Collaborative Research Creates More Rounded Scientists

Farmscape for December 2, 2019

A Professor in the College of Engineering at the University of Saskatchewan says the collaborative systems approach to research creates synergies that result in much more knowledgeable research scientists.
The University of Saskatchewan's Livestock and Forage Centre of Excellence, located on 15 quarters of land southeast of Saskatoon at Clavet, was launched in 2018 and includes a two thousand head cattle feeding operation, cattle research facility, buildings for drying forages, a 350 head cow-calf research facility and forage research plots.
Dr. Terry Fonstad, a Professor in the College of Engineering at the University of Saskatchewan, says it's a collaboration that brings together the complete beef research cycle.

Clip-Dr. Terry Fonstad-University of Saskatchewan:
It plays on the two things that universities are supposed to do.
We're supposed to create knowledge and train people.
When you're creating knowledge, creating knowledge in our own little silos, we'll know an awful lot about what we're studying but we don't know the impact on the other systems around us because we haven't been working together.
This allows us to work together where the engineers know what the forage people, which know what the cow-calf people are doing and they also feed off of each other and the information is transferable so the knowledge through those synergies becomes much more useable,.
We know much more about it.
But the other big advantage is in the training of people.
We have engineers and animal scientists and plant breeders and forage people working with veterinarians and we've got toxicologists involved.
You start to think of all of these grad students and start to work together and share knowledge and look at each other's thesis and that gets much better well rounded people in the industry with a much bigger picture than just the specialists that might be trained in the old system.

Dr. Fonstad says real life production is a complete system and this type of integrated approach to research better reflects that complete system.
Information on the Livestock and Forage Centre of Excellence can be found at
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Bruce Cochrane.

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