The Western Beef Development Centre (WBDC) is a division of the Prairie Agricultural Machinery Institute (PAMI) that plays a unique and vital role in the development of the Western Canadian cattle industry. As a link between "the lab and the land", WBDC communicates directly with the research community and the cattle industry. Practical and applicable research is used to provide technologies that enable producers to become increasingly competitive in today's marketplace.
The WBDC was incorporated in 1996 as a partnership between the University of Saskatchewan (U of S), Saskatchewan’s cattle producers, and Saskatchewan’s Ministry of Agriculture (SMA). This early partnership continued the research work previously initiated on Termuende Farm, and provided several facility enhancements to the premises. In 2006, after 10 years of operation WBDC discontinued as a standalone corporation and became a Division of PAMI, head-quartered out of Humboldt, Saskatchewan. A new breeding herd of 300 Angus cows was purchased with joint capital funding from SMA and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC). Capital funding was also provided to upgrade farm and research equipment. Today, WBDC has a team of management, scientific and technical staff as well as a wide range of facilities and equipment. It operates on a blend of base-grant and contract funding from government, industry, and private sector organizations to conduct research, development, demonstration and technology-transfer activities.
Collaboratively linking lab and land for the competitiveness and sustainability of the cow/calf industry in Saskatchewan.
The focus of the WBDC involves 3 areas:
- Management and economics of cow/calf production
- Grazing management of perennial and annual forages
- Sustainable cow/calf production systems
Funding for the WBDC comes from a number of sources. The Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture is a key funder, providing an annual base-grant that covers approximately 20% of the organization’s costs, strategic program funding that covers another 17%, and project-specific funding that covers 20%. Funding from producer organizations, programs from other regions and industry clients cover roughly 30% of WBDC’s costs, while sales of progeny from the herd cover the final 13%.
As an operating division of PAMI, WBDC is responsible to PAMI’s CEO and Board of Directors. PAMI’s Board appoints a Strategic Advisory Committee consisting of producer, research, and government representatives. This committee provides advice to PAMI’s Board regarding strategic direction of WBDC.
The following individuals are current members of the Strategic Advisory Committee:
Tim Oleksyn (producer)
Duane Thompson, Vice Chair (producer)
Brent Griffin (producer)
Levi Hull (producer)
Ross Macdonald (producer)
Murray McGillivray (producer)
Steve Pylot (producer)
Ryan Sommerfeld (producer)
Dr. John McKinnon (Animal & Poultry Science, University of Saskatchewan)
Dr. John Campbell (Western College of Veterinary Medicine)
Grant Zalinko (Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture)
Tracy Evans (Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture)
Tod Wallace (Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Development)
SAC Member Murray McGillivray presents Steve Hendrick with a plaque in appreciation of his six years of service to the Committee - March 25, 2014.