Research & Development
Why Egg Farmers of Alberta Values Research
Research is about maintaining our social license to operate. EFA is committed to assisting farmers in pursuing progressive production practices and ensuring that farmers have the capacity to capitalize on value-added markets.
Across the industry, research has shifted away from production efficiencies, to issues surrounding food security. Food safety, animal welfare and environmental sustainability are pillars of food security. How we respond to reduce the conflicts between food security, production efficiencies and economics, will define the future strength of our industry. Key elements of the response will inevitably be found through new scientific knowledge and its application. EFA is honoured to have the opportunity to work with the best and the brightest in order to seek creative but practical solutions to the above challenges. Research across the country is addressing knowledge gaps and moving the Canadian egg industry forward, and EFA is proud to participate.
EFA has established a Research Fund that is used to support research priorities. EFA’s Research Committee reviews project proposals from qualified researchers year-round and also works directly with researchers to provide industry feedback on projects. To ensure consistency and fairness in the proposal evaluation process, EFA uses a standardized tool for selecting projects with the greatest impact, in an objective and transparent manner.
Researchers applying for grants for which EFA will provide funds are encouraged to include a budget for producer communications and education, in order to ensure the research knowledge is transferred to egg farmers. EFA also presents research results and updates at annual farmer meetings.
EFA is a member of the Alberta Agriculture Funding Consortium (AAFC), which provides a one-window approach to coordinating agricultural research and development funding, and aligning projects with inter-industry goals.
In addition to providing funds for project proposals put forth by third parties, EFA also actively seeks to develop, coordinate and lead projects related to addressing strategic industry challenges or opportunities.
Here are just a few examples of the projects EFA have helped support:
EFA recognizes the importance of local, highly qualified personnel and thus supports provincial research and learning institutions.
For over 25 years, EFA has provided funds for direct operational support of the Poultry Research Centre (PRC) at the University of Alberta. The PRC is an international leader in key areas of research and has established a critical mass of expertise that works together, to meet supply chain knowledge and technology needs. The PRC supports the egg industry with scientific input on production and food issues, which leads to improved efficiency and long term industry sustainability. Solutions range from improving poultry welfare to utilization of currently undervalued by-products of the poultry industry. Furthermore, the PRC provides our industry with highly qualified personnel who become leaders in Canada’s livestock and meat industry. Investment in the PRC is an investment in innovation and the sustainable future of Alberta’s poultry and egg Industries.
EFA also provides funds to support undergraduate students interested in considering studies related to the egg industry. Funding is provided to the Department of Agricultural, Food & Nutritional Science (AFNS) at the University of Alberta, and is distributed to undergraduate projects under the direction of the faculty member teaching an undergraduate animal science Capstone (Senior Project) course. The funds are also available for conference travel related to the Capstone project.