of WBDC.
The following individuals were members of the Strategic Advisory Committee:
Tim Oleksyn (producer)
Duane Thompson, Vice Chair (producer)
Brent Griffin (producer)
Levi Hull (producer)
Ross Macdonald (producer)
Murray McGillivray (producer)
Steve Pylot (producer)
Ryan Sommerfeld (producer)
Janice Bruynooghe (producer)
Dr. John McKinnon (Animal & Poultry Science, University of Saskatchewan)
Dr. John Campbell (Western College of Veterinary Medicine)
Grant Zalinko (Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture)
Tracy Evans (Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture)
Tod Wallace (Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Development)