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Gabriel Ribeiro, the new Saskatchewan Beef Industry Chair at USask. (Photo: Submitted)

New USask Beef Industry Chair aims to improve sustainability and profitability

Gabriel Ribeiro, the new Saskatchewan Beef Industry Chair at the University of Saskatchewan (USask), will be developing nutritional strategies to improve health, performance and profitability, while lessening the environmental impact of beef cattle production.

The chair will help to identify technologies and nutritional and management practices to improve the sustainability and productivity of forage-based and feedlot beef cattle production systems.

“My goal as the Saskatchewan Beef Industry Chair is to train high-quality students and conduct research and extension that answer to the needs of the Canadian Beef Industry,” said Ribeiro. “I want to help Canadians produce beef more efficiently and sustainably to meet the needs of the growing world population.”

“Saskatchewan cattle producers value research and extension that comes from the University of Saskatchewan,” said Rick Toney, Saskatchewan Cattlemen’s Association (SCA) chair. “Ribeiro has big shoes to fill in taking on this role. The Saskatchewan Cattlemen’s Association is glad to see this position being filled as John McKinnon retires.”

“SCA looks forward to continuing working together with the beef industry chair as Ribeiro steps in and continues the work to address challenges and opportunities producers face both today and tomorrow,” Toney added.

Ribeiro’s research interests include optimizing grain and forage processing technologies, consequently improving rumen health, feed efficiency, and beef cattle productivity. Other areas of interest are the development of nutritional strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in beef cattle, and alternatives to the use of antibiotics as growth promoters.

His research experience includes rumen in vitro fermentation systems, beef cattle metabolism and feedlot nutritional studies.

“I have also conducted studies focused on forage and grain processing, development of fibrolytic enzymes, and strategies to mitigate enteric methane emissions to promote sustainable beef production,” said Ribeiro.

Currently Ribeiro is working with two graduate students in the Department of Animal and Poultry Science at USask. One project is examining strategies to enhance the use of wheat grain in feedlot diets. The other project will be looking to understand how to improve the rumen metabolism of ergot alkaloids, and better define maximum limits for cereal ergot alkaloids in diets of feeder cattle, from production, health, and welfare perspectives.

“It is great to have Gabriel Ribeiro in the Beef Industry Chair,” said Mary Buhr, dean of USask’s College of Agriculture and Bioresources. “He brings new ways of thinking about our industries’ concerns, exciting the next generations to create local approaches to meet global needs.”

Ribeiro comes from a family of beef and dairy farmers in the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil. He obtained his veterinary medicine degree, and master’s and PhD in animal science from the Federal University of Minas Gerais in Brazil. After completing his PhD, he worked as a post-doctoral fellow at the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Lethbridge Research and Development Centre.

Prior to becoming the Saskatchewan Beef Industry Chair, Ribeiro was an assistant professor at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Calgary.

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