Federal Agriculture Minister Visits U of G

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Lawrence MacAulay (l) and Lloyd Longfield tour the BIO

Lawrence MacAulay (l) and Lloyd Longfield tour the BIO

Lawrence MacAulay, federal minister of agriculture and agri-food, visited the University of Guelph Sept. 23 for a discussion on youth in agriculture.

MacAulay, who has been agriculture minister since 2015, was joined by Guelph MP Lloyd Longfield and Rene Van Acker, dean of the Ontario Agricultural College, to meet students and to tour the Biodiversity Institute of Ontario (BIO).

Along with U of G students and local farmers, he discussed challenges for youth in farming, and the federal government’s role in providing infrastructure for farmers and agricultural companies.

At the BIO, DNA barcoding allows biologists to rapidly identify plant and animal species from even a snippet of their DNA.

MacAulay-visit-roundtable

Rene van Acker, Lloyd Longfield and Lawrence MacAulay (l-r, front row) talked with students about the challenges facing youth in agriculture

The technique is used to detect meat and seafood fraud and to identify invasive species. Regulatory agencies use DNA barcoding to authenticate and identify other mislabelled foods and consumer products.