Current Projects

Comprehensive Life Cycle Environmental and Economic Assessment of Ontario’s Sheep Industry

Applicant: University of Guelph – Bassim Abbassi
Timeline: January 1, 2021 – December 31, 2022

  • To evaluate the overall environmental and economic impacts/benefits from a life cycle perspective, of the Ontario Sheep Industry
  • To quantify greenhouse gas emissions, eutrophication potential, energy demand and water demand based on farming/operational practices
  • To estimate the statistical distribution of environmental and economic impacts of Ontario’s sheep farming practices
  • To develop statistical correlations between environmental footprint, economic output (for each of the sheep products) and farming/processing practices that allow end-users to predict environmental and economic impacts based on given inputs
  • To compare the environmental impacts of the products generated by the sheep industry to competing products
  • To create a set of benchmarking criteria which qualify farmers/producers for an “eco-label”
  • To develop a formal LCA report, and present key findings at events and in industry magazines
Metabolomics and genomic identification of predictive biomarkers related to sheep parasitic infection

Applicant: Olds College – Sean Thompson
Timeline: September 1, 2021 – June 30, 2024

  • Identification and quantification of a panel of predictive blood markers of sheep parasitic infection
Utility of the carbohydrate larval antigen (CarLA®) saliva test to lower the risk of gastrointestinal parasitism in Ontario sheep flocks

Applicant: University of Guelph – Andrew Peregrine
Timeline: September 1, 2021 – January 31, 2026

  • To determine if replacement ewe lambs with medium to-high CarLA® salivary values at the end of their grazing season, have lower levels of gastrointestinal parasitism in their second grazing season, compared to ewe lambs with no to low CarLA® salivary values (L-CARLA) , in a variety of breeds and farm management systems.
  • To standardize protocols for CarLA® phenotyping in Ontario sheep, with resultant data that can be used in future studies to develop heritability estimates for genetic improvement programmes such as GenOvis
  • To compare the levels of gastrointestinal parasitism and growth performance of offspring of primiparous medium to-high CarLA®and low CarLA® ewes.
Impact of maternal diet and stress on small ruminant colostrum bioactives and postnatal health

Applicant: University of Guelph – Niel Karrow
Timeline: January 2022 – January 30, 2025

  • To assess impact of dietary selenium (Se) or fish oil (FO) supplements on colostrum quality and postnatal lamb growth and health.
  • 1) Characterize colostrum bioactives
  • 2) Assess passive transfer of bioactives from colostrum to postnatal lamb
  • 3) Associate colostrum bioactives with lamb robustness
  • Characterize the colostrum bioactives from variable stress phenotyped ewes augmenting postnatal growth and health
  • 1) Characterize colostrum bioactives
  • 2) Assess passive transfer of bioactives from colostrum and postnatal lamb
  • 3) Associate colostrum bioactives with lamb robustness
Efficacy of Ovipast Plus Vaccine in reducting bacterial pneumonia in preweaned lambs and feedlot lambs

Applicant: University of Guelph – Cathy Bauman
Timeline: February 1, 2021 – July 31, 2022

  • Evaluate the efficacy of Ovipast Plus bacterin to reduce morbidity and mortality from pneumonia in preweaned lambs by vaccinating ewes twice prior to lambing to boost colostral immunity
  • Evaluate the efficacy of Ovipast Plus bacterin in weaned lambs to reduce morbidity and mortality from pneumonia by vaccinating them twice, at weaning and boosting them a few weeks later
Smart handheld technology for automatic blood analysis: Innovate prediction of sheep pregnancy and litter size

Applicant: Lakeland College – Susan Markus
Timeline: August 2, 2021 – July 30, 2023

  • To develop a single handheld point-of-care device capable of accurately detecting both sheep pregnancy and estimating litter size at ~50 days