National Dairy Research Strategy

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Investing in Our Dairy Future

Guiding Principles

The process to develop and implement the National Dairy Research Strategy will be guided by the following principles:

  • Transparency
  • Inclusiveness
  • Integrity
  • Founded on a rigorous and credible scientific process
  • Social responsibility

Context

Dairy Farmers of Canada (DFC) believes its strong history of research investments:

  • enhances farm programs, operations and product value;
  • drives dairy sector innovation and profitability;
  • supports continuous improvement in the sustainable production of quality, nutritious dairy products; and,
  • increases the understanding of the role of dairy products in health.

DFC recognizes the need to strengthen partnerships with its member organizations, governments and stakeholders to build research capacity together for future sector growth

DFC aims to maximize farmers' investments at the national and provincial levels through a coordinated and collaborative approach to research in dairy production and nutrition.

Communications and Knowledge Transfer

Recognizing that communicating our research investment success stories and mobilizing and transferring results is a critical part of the research continuum for sector growth, DFC commits to developing a communications and knowledge transfer framework that will aim to:

  • Report on our dairy research investments, processes and successful outcomes from farm to table;
  • Identify and implement effective means of delivering pan-Canadian research results to support dairy farmers continuously improve their farm businesses; and,
  • Communicate findings on the role of dairy products in a healthy Canadian diet to the health sector.
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Dairy farm efficiency and sustainability

Targeted Outcomes

  • New technologies and practices have been developed to optimize farm productivity and longevity of dairy cows.
  • Best management practices have been developed to minimize the environmental impact of milk production and enable adaptation to climate change.
  • Best farm management practices have been developed to support on-farm programs (i.e. proAction).
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Animal health and welfare

Targeted Outcomes

  • Best management practices and tools have been developed to reduce on-farm economic losses from production limiting diseases with zoonotic potential.
  • Best management practices have been identified to improve the health and welfare of cows, optimize productivity and longevity.
  • Simple and effective welfare measurements have been developed and used to assess the impact of the evolving milk production environment on cows.
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Milk composition, quality and safety

Targeted Outcomes

  • Methods have been identified to naturally modulate the composition of milk and improve its quality and value, potentially enabling new dairy product development.
  • Strategies have been developed to sustainably reduce the use of antimicrobials while maintaining farm biosecurity, dairy cattle animal health and welfare.
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Milk products and their components in human nutrition and health

Targeted Outcomes

  • Further support has been provided to clarify the role of milk products, particularly full-fat, in cardiometabolic health and healthy aging.
  • Further data has been provided on the role of sugar-sweetened milk and yogurt on diet quality and health outcomes.
  • The role of milk products has been strengthened in musculoskeletal health, including the prevention of osteoporosis and osteoporosis related fractures.
  • The value of dairy products in a healthy, sustainable diet (including plant-based diets) has been investigated.

Coordination, collaboration and communications

Targeted Outcome

A collaborative framework has been developed to coordinate national investments in dairy research and leverage partnerships at all levels (provincial/national) to maximize research results and investments for farmer investors.

Investment Priorities

  • Create a DFC Board committee responsible for the ongoing review and evaluation of dairy farmer needs, priorities and investments in dairy production and human nutrition and health research.
  • Exchange information and deliver new knowledge on pan-Canadian research results to dairy farmers.
  • Prepare and implement a communications plan to report on research investments that contribute to the sector's improvement and growth, and add value to Canadian-made dairy products