The Glenlea Research Station dairy barn at the University of Manitoba will receive much-needed upgrades, thanks to a $2.9 million investment from the federal and provincial governments, and the Dairy Farmers of Manitoba (DFM).
The federal and provincial governments contributed a total of $1.4 million to the renovations and DFM invested another $1.5 million.
The investments will upgrade the facility, originally opened in 1966, to reflect the practices of today’s dairy farmers.
University staff and students “have been working out of quite an old facility and it’s clear it needed some upgrading,” Henry Holtmann, vice-chair of DFM, told Farms.com today. “We all came to an agreement that we need to modernize the farm to bring research into the 21st century.”
The university will use the funding to repurpose an old swine barn into a dairy facility and to install new free stalls for dairy cattle, dedicated spaces for calves, milk collection tanks, above-ground manure storage, new flooring and related lab equipment.
“Now the researchers will be able to do data collection using the technology that most farms have,” Holtmann said.
And for an industry that generates over $250M annually in provincial farm gate revenues, it’s important the next generation of dairy producers and researchers have the latest equipment available.
The upgrades “will provide students with an outstanding hands-on learning experience in exceptional facilities,” Dr. Digvir Jayas, distinguished professor and vice-president (research and international), University of Manitoba, said in yesterday’s release. “…we welcome the public to come and visit the station…”
The renovations are scheduled to begin in October and to be completed by March 2018.