Feds announce plans to close B.C. farming research station

The federal government has notified employees of a 78-year-old agricultural research station in the Kamloops area that they’ll be out of a job. The station is being closed as part of an effort to consilidate federal beef research operations in Alberta.

VANCOUVER — The federal government has notified employees of a 78-year-old agricultural research station in the Kamloops area that they’ll be out of a job.

The station is being closed as part of an effort to consilidate federal beef research operations in Alberta.

Despite attempts to save the facility by switching research from cattle to grasslands and the environment, the government is closing it for good.

Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo MP Cathy McLeod calls the announcement disappointing because the research has been important for ranchers in the area, and will mean the loss of 14 jobs.

The general manager of B.C. Cattlemen’s Association, Kevin Boon, says the closure will hurt the province’s cattle industry at a time when it’s trying to promote B.C. beef as a premium product.

He says the facility played a key role in getting information into the hands of farmers who worked the land to supply food.

The federal government is handing the responsibility over grasslands research to the provinces and consolidating its federal beef research facilities in Alberta.

A representative from Agriculture and Agri-Foods Canada was not immediately available for comment.