The University of Saskatchewan has created a new Beef Industry Integrated Forage Management and Utilization (IFMU) Chair to address a gap in forage research.

Bree Kelln will be the first person to hold the new position.

Dr. Angela Bedard-Haughn (PhD), Dean of the USask College of Agriculture and Bioresources says Kelln brings a wealth of knowledge from her previous experience with industry that involved agronomy, livestock, and extension.

Kelln is a professional agrologist and has held leadership roles in animal, plant and soil system management.  She is also the co-owner and former consultant for BeefSmart Consulting Inc., which finds ruminant nutrition solutions for producers.

She was raised on a mixed grain and commercial cattle farm in Saskatchewan and continues to ranch with her family near Duval and obtained her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in animal science from USask.

Kelln will begin her position on Sept. 1, 2022 in the College of Agriculture and Bioresources, among her key responsibilities will be to ensure USask is at the leading edge of research on use of forage in the beef industry, connect expertise in the field locally, nationally, and internationally, and grow funding support for research.

The Saskatchewan Cattlemen’s Association Chair Arnold Balicki is pleased with the announcement, adding they contributed $1 million of producer check-off dollars to help ensure the position is long term (30+ years).

"This has been a long time coming. I think it's like eight years in the works, and it's finally come to fruition. You know, it really ties forage to research to beef production, and so it merges the two together."

Kelln's position is also funded in part by the Beef Cattle Research Council that is contributing $2.5 million, and the Global Institute for Food Security at USask will contribute $320,000. 

The Federal and Provincial Governments also kicking in $750,000 through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership Program.