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Technology Access Centre for Livestock Production

Technology Access Centre

The Technology Access Centre for Livestock Production (TACLP) offers resources and services required to move the livestock industry’s technological needs forward. Addressing industry priorities, TACLP gives livestock producers, technology developers, and small and medium-sized enterprises access to facilities, emerging smart agriculture technologies, testing services, research expertise and training opportunities.

Thanks to funding from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), the Technology Access Centre offers resources and services required to move the livestock industry's technological needs forward. Olds College’s vertically integrated beef program allows for technology and products to be tested at every step in production (seed stock, cow-calf, feedlot, processing).

Read Story: Five-year milestone and five years of additional support

Our Goals

Improve animal health and welfare

Increase production efficiency

Enhance environmental sustainability

Technology Access Centre Services

The applied research facilities and expertise allows innovators and businesses to evaluate proprietary concepts and technologies while being supported by the TACLP's robust confidentiality policy. Our services include:

  • Residual feed intake (RFI) testing for cattle and sheep.

  • Management of research trials on beef cattle and sheep in pasture or feedlot settings at Olds College or on location at client sites.

  • Development, optimization and validation of innovative on-farm technologies and practices.

  • Coordination and delivery of producer training.

Livestock

The Olds College Smart Farm also maintains a cow herd with approximately 150 commercial breeding females. The College uses a 3-way cross of Gelbvieh, Simmental and Angus. In addition to the commercial beef cattle, Olds College has a herd of 15 Purebred Red Angus animals with plans to continue expanding that number in future years. On average, the TACLP evaluates over 1,000 animals each year for custom feeding trials, residual feed intake trials, and other research initiatives on a fee-for-service or cost recovery basis. The Smart Farm also includes 150 breeding ewes. The animals at Olds College are involved with student learning opportunities along with applied research activities on the Smart Farm.

Red Angus herd which began from the generous donation of 10 Red Angus heifer calves from the Canadian Red Angus Promotion Society in 2020.

TACLP Feedlots featuring GrowSafe feeding systems which allows TACLP to calculate individual animal feed efficiency.

Live streaming technology from the calving pens thanks to cameras and monitoring technology from ongoing work with OneCup AI.

Alpha Phenomics tests their 3D cameras at Olds College which measure RGB, temperature and distance.

Working alongside Neilson Signature Beef on a variety of applied research and fee-for-service projects on their farm.

Ongoing Livestock Research

The TACLP's research goals help address industry issues related to production efficiency, animal health and welfare, and environmental sustainability.

  • Evaluating feed efficiency of market steers and breeding stock to achieve genetic improvement, reduce feed requirements and decrease the environmental footprint of beef cattle

  • Health impacts of optimized pre-conditioning in beef cattle

  • Evaluating sire-progeny links, breeding plans and information management in multi-sire breeding scenarios on commercial beef herds

  • Tactile stimulation for imprinting of newborn beef calves

  • Investigating floating islands as a technology to remediate feedlot runoff water

  • Corn intercropping strategies for extended winter grazing

  • Handling acclimation and the effects on reproductive performance

  • Evaluation of technology for improving productivity and regenerating soil health of grazing land in Western Canada

Current Projects