Meristem Land and Science: Driving Progress in Sustainability

NewStream Farm Animal Care, Volume 2, Edition 7

Five things to know from Livestock Care Conference 2014

April 3, 2014

Five things to know from Livestock Care Conference 2014

Livestock producers and industry leaders are on the right track in shepherding agriculture through an important period of transition, innovation and heightened management expectations in a new world of farm animal care.

This was reinforced by a series of speakers tackling the hot topics and developments at the Livestock Care Conference, March 26-27, 2014 in Edmonton, Alta. The annual conference was hosted by Alberta Farm Animal Care (AFAC) in partnership with the Alberta Veterinary Medical Association (ABVMA).

Dr. Tim Blackwell

Key take home messages included:

1. Keep 'reality' in perspective. Developments in farm animal care have never been higher profile or more important to success in today's livestock sector. Producers and industry have made strong progress with new Codes of Practice, assessment approaches and science and leadership driven initiatives. However, keeping 'reality' in perspective is essential when addressing the very real issues surrounding animal welfare and the animal rights movement, says Dr. Tim Blackwell, lead veterinarian in disease prevention with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food.

Click here to read the complete feature article.

Industry innovators showcase progress in action

April 3, 2014

Levi Hofer, New York Colony

Window on farm animal care leadership at the grass roots level

Five presenters at the 2014 Livestock Care Conference were perhaps the most visible example at the event of the progress at the leading edge of farm animal care.

Three producers, a small meat packer and an industry equipment supplier, described solid animal care developments being implemented today.

Based on questions and hallway conversations, all five presenters clearly made an impact with the audience. Here's a snapshot of their innovations and leadership.

  • Joe Kleinsasser, Big Bend Colony, Lethbridge, Alta.
  • Levi Hofer, New York Colony, Lethbridge, Alta.
  • Cherie Copithorne-Barnes, CL Ranch, Jumping Pound, Alta.
  • Kevin Meier, Sangudo Meats, Sangudo, Alta.
  • Kase van Ittersum, CAWI Canada.

Click here to read the full story.

Drivers of Care: Frank Novak

April 3, 2014

Frank Novak

'Getting real' to get real results

Frank Novak is a proud Alberta pork producer. He believes in the dignity of raising animals for food. He supports the concept that farmers are here to serve the people with the products they desire.

Most important, at a time when farm animal care is rising in profile, he believes in agriculture taking charge of the conversation with customers and managing this issue openly and clearly to build a strong future.

"Producers need to take the stage and become champions," says Novak, Chair of Alberta Pork, speaking at the 2014 Livestock Care Conference. We cannot hide in the background."

Click here to read the full story.

More LCC highlights

April 3, 2014

Michael von Massow

Leaders talking what producers and their industries need to know


April 3, 2014

Quick takes on key activity and what's coming, from NewStream editors

LCC Award of Distinction winners spotlight the future

Trevor Prout, Alberta Chicken Producers

What's the face of farm animal care progress? Two clear examples were winners of the AFAC Award of Distinction at Livestock Care Conference 2014.

The award for Communications went to Alberta Milk for the Alberta Johne's Initiative. Prevalence surveys estimate up to 50 per cent or more dairy herds have at least one cow infected with Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis (MAP). Because the sensitivity of most JD tests depends on the stage of infection with MAP, most surveys underestimate the true prevalence of MAP-infected cows and herds. The financial impact on herds infected with this production-limiting disease is dependent upon the prevalence of infected cows in the herd.

The objective of the initiative is to increase the awareness of Johne's Disease in the Alberta dairy industry and encourage the implementation of best management practices that will reduce the risk of the entering the herd, or spreading within the herd if MAP is already present in one or more animals. By the end of 2013, 61 per cent of Alberta's milk producers had completed a Johne's disease risk assessment and 74 per cent had submitted environmental manure samples for testing.

The Award for Communications went to Trevor Prout, Producer Programs Manager at Alberta Chicken Producers. As part of a host of innovations, Prout and colleagues spearheaded the implementation of an auditable Animal Care Program to uphold the standards of the Canadian chicken industry's on-farm animal care.

Certification under the Animal Care Program is now a mandatory condition of a producer's license to market chicken in Alberta and all registered chicken farmers in Alberta are certified.

New Executive Committee members for Alberta Farm Animal Care

Brian Chomlak, new AFAC Chair

The future of farm animal care is in good hands. The 2014 annual general meeting of Alberta Farm Animal Care brought a change in the executive for the organization.

Brian Chomlak of Alberta Beef Producers takes over as chair, replacing Heini Hehli of Alberta Milk. Hehli, who has done a great job as chair the past few years, remains on the board. James Jenkins of Western Stock Growers Association is the new vice-chair and Ite Veurink of Alberta Chicken Producers is new finance chair. Laurie Fries of Alberta Goat Breeders Association was elected director at large. Learn more here.




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