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Ontario Farm Family Funds Guelph University Professorship

09 September 2013

CANADA - The University of Guelph has received a C$1-million gift to enhance its capacity in poultry nutrition research, training and outreach.

The donation from James and Brenda McIntosh, owners of McIntosh Poultry Farms Ltd. in Seaforth, Ontario, will establish a new professorship through the Department of Animal and Poultry Science in the Ontario Agricultural College (OAC).

The gift was made as part of the University's BetterPlanet Project, a $200-million fund-raising campaign to help improve the quality of food, environment, health and communities here and around the world.

The new investment will pay for the McIntosh Family Professorship in Poultry Nutrition for 10 years; the college will then provide base funding for this permanent position.

“James and Brenda McIntosh are long-time friends and supporters of our institution and passionate about agriculture and food production,” said OAC dean, Robert Gordon. “Thanks to their commitment and generosity, Guelph will remain a leader in poultry research and education globally. Through their gift, we will be able to continue to develop the next generation of leaders for this important and evolving industry.”

James McIntosh earned an undergraduate degree from OAC in 1959 and a master’s degree in poultry nutrition in 1961. “My years at the University were enjoyable, both as a time to learn and as a time to make lifelong friendships,” he said.

"The OAC is where I met Brenda, my wife and business partner, and the friendships I developed proved invaluable in my career in agriculture. Plus, being a graduate of OAC provided an immediate introduction and connection to others in the agriculture industry who graduated from the same school."

The professorship is expected to be filled in 2014. Gordon said it represents a significant step toward boosting the college’s impact on the industry, nationally and globally. “This leadership gift will help us maintain essential teaching and extension capacity that is relevant to the needs of the industry today and vital for the creation of opportunities for the future.”

The research focus of the professorship will address current industry priorities and issues, Mr Gordon added. For example, feed still represents the major cost of production in the Ontario poultry industry. In recent years, there has been a dramatic increase in the price of feed due to global changes affecting corn, soybean and other ingredients. Relief from input costs is not expected any time soon.

Research focused on digestion of feed and absorption of nutrients will help improve the overall efficiency of poultry production and be of interest to producers, said Mr Gordon. “We see a real need and opportunity to support the industry through recruiting an individual who will bring to the University a commitment to work collaboratively and develop a world-class program to address these research opportunities.”

ThePoultrySite News Desk

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