Meristem Land and Science: Driving Progress in Sustainability


Hot topics showcased at Livestock Care Conference

Still time to register for March 26-27 event in Edmonton

Posted: February 20, 2014

Developments in farm animal care have never been higher profile or more important to success in today's livestock and poultry sectors.

Producers, industry and other stakeholders can learn the latest on today's progress and rapidly evolving developments at the upcoming Livestock Care Conference, March 26-27, 2014 in Edmonton, Alberta. The annual conference is hosted by Alberta Farm Animal Care (AFAC) in partnership with the Alberta Veterinary Medical Association (ABVMA).

Latest developments, innovations

"There is a new energy and fresh thinking around farm animal care that makes it not only one of the most important topics in agriculture today, but also one of the leading areas of innovation," says Lorna Baird, AFAC Executive Director.

"The Livestock Care Conference is designed to provide everyone from individual producers to industry leaders with a unique forum to learn from leading speakers and participate in lively discussion to build a successful future," she says. "We encourage everyone with an interest in farm animal care to attend and be a part of the conversation toward new ideas and solutions."

Seeking new solutions

The event will be of interest to producers and industry, researchers, students, government and other farm animal care stakeholders, says Dr. Angela Greter, AFAC Program Manager. "An important part of the conference is the opportunity to learn from one another and identify ways to work together."

"There is a new energy and fresh thinking around farm animal care" says Lorna Baird, AFAC Executive Director.

The long-standing conference has built a reputation as one of the leading events of its kind, typically drawing both speakers and attendance from across Canada, along with representation from the U.S. and internationally.

"The agenda this year has a strong focus on hot topics ranging from activist activities to consumer perceptions to leading examples of how producers and industry are taking charge," says Greter.

Top speakers, front-burner issues

The first day of the conference, on Wednesday, March 26, is focused on student activities and the AFAC AGM, followed by an evening welcome reception that begins at 8:00 p.m. The reception is also highlighted by a featured presentation on "Cultivating Connections: Social Media and Agriculture," by Jackie Northey and Sarah Wray of FarmOn, an innovative Alberta-based nonprofit group that has championed empowering young farmers and telling the story of agriculture.

The main Livestock Care Conference agenda is Thursday, March 27, beginning with registration and continental breakfast at 7:15 a.m., with speakers and discussion running from 9:00 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.

"An important part of the conference is the opportunity to learn from one another" says Dr. Angela Greter, AFAC Program Manager

The main agenda includes a special emphasis on major developments and issues on the front burner for livestock and poultry producers and their industries. It begins with an AFAC showcase and welcome. This is followed by featured sessions that include "Animal Health and Welfare: The Next Evolution," by Dr. Tim Blackwell of the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food; "Activists are Taking a Multi-faceted Approach: You Should Too," by Kay Johnson Smith, President and CEO of the Animal Agriculture Alliance; and "Consumers and Animal Welfare: What They Think, What They Know and Why it Matters," by Dr. Michael von Massow of the University of Guelph.

The agenda continues with a "Field to Plate" perspective by Frank Novak of Sunhaven Farms; "A New Way of Learning for a New Generation of Farmers," by Jackie Northey and Sarah Wray of FarmOn; and a major "Industry Innovation Showcase" session featuring several case study examples.

There is still time to register, with early-bird rates available until Feb. 28. Get complete details on the AFAC website at www.afac.ab.ca.

Reprintable with credit. This article is available for reprint, with acknowledgement of the source as Meristem Land and Science, www.meristem.com.

Meristem is a Calgary-based communications firm that specializes in writing about western agriculture, food and land use. More articles at www.meristem.com.




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