Research Funding Programs

Every year, Dairy Farmers of Canada (DFC) invests in human nutrition and health and dairy production research in Canada. DFC manages and administers several research programs on a cost-sharing basis in partnership with organizations like Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council.

Research Clusters

Dairy Research Cluster 2 - 2013-2018

Dairy Farmers of Canada completed a second Dairy Research Cluster and invested $5.3 million in addition to the $13.7 million invested by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. There were 27 research projects involving more than 100 scientists in 15 institutions and 8 government research centres across the country.

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Dairy Research Cluster 1 - 2010-2013

The first Dairy Research Cluster was launched in 2010 as part of the Canadian Agri-Science Clusters Initiative of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. Close to $12 million was invested in 46 human nutrition, health and dairy production research projects until March 2013.


Organic Research Cluster II: Dairy Projects

Dairy Farmers of Canada invested $185,000 in four research projects focused on optimizing animal health and welfare under the Organic Science Cluster II (2013-2018). The Organic Science Cluster II was an industry-supported research and development endeavor initiated by the Organic Agriculture Centre of Canada at Dalhousie University in collaboration with the Organic Federation of Canada. The Cluster was supported by the AgriInnovation Program of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and over 65 organic sector partners.

Project Summaries and Results

Nutrition and Human Health Research Funding

Dairy Farmers of Canada has been funding research for over 30 years.  One of the first food industry’s to do so, DFC is proud to support Canadian research in the areas of nutrition, food science and health and to contribute to the development of a Canadian network of experts in those fields.  Studies are selected by a peer-review committee comprised of renowned Canadian researchers with expertise in various areas of food science, nutrition, health and medicine.  DFC funds research in order to respond to research gaps related to the role of dairy products in nutrition, health and sustainability.  Research funded is subject to its Guiding Principles for Research Funding in order to ensure the quality and the independence of the research. For more information or to apply for funding under Dairy Farmers of Canada’s program, visit:

Dairy Production Research Funding - Production Expert Scientific Advisory Committee

In 1996, Dairy Farmers of Canada launched the Production Expert Scientific Advisory Committee (PESAC). Effective in 2010, this program is no longer in operation. The purpose of the program was to participate directly in the development of technology and to influence the direction of research conducted in Canada by government laboratories and universities. The titles and results of hundreds of projects funded between 1996 and 2010 under PESAC are available in this site.

Dairy Cattle Genetics Research and Development (DairyGen)

DairyGen is the national dairy cattle genetics research council of Canadian Dairy Network and regroups all dairy cattle improvement organizations including artificial organizations representing artificial insemination services, breeds, milk recording and Dairy Farmers of Canada. DairyGen is responsible for establishing research priorities in the area of dairy cattle genetic improvement, reviewing research proposals and allocating industry funds to approved projects. Letters of intent and applications for research funding may be submitted throughout the year by applying at

Industrial Research Chairs Program

Dairy Farmers of Canada invests in the advancement of dairy production innovation by supporting the creation of Industrial Research Chairs in Universities. DFC partners with the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada and other industry organizations to fund the Chairs. The purpose is to direct support to a specific area of research that targets the industry’s needs, provides training to graduate students and promotes close interaction between the university, students and industry. A research Chair is established for a period of five years.

Industrial Research Chair in Dairy Cattle Welfare

Industrial Research Chair on Nutritional Control of the Production of Milk Components in Dairy Cows

Industrial Research Chair in Infectious Diseases of Dairy Cattle

Industrial Research Chair in Sustainable Life of Dairy Cattle