Canada, U.S. team to launch new beef economic research instituteDate posted: February 6, 2007
The creation of a unique cross-border, world class institute for beef economic research promises to provide a valued "neighbour" to boost beef industry competitiveness in both Canada and the U.S.
The new North American Institute for Beef Economic Research (NAIBER) is a joint initiative of both countries. Half of the seed funding for the institute was provided by Canada through the National Beef Industry Development Fund (NBIDF) and half was provided by the U.S. NAIBER efforts are conducted by beef economics researchers and experts in each country, and coordination of NAIBER is also shared between cross-border institutions.
"The vision for NAIBER is to create a leading source of information, analysis, and opinion on economic issues of importance to the North American beef industry," says Dave Plett, a southern Alberta feedlot operator and Chair of NBIDF. "NAIBER will provide an essential resource of economic knowledge to benefit the industry on both sides of the border."
Traditionally, Canada has looked to the former U.S.-based Research Institute on Livestock Pricing (RILP), led by Dr. Wayne Purcell of Virginia Tech University, to meet its beef economics research needs.
But it has long been thought Canada needed more research with a joint U.S. / Canadian grounded perspective. That need, coupled with the retirement of Purcell, led to the idea of developing NAIBER.
"The international approach of NAIBER provides a unique resource to address both country-specific and North American issues," says Andrea Brocklebank, NBIDF project manager. "There is a lot of overlap in terms of the issues we face on both sides of the border, but there are also significant differences. To have an institute that can address both perspectives on issues is a great benefit."
NAIBER was formed over the past two years and its activities are just getting started. Its mission is to identify and prioritize research issues, facilitate and conduct research, and provide widespread access to research results and information that addresses important concerns facing the North American beef industry.
The current Canadian NAIBER coordinator, Dr. Kurt Klein, is located at the University of Lethbridge and the U.S. NAIBER coordinator, Dr. Ted Schroeder, is located at Kansas State University.
"An ongoing economics research program is essential to support a dynamic, export-oriented beef industry in Canada," says Klein. "NAIBER will undertake economic studies that are directed at specific issues and, just as importantly, help to train high quality people who can assist the industry in many ways. We all need to work together to ensure the future success of this important industry."
The activities and operation of NAIBER are managed by a Board of Directors made up of industry representatives.
"One of the goals of NAIBER, emphasized in its structure, is to assist with the integration of academia, industry and government, to provide a crystallizing of thoughts to address important industry problems," says Schroeder. "This is hugely important to help guide our decision making process."
More information on NAIBER is available in a new feature article, available on the NBIDF Web site, www.cattle.ca/NBIDF. An overview of NBIDF progress, including summaries of several core projects is also available on the Web site, in NBIDF's Report to the Canadian Beef Industry. This Report was delivered as an insert in the January 2007 edition of Canadian Cattlemen magazine.
NBIDF is a $9.25 million fund created through the investments of the governments of Canada, Alberta and British Columbia. It contributed to more than 120 research and development projects from 2002 to 2006, to support the competitiveness of the Canadian beef industry.
Reprintable with permission. Reproduction of this article - in whole or in part, in print or electronic - requires direct permission from Meristem Information Resources, Ltd. Contact Meristem directly to request reprint permission.
© 2006 Meristem Information Resources Ltd.