Manitoba's dairy industry will benefit from Wednesday's funding announcement by federal and provincial ministers for agriculture Lawrence MacAulay and Ralph Eichler. The two governments will partner to invest over $1.4-million into the University of Manitoba's Glenlea Research Station dairy barn, while Dairy Farmers of Manitoba (DFM) will provide an additional $1.5-million.

This funding will be used to expand its dairy facility through a repurposed swine barn and install a new automated milking system, free stalls for dairy cattle, dedicated spaces for calves, milk collection tanks, above-ground manure storage, new flooring and related laboratory equipment, according to a press release.

Henry Holtmann, vice chair for DFM, said the facility needs renewal to reflect the progress in today's dairy industry.

"We see that renewal by employing new technology, and bringing new research involved with that technology is a key component so that we can not only train new students of the future, but also do research that's extremely relevant in helping dairy farmers - whether it's in Manitoba or across this country - be more efficient, or treat their animals better, and produce high quality milk, and be even better stewards of the land than they already are," he said.

Holtmann added that the renovations and equipment upgrades will bring the station from the 1960s era - when the facility first opened - to present day, enabling students and researchers to catch up with today's tech-savvy dairy industry.

The project is expected to go to tender later this year.