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Lethbridge scientist wins beef industry’s outstanding researcher award

Karen Schwartzkopf-Genswein is an internationally recognized expert on cattle welfare and behaviour

Agriculture Canada researcher Karen Schwartzkopf-Genswein is the winner of the 2017 Canadian Beef Industry Award for Outstanding Research and Innovation.

The senior research scientist at the Lethbridge Research Centre is an internationally recognized expert on cattle welfare and behaviour. Her research also includes work on early disease detection, feeding behaviour, stress assessment, and acidosis, as well as cattle transportation, lameness, and pain mitigation. Her research has guided the industry in updating Canadian Transport Regulations and Canadian Beef Codes of Practice.

“Those of you who know me will know that this award means a lot to me,” Schwartzkopf-Genswein said after being presented with the award at the Canadian Beef Industry Conference earlier this month.

“My dream will be to work with the industry as long as I can and to be as useful to you as I can.”

Schwartzkopf-Genswein is a pioneer in her field, the Beef Cattle Research Council said in a release.

“She recognized early on that animal welfare was an emerging field and sensed the public’s growing interest and lack of understanding as to how livestock are produced,” it said. “Her realization occurred before the industry fully recognized this area as a high priority for research funding, however, she persevered and continues to contribute greatly to the sustainability and public trust of Canadian beef production.”

She has been “an incredibly positive impact on the Canadian beef industry by successfully navigating, engaging and influencing at all levels,” said council chair Bryan Thiessen, who is manager of Namaka Farms near Strathmore.

“Without her dedication, the beef industry would be challenged to develop a scientific base that allows beef consumers to maintain a high level of confidence in our farming and ranching operations.”

Schwartzkopf-Genswein has more than 70 peer-reviewed publications and holds adjunct appointments at several universities.

The Canadian Beef Industry Award for Outstanding Research and Innovation, established in 2015, recognizes scientists and academics who are actively involved in strong research programs aligned with industry priorities, continually engage with industry stakeholders, and demonstrate their passion and long-term commitment through leadership, teamwork, and mentorship.

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