Conversion of what most recently was used as a bookstore into a $700,000 Integrated Animal Science Research Laboratory is well under way at the Kemptville Campus of the University of Guelph.
The state-of-the-art lab will be supervised by dairy specialist Dr. Trevor Devries and equine specialist Dr. Katrina Merkies, both relative newcomers to the college.
Devries and Merkies recently combined to land a $248,367 grant from the Canadian Foundation for Innovation which is expected to be matched by the Ontario Research Fund. The balance will be made up through U of G and industry support.
The new animal science lab is already being equipped in part thanks to donations through the Kemptville College Foundation and funding from the Ottawa Valley Seed Growers Association.
Most recently, the foundation granted $9,200 to purchase a phase contrast microscope, a pH meter and an analytical balance. Prior to that, it gave $13,000 towards the cost of a fibre analyzer.
In a letter thanking the OVSGA for its participation, DeVries said his program will be focused on improving the quality of dairy feedstuffs and on the management component of providing feed to cattle.
The fibre analyzer will be used specifically to evaluate the effectiveness of various dairy cattle forages with the will aim of improving animal production, efficiency and health, as well as training highly qualified personnel, resulting in a direct benefit to the local dairy industry.
"It is through organizations such as yourself and the contributions that you make which will allow Kemptville Campus to re-establish itself as a leading edge institution for research and education," Devries wrote to the Seed Growers.