McGill Alert / Alerte de McGill

Updated: Fri, 07/12/2024 - 12:16

McGill Alert. The downtown campus will remain partially closed through the evening of Monday, July 15. See the Campus Safety site for details.

Alerte de McGill. Le campus du centre-ville restera partiellement fermé jusqu’au lundi 15 juillet, en soirée. Complément d’information : Direction de la protection et de la prévention

Dairy research

Elsa Vasseur smiling outside with trees in background

Research spotlight: Co-chair, Research and Innovation Chair in Animal Welfare and Artificial Intelligence (WELL-E)

Professor Elsa Vasseur of McGill's Department of Animal Science and Professor Abdoulaye Baniré Diallo of Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM)'s Department of Computer Science co-lead the Research and Innovation Chair in Animal Welfare and Artificial Intelligence (WELL-E). Their work focuses on leveraging artificial intelligence and the internet of things (the network of all physical devices connected to the internet) to enhance animal welfare on Canadian dairy farms. This project, funded by NSERC Alliance, PROMPT, and industrial partners, aims to detect changes in cow welfare early on and provide actionable data for on-farm decision-making. A pilot project is already underway on two research farms—the Macdonald Campus farm and another in Ontario—but the plan is to quickly expand the project to over 100 farms.

The collaboration includes experts in bioinformatics, AI, computer science, mathematics, and biology, contributing cutting-edge knowledge in digital technology and responsible management for dairy producers. By prioritizing animal welfare and technological advancements, this research promotes human and animal well-being while fostering agricultural sustainability.

The WELL-E initiative brings to life our vision that animal welfare and technologies are catalysts for both human & animal well-being as well as agricultural sustainability as a whole. Moreover, the focus on welfare in and of itself will allow the development of new key performance indicators.

Associate Professor Elsa Vasseur
William Dawson Scholar and Co-chair, Research and Innovation Chair in Animal Welfare and Artificial Intelligence (WELL-E)

The dairy cattle complex

In 2020, the Macdonald Campus Farm won McGill's Sustainability of Operations Award for its Ecological Improvement of Dairy Cow Pastures Project. This project created a sustainable pasture system at the farm, featuring a rotational grazing system for cattle, the addition of approximately 700 trees, the installation of water lines for access to fresh water, and the purchase of a mobile shade umbrella to protect cattle from the sun.

Strategic plans to modernize the Dairy Cattle Complex aim to further the farm's mission to support research excellence, provide supportive and stimulating student experiences, and engage with local communities.

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