A plan has been drawn-up to keep a beef research farm in Kapuskasing open for its 100th birthday, thanks to the efforts of a local group.
Kapuskasing mayor Al Spacek is optimistic the beef research farm will stay open after seeing a report from a consultant on Thursday, which was also presented to employees and stakeholders.
The report calls for the farm to do research on more than just beef. He wouldn't say what those new specialties could be — citing "competitive reasons" — but Spacek said he hopes a mix of public and private funding will replace the annual federal subsidy of $1.3 million dollars, which is coming to an end.
"If at a point in time it comes to where we realize it’s not going to work, we're going to be one of the first to step up and say, ‘you know, we tried our best, but it’s not going to work," he said.
A local representative with the Agriculture Union said the dozen people who work at the farm would like to see the matter settled. Colette Goulet, who also works on the farm, said some people have already left to find other employment.
"We all have families and kids [and] some of us had other opportunities," she said.
Spacek said he is looking forward to working with employees to make the centre into a not-for-profit research facility — something that is needed as more farmers move north.
"Farmers and the agriculture sector need answers … [and] research, so this facility will play a very important role," he said.
The consultant's report will be presented to the federal government on Tuesday. If it’s accepted, the group will move forward with developing a business plan that will be presented to the government in 2014.