BMO's Dave Dielemn (right) and UBC's Jim Thompson unveil a plaque that will commemorate a $250

UBC Dairy and Research Centre gets huge boost from BMO

Money will directly benefit the students at Agassiz dairy program

Students at the UBC Dairy Education and Research Centre got a major boost Wednesday morning, when a major financial institution handed over an early Christmas present.

BMO Financial Group handed over a cheque for $250,000, during the centre’s advisory committee meeting in the main conference room.

As a way of commemorating the donation — one of the largest ever seen at the centre — that conference room has been named after BMO, and a plaque that was unveiled will be hung in the main hallway outside the room.

Nelson Dinn, manager of the UBC centre, said the donation was “huge and much appreciated.”

“It’s a quarter million dollars we didn’t have last week,” he said. “It’s substantial.”

The education centre is working dairy farm that provides training and education for those interested in farming. But even more than that, the centre heads up research that seeks to improve the dairy industry.

And that’s one of the main reasons BMO said they made the donation.

Dave Dieleman, BMO’s Director of agricultural markets in B.C., spoke to a crowd of about 50 people, including students, farmers and industry leaders at the Wednesday meeting.

“We’ve maintained a long standing commitment to agriculture,” he said. “Agriculture is the backbone of the community.”

And dairy farmer plays a major role in the province’s economic health.

In B.C., the dairy industry represents 18.5 per cent of total farming cash receipts, with about 525 farms producing more than 660 million litres of milk each year.  Last year, B.C.’s dairy farms spent more than $400 million in their local economies, and BMO said that translates into a $2 billion injection into the overall provincial economy.

“Since dairy farming is capital intensive, it is an important industry in rural Canada, requiring products and services from a wide range of agri-businesses, professionals and retailers in neighbouring communities,” Dieleman said.

This is not the first time BMO has invested in UBC, and last year the financial group contributed $54.3 million across Canada and the United States.

“We recognize the role UBC plays in advancing the dairy industry locally, nationally, and even internationally,” he said.

Dr. Jim Thompson met with BMO five years ago to chat about the possibility of a donation. He expressed his thanks at Wednesday’s meeting and explained  that while studies will often receive funding from outside sources, the school itself does not.

Both Thompson and Dinn said the donation will improve the overall excellence of the centre.

“The end benefit is basically, the students win,” Dinn said. The donation could result in more students having access to the centre. And more students translates into more research, which eventually would benefit the entire agricultural industry.

Some of the topics being researched in Agassiz include cattle comfort and manure management.

The UBC Dairy Education and Research Centre is the largest dairy cattle research facility in Canada, and one of the largest in the world. Their state-of-the-art equipment is designed to continuously monitor and record animal feeding animal feeding and other behaviours.

news@ahobserver.com

Related story

Girl Guides visit UBC dairy centre

 

Just Posted

Agassiz Community Health Centre welcomes its newest doctor

Nikki Cohen is one of three doctors practicing at the local health clinic

No home for Agassiz Community Garden on school district land

The garden is still homeless after SD78 said no to the society using the McCaffrey School property

Chilliwack school board making effort to foster better relationships

Board reaching out to parents via dinner event, and online forum

PHOTO: Pollination time

Hyacinths attract bees looking for pollen

Sardis Library hosting Star Wars-themed escape room

Participants asked to summon the force for week-long attraction

VIDEO: Agassiz, Harrison celebrate National Pet Day

From cats and dogs to lizards and chickens, residents showed off the animals that enrich their lives

PHOTOS: Green Party Leader Elizabeth May says ‘I do’ on Earth Day

May and John Kidder got married Monday morning in Victoria

Victims injured in Lower Mainland deck collapse ranged from 15 to 83 years old

Victim Services staff have reached out to those hurt and their families

‘Ghost restaurants’ cooked up by Joseph Richard Group to meet demand of delivered food

The new Meal Ticket Brands venture aims to ‘disrupt’ the local restaurant industry

Sri Lanka invokes war-time military powers after nearly 300 killed in Easter bombings

Sri Lanka’s minister of tourism says 39 foreign tourists were killed in the Easter Sunday attacks

Torched SUV linked to Vancouver’s fourth homicide

Manoj Kumar, 30, was found dead from gunshot wounds in the Kitsilano neighbourhood

Multiple sailing waits as BC Ferries deals with Easter Monday traffic

89 extra sailings had been added to the long weekend schedule

Ex-mayor of northern village claims its drivers are overpaying ICBC $1,800 a year

Darcy Repen says data shows Telkwa households are being ripped off for car insurance

Deadly synthetic drug found in Kamloops that puts users in ‘zombielike’ state

Interior Health warning says substance causes ‘speedy, trippy-like symptoms’ and hallucinations

Most Read