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Sidney company to study seaweed as a cattle feed alternative

Cascadia Seaweed will receive up to $533,475 from federal government
Ryan Cootes, Erin Bremner-Mitchell, Bill Collins and Mike Williamson of Cascadia Seaweed Corporation are here seen holding up seaweed grown in Barkley Sound in July 2020. The company will receive up to $533,475 to determine the potential of three types of seaweed as an alternative feedstock for cattle. (Cascadia Seaweed Corporation/Submitted)

Could serving up seaweed to cows be a feed solution for the future? Sidney-based company Cascadia Seaweed has been given federal funds to find out.

The company last Friday announced that it is set to receive up to $533,475 from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) to identify valuable compounds found in B.C. seaweeds to primarily support the agricultural sector.

“As pressure mounts over arable land and populations continue to rise, we must recognize opportunities within the Blue Economy to produce food and feed, while adapting to climate change,” said Bill Collins, chair of Cascadia Seaweed in a release. “Seaweed is a source of protein, carbs, fiber and minerals that everybody needs.”

Overall, Cascadia will determine the potential of three types of seaweed as an alternative feedstock for cattle. The federal government said in a background report that the project will enable Cascadia to also evaluate the effects on methane reduction and animal performance, with the aim of cutting emissions from cattle production while using a sustainable and low-resource source for feed.

RELATED: Tsawout First Nation to hold special ceremony at seaweed farm off James Island

Marie-Claude Bibeau, federal minister of agriculture and agri-food, said the fight against climate change is not only about reducing Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions but also helping farmers to innovate and adopt more sustainable farming practices.

“By investing in alternative farming methods such as the initiative by Cascadia Seaweed to explore seaweed as an alternative feedstock for cattle, we are supporting the development of sustainable feed that reduces methane emissions and moves the sector further into the clean economy for future generations,” said Bibeau.

The federal government said in a background report that Cascadia Seaweed has demonstrated its ability to cultivate seaweed at scale, which will be needed to diversify feed supply for the over 4 million beef cattle in Canada.

Cascadia is receiving the funding under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership’s AgriScience Program as one of six recipients announced on Earth Day (April 22) – with $6.4 million handed out.

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Wolf Depner

About the Author: Wolf Depner

I joined the national team with Black Press Media in 2023 from the Peninsula News Review, where I had reported on Vancouver Island's Saanich Peninsula since 2019.
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