Inside BPS Blog

Summit of Cascade Mountain in Town of Banff: 2020 Banff Pork Seminar Special Meeting Report

News from the Meristem editors from inside the 2020 Banff Pork Seminar.

Tapping the full potential of sow longevity

Date posted: December 11, 2019

There is not much argument that sow productivity has dramatically improved in recent years. But one of the casualties of that improvement is sow longevity.

"Sow longevity relates to how many sows are actually remaining in the herd and for how long," says Michael Dyck, program co-chair for Banff Pork Seminar (BPS) 2020. "We put a lot of pressure on the breeding herd to produce more pigs per sow per year, including selecting animals that are able to accomplish that. But in some ways those sows are sacrificing themselves.

"This has been a topic at Banff Pork Seminar (BPS) in past years and for 2020 we are bringing in two highly qualified speakers to talk the latest developments in Breakout Session 4," he says.

Dan Bussières of Groupe Cérès, a Quebec-based swine production consulting company will look at "Key aspects for capturing reproductive and sow lifetime productivity."

And North American industry veteran Bob Thompson will address the challenges of what is causing sow mortality and how can some of those issues be mitigated.

"Practical information of direct interest to pork producers," says Dyck.

Complete BPS program information is available at

Dan Bussières

Dan Bussières

Bob Thompson

Bob Thompson

Follow the search for pig resilience in BPS 2020 Breakout Session 5

Date posted: December 11, 2019

How do we make pigs more resilient? It is a goal of more research in today's high performance production era.

"We're not talking about resistance, the ability to the animal to fend off disease," says Michael Dyck, program co-chair for Banff Pork Seminar (BPS) 2020. "Resilience is when animals not only have the appropriate immune response to the challenge but they will keep performing, keep eating, keep growing all the things they need to do to be productive in the herd.

"There is a fair bit of research done as to what factors are related to resilience," he says, "things like genetic markers and the microbiome. We know the gut microbiome is related to overall health. Is there a certain gut profile of bacteria that are more likely to part of an animal that is more resilient and less susceptible to disease?

"How can we manage all these things? Research is looking to develop a disease challenge model to assess animal response to disease. Then what are some of the factors that define an animal resilience be it genetic or behavioral characteristics to microbiome characteristics."

Four speakers tackle this whole area in an extensive discussion in Breakout Session 5, says Dyck.

John Harding of the University of Saskatchewan looks at "The Natural Disease Challenge Model (NDCM) for evaluating resilience." Jack Dekkers of Iowa State talks "Genetics and early predictors of resilience." Ben Willing of the University of Alberta talks "Finding the microbiome to support resilience." And Bob Kemp of Genesus talks "Genomics and Disease Resilience: Next Steps?"

John Harding

John Harding

Jack Dekkers

Jack Dekkers

Ben Willing

Ben Willing

Bob Kemp

Bob Kemp

Hypor proud to return as BPS Sustaining Sponsor

Date posted: December 11, 2019


The Banff Pork Seminar is one of our favourite events of the year. It's a great chance to connect with important members of the industry and stay up to date with all things 'pigs', all while enjoying the beautiful mountain backdrop. We're proud to be a Sustaining Sponsor for this year's seminar.

Supplying high quality genetics and technical support requires a close connection to the needs of the industry, throughout Canada and the rest of the world. We combine advanced breeding technology with market expertise for a balanced breeding approach. This maximizes the bottom line, rather than performance in a single trait or phase. Hypor is a part of Hendrix Genetics, a global leader in multi-species breeding and genetics.

Our team of experts will be circulating throughout the sessions, and we will be present in the Exhibitor Hall. Come say hello! We welcome any opportunity to hear how we can help you maximize performance and enhance success. To learn more about our products and services, visit

We wish you an enjoyable and educational time at the Banff Pork Seminar!

Get the very latest on African Swine Fever at BPS 2020

Date posted: December 1, 2019

It's a disease on the top of minds of pork producers around the world, but especially for Canada which so far has managed to keep out. The industry is preparing in case the borders are breached.

Banff Pork Seminar (BPS) 2020 has an excellent overview for all producers and industry players of the state of the union on African Swine Fever, says Ruurd Zijlstra, program co-chair.

"We know that major outbreaks of African Swine Fever ASF are now happening in China and the rest of East Asia, The Philippines, Viet Nam and other countries in that area," says Zijlstra. "But in Eastern Europe the disease has been going on for some time."

The Thursday morning Plenary features speaker Klaus Depner from Friedrich Loeffler Institute in Germany who will give a European perspective on control and eradication there. That includes one of the major challenges in that part of the world, a very large wild boar population.

Then Breakout Session 7 features three speakers who will get down to specifics, what producers need to think about when foreign animal disease is happening on farm.

Amy Cronin, producer and representative of Swine Health Ontario talks "Thinking through the unthinkable," key action items and how producers should be prepared.

One issue is major loss of revenue. Alex Dejong of BMO Financial looks at "Financial planning for a foreign disease outbreak."

Then veterinarian and industry leader Egan Brockhoff of Prairie Swine Health Services looks at "How we ensure business continuity through prevention, preparedness, response and recovery."

"The big one is prevention," says Zijlstra. "We need to make sure we are very resilient on biosecurity protocols. But as a follow-up on the excellent presentation he gave on the topic last year, Egan will also go into the industry as a whole, look at what can we do as a country, as a Canadian and North American pork industry to keep this disease out."

Klaus Depner

Klaus Depner

Amy Cronin

Amy Cronin

Alex Dejong

Alex Dejong

Egan Brockhoff

Egan Brockhoff

Free Pre-conference Seminar at Banff Pork Seminar 2020

Date posted: December 1, 2019

Swine Inovation porc

Banff Pork Seminar (BPS) coordinator Ashley Steeple reminds all delegates attending BPS 2020, Jan. 7 to 9 that they have a chance to arrive a little early and take in a free pre-conference seminar.

Hosted by Swine Innovation Porc the afternoon seminar is slated for Tuesday, Jan. 7 from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. in the Alhambra Room at the Banff Springs Hotel.

The topic is "What is the microbiome anyway? Gut health and how it impacts pig production."

Three speakers will cover the topic from various angles. "The gut microbiome and why you should care about it," will be tackled by Emma Allen-Vercoe, University of Guelph. Then John Harding, University of Saskatchewan will cover an "Overview of pig gut health challenges from birth to market.

Andrew Van Kessel, University of Saskatchewan closes with his presentation "The future of pig gut health: Research to come."

"This is the third year for this pre-conference seminar," says Steeple. "It is an example of how Banff Pork Seminar provides an opportunity for companies and organizations to create value added opportunities around the main Seminar program throughout the entire week."

More information on the pre-conference seminar is available here. To register for the event email .

Sustaining Sponsor: Alberta Pork is excited to once again sponsor the Banff Pork Seminar

Date posted: December 1, 2019

Alberta Pork

We are a non-profit organization representing the province's more than 800 registered hog producers before government, industry partners, media, the general public and other interest groups.

This year, we are celebrating our 50th anniversary. Our producers' tireless efforts have been the driving force behind the pork industry for half a century, and a debt of gratitude is owed to those responsible for this accomplishment.

We would also like to recognize the many processors, researchers, veterinarians, transporters, retailers and everyone who supports the entire pork value chain. Because of you, Albertans, Canadians and consumers around the world have been privileged to enjoy the highest-quality, best-tasting pork ever produced.

We hope you enjoy the 2020 Banff Pork Seminar!

Market advisor Brett Stuart tackles trade wars, where to next in pork trade

Date posted: November 25, 2019

Brett Stuart

Brett Stuart

Few topics in the agricultural industry this past year have been bigger than trade.

The Banff Pork Seminar (BPS) Thursday plenary has a speaker, Brett Stuart, who can explain what has happened and will give a peek into what may be coming in the next 12 months.

"It is almost unfathomable how much things have changed in last 12 months," says Ruurd Zijlstra, program co-chair for BPS 2020. "And who knows what will change in the next couple of months before Banff Pork Seminar 2020.

"When we came up with this topic we could not have predicted what would happen with trade. The most recent thing is China has re-opened the market for Canadian pork. That is good, but there are a lot of the implications of markets being open and shut down for the last year and questions about what the next 12 months look like for opportunities for Canadian pork producers."

BPS 2020 is a good place to get the story behind the issues in trade, says Zijlstra. Brett Stuart has been to BPS before and he is an excellent speaker. His company, Global AgriTrends, provides market research and analysis to a variety of clients around the world.

Managing for heavy carcass weights, low antibiotics in BPS Breakout Session 2

Date posted: November 25, 2019

Producers usually select Banff Pork Seminar (BPS) breakout sessions based on the practical value of the information provided.

It does not get much more bottom line than nutrition and the topics two speakers will address in Breakout Session No. 2, says Ruurd Zijlstra, BPS program co-chair.

Michael Tokach of Kansas State University looks at feeding grow-finish pigs and managing carcass weights.

"Packing plants have been aiming for heavier and heavier pigs, a move that has to do with internal efficiencies," says Zijlstra. "That has put a lot of pressure on pork producers to get pigs to the new ideal carcass weights and carcass quality.

"This session will outline what producers need to do nutritionally to meet those changing demands."

One of the other big industry topics around nutrition is use of antibiotics. Second speaker in this session, Francesc Molist of Schothorst Feed Research, is an expert in feeding of nursery pigs and diets without dietary antibiotics, says Zijlstra.

"He will have some new ideas around things that we can do differently with nursery pig diets in combination with changing management in order to deal with new reality of reducing if not removing dietary antibiotics as a growth promotant from nursey pig diets. How do you reformulate your diets looking at fiber, fats, protein and starch to make that happen?"

Full program information is available at

Michael Tokach

Michael Tokach

Francesc Molist

Francesc Molist

Use your power to tell pork's story from BPS with #banffpork

Date posted: November 22, 2019

Use #banffpork to promote speakers from BPS 2020

Use #banffpork to promote speakers from BPS 2020

There will be a lot of good stories at Banff Pork Seminar (BPS) 2020. Some will be told at the Irish Pub. They should likely stay there. But many others are a chance to share with the world through social media the incredible progress in today's pork production.

Every delegate can help by following the Seminar @BanffPork on Twitter, says Annemarie Pedersen an enthusiastic industry advocate who is part of the communication team for BPS 2020. The second way, she says, is to tweet often and enthusiastically during and around the time of the 2020 Seminar using the hashtag #banffpork.

"This is an opportunity to tell people about the developments, the openness and transparency of pork production today," she says. "Then multiply that by the many thousands of Twitter connections made by people in the room at BPS 2020.

"Use the power of your network to benefit your industry," says Pedersen, "During three days of programming and almost a full week of related industry activity, several hundred 2020 BPS delegates will have a window into the leading edge of progress in their industry.

"It's a dynamic story. Food industry developments, advances in animal and environmental care and a host of scientific presentations. There are linkages to the national and international pork community with BPS featuring speakers and delegates from across North America and around the world."

As always, there will be innovative marketing and communications perspectives from spokespeople who can help the pork industry connect effectively with consumers and society in general.

All of that makes social media an accessible and valuable tool for those inside the industry and those looking for more information from industry leaders like those attending Banff Pork Seminar 2020.

Tina Varughese brings funny, useful presentation to Breakout Session 9

Date posted: November 12, 2019

Tina Varughese

Tina Varughese

Agriculture is like any industry, any segment of Canadian society. It is a dynamic, ever-moving combination of cultures.

How we communicate in that environment is a huge factor in our personal and business success according to Tina Varughese of t Works Inc. in Calgary, Alta. She knows because she lives the situation and spends her days training industry, government and organizations on how to do better.

Varughese, brings her powerful and entertaining presentation "50 shades of beige: How to communicate with the cross cultural advantage" to Banff Pork Seminar 2020. It's in Breakout Session 9, which takes place on Thursday afternoon only.

"It promises to be a very popular session," says Ruurd Zijlstra, program co-chair for BPS. "Varughese will challenge people's thinking. She has been described as entertaining, hilarious but always as informative.

"Our industry is no different than any other in facing these challenges of communication in today's multi-cultural, globally connected world," he says. "We don't often get a chance to hear someone with this experience and perspective to help us navigate that arena."

Full BPS program details are available at

Protein alternatives: Challenge or unique opportunity for the pork industry

Date posted: November 12, 2019

Tiffany Lee

Tiffany Lee

About one year ago, at Banff Pork Seminar (BPS) 2019, several speakers got audience attention and the room buzzing with an overview of the rapidly emerging alternative protein movement.

Likely few in the room would have predicted what was to come. In the months since then the alternative protein industry has literally exploded with a roller coaster ride of business success and failure and aggressive market positioning battles. Pork producers and their livestock industry counterparts are wondering what this means for their industry.

BPS 2020 tackles that issue head on with the opening Plenary Session on Wednesday morning. Tiffany Lee of the North American Meat Institute delivers her perspective in the presentation "The alternative protein movement: A challenge or a unique opportunity?"

"This speaker is uniquely positioned to give real insight into this industry development," says Michael Dyck, University of Alberta and BPS 2020 program co-chair. "It's not hard to imagine these developments in alterative protein to be nothing but negative for the meat industry.

"But that may not be the case and Tiffany Lee has a ringside seat to that world in her position with the respected North American Meat Institute. The Wednesday Plenary promises to be a lively one with some new thinking on this dynamic and emerging issue."

Full BPS program details are available at

Bright young minds, creative innovators at BPS 2020 Breakout Session 8

Date posted: November 12, 2019

Young scientist poster session at Breakout Session 8.

Young scientist poster session at Breakout Session 8

Innovation and science. They are always reasons delegates sign up for the Banff Pork Seminar (BPS) breakout sessions. Early signs are the 2020 seminar will be no exception.

Breakout Session 8, which takes place on Wednesday afternoon only, showcases the winning student research posters from BPS 2020 for the R. O. Ball Young Scientist Award. These top young scientists selected from a typically strong field of competitors, give presentations on their work. On boards nearby outside the session doors are posters of all other young scientist entries, all of it interesting in its own right.

"It's just a great feeling in the room each year," says Michael Dyck, University of Alberta and 2020 BPS program co-chair. "The student science competition has expanded with young scientists from areas outside Alberta and Saskatchewan entering. There is often information that is usable in decision-making, and there's simply a real energy when people hear these promising young people who will tackle the research and fill the industry positions that will take our industry to new heights."

Innovation is the other reason come to Breakout Session 8. The F. X. Aherne Prize winner or winners do a presentation on their entries. Ruurd Zijlstra, University of Alberta program co-chair for BPS 2020 says this award is always popular it part because it is industry peers who have created the innovation, but also because there are ideas that can often be adopted in operations quickly and easily.

"Delegates like the opportunity to be able to ask questions of Aherne winners and of young scientists," says Zijlstra. "Breakout Session 8 is set up so they can do that and typically the room is busy and active."

The F. X. Aherne Prize and the R. O. Ball Young Scientist Award will be awarded officially by BPS awards committee chair, Ben Willing of the University of Alberta on Thursday morning prior to the opening plenary session.

Full program details are available at

Fresh perspective on liability and activism at BPS Breakout Session 1

Date posted: November 5, 2019

Geraldine Auston

Geraldine Auston

Andy Curliss

Andy Curliss

The rise of activism on-farm has producers of all kinds wondering about their response and liability options.

One place they can get a fresh perspective is in the "Liability and the producer" Breakout Session 1 at Banff Pork Seminar (BPS) 2020, Jan. 7 to 9.

"Alberta has a recent example of activists entering a farm for the purposes of creating media exposure on animal care," says Ruurd Zijlstra, program co-chair for BPS 2020. "That was a bit of a wake-up call for producers even those deep in rural areas. That is not an isolated incident in our industry. It is occurring around the world and how producers respond has huge liability overtones."

BPS has two solid speakers on this topic from two key perspectives.

Andy Curliss of the North Carolina Pork Council brings an unusual combination of skills to the discussion. The Council plays a strong role in analyzing pork industry needs and advocating on industry behalf. But Curliss is also a former investigative journalist who understands the media side of the story. He will speak on "Farmers Under Fire."

Then Geraldine Auston of the industry advisory group Ag and Food Exchange will talk on "How to Manage Trespassing on Farm."

"This session is simply a good opportunity for producers to be better prepared and to ask questions of people at the forefront of the issue," says Zijlstra.

The tale of the ticket: How sponsors keep the BPS engine running

Date posted: November 5, 2019

Banff Pork Seminar

Numbers tell this story. There are more than 60 sponsors signed up for Banff Pork Seminar (BPS) 2020. Look around the meeting floor or the trade show and imagine that without the teams of staff and clients sponsors bring. Then look at your Seminar ticket and imagine paying about double that amount.

Those are two direct and huge benefits sponsors bring to each Seminar say BPS program co-chairs, Michael Dyck and Ruurd Zijlstra.

"The most direct benefit to all delegates is on the ticket, the fact that this support dramatically lowers the cost for each delegate attending this seminar," says Zijlstra. "We simply could not afford to have a conference of this scale otherwise."

"So much of the energy and networking comes from those sponsors and their connections," adds Dyck. "The hum of activity around the trade show, the fun times in the downtown pubs and restaurants each evening revolves around those client connections and everyone benefits from that.

"The 2020 sponsors are listed below in order of sponsorship category starting with the highest," says Dyck. "I'm sure we speak for all delegates in showing our appreciation for their support."

Sustaining Sponsors

Select Sponsors

Supporting Sponsors

  • Alberta Barley
  • AQINAC/Le Porc Show
  • Canadian Bio-Systems
  • Jefo Nutrition
  • Nutrition Partners Inc.
  • Warman Veterinary Services

Banff Pork Seminar's 2020 team brings energy, new thinking

Date posted: November 5, 2019

Conference Center

Many lessons from the sports world find their way into the arena of business and organizations. Teamwork is one of the strongest examples.

The Banff Pork Seminar (BPS) has built a reputation for excellence because it draws its leadership team from across the industry and across the nation.

BPS 2020 got its energy and new thinking from the group of people listed below assembled from industry, government and academia to serve on this year's Advisory Committee.

  • Chair: Amy Cronin, Cronin Farms, Bluevale, Ont.
  • Program co-chairs: Michael Dyck and Ruurd Zijlstra, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alta.
  • Conference coordinator: Ashley Steeple, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alta.
  • Javier Bahamon, Alberta Pork, Edmonton, Alta.
  • Dan Bussières, Groupe Cérès Inc., Levis, Que.
  • Cliff Ehr, Olymel, Humboldt, Sask.
  • Dawn Friesen, Fast Genetics, Spiritwood, Sask.
  • Daniel Godbout, PIC, St-Augustin, Que.
  • Frank Novak, Sunhaven Farms, Sherwood Park, Alta.
  • Darcy Pauls, Cargill, Niverville, Man.
  • Bryan Possberg, Polar Pork Farms, Loreburn, Sask.
  • Bill Rempel, Steve's Livestock Transport, Red Deer, Alta.
  • Leigh Rosengren, Rosengren Epidemiology Consulting, Midale, Sask.
  • Greg Simpson, Hypor, Burgessville, Ont.
  • Ben Willing, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alta.
  • Jason Wood, Alberta Agriculture and Forestry, Edmonton, Alta.

BPS would like to remind everyone that the Advisory Committee is an open process. Anyone interested in serving on it or learning more about its role is invited to contact a current member.

Banff Pork Seminar 2020 welcomes media

Date posted: October 30, 2019

Media interviews

Each year a strong contingent of media show up to Banff Pork Seminar (BPS) to hear speakers on major issues in the pork industry.

"Their attendance at our Seminar reinforces the fact that our industry operates with transparency, confidence and real pride," says BPS chair, Amy Cronin. "There are few things as important to our industry as consumer and societal trust. That has been a key part of every BPS planning session for many years now.

"We are pleased that media attend and report the results of presentations. In fact, we encourage those that attend and those that follow up less directly to track down speakers for additional details.

"While most media will be from across North America they are interconnected with media around the world," says Cronin. "It's a reason Banff Pork Seminar continues to be a leading event globally."

Media are asked to register to attend BPS 2020. More details are on the BPS website at the "Inside BPS" Special Report link, under the "Media Assistance" button.

That Special Report includes the Inside BPS blog, feature articles and photos. These articles are available for media support and industry use.

Delegates can also help tell the story of pork by following BPS on social media. They can follow the Seminar @BanffPork on Twitter. And they can tweet frequently and with energy during and around the time of the 2020 Seminar using the hashtag #banffpork.

Joe Schwarcz talks "Sense, nonsense and science" at BPS 2020

Date posted: October 30, 2019

Joe Schwarcz

Joe Schwarcz

He's one of the most dynamic speakers on the world of science and society. The popular Joe Schwarcz will open Banff Pork Seminar (BPS) 2020 with his plenary presentation "Sense, nonsense and science."

Schwarcz is Director of McGill University's Office for Science and Society. He hosts a radio program on science and nonsense, authors a newspaper column on the subject and has been a frequent guest on television shows. He has received many awards for his work.

"Few people have the ability to bridge the world of science and discovery with the pressure of society to understand it," says Ruurd Zijlstra, University of Alberta scientist and BPS 2020 program co-chair. "Schwarcz has a lifetime of experience as a scientist himself and an interpreter of science.

"He does his presentations with energy, humor and common sense. There are always lessons for delegates to take home as a result."

Full program details and registration information is available at the Seminar website Follow on Twitter @banffpork. Connect on Facebook /BanffPork.

Wild ending planned for Banff Pork Seminar 2020

Date posted: October 30, 2019

Ryan Brook

Ryan Brook

It's one of the fastest growing problems around the world. Wild boars may be tasty subjects on the menu but they are a disastrous ecological force when they escape into the wild. They are amazingly adaptive, destroy habitat and create a disease threat.

Closing Seminary plenary speaker University of Saskatchewan research scientist Ryan Brook will take delegates on a wild finish to BPS 2020. Brook has spent his career studying wildlife including wildlife ecology and health, aboriginal engagement and traditional ecological knowledge, farmer knowledge about wildlife and managing the wildlife-livestock interface.

"He is engaged in an innovative research project that promises to shed light on the difficult-to-manage wild boar issue," says Dr. Michael Dyck, University of Alberta scientist and BPS program co-chair. "Our closing plenary session is a chance to end a busy few days on an informative and social note."

Full program details and registration information is available at the Seminar website Follow on Twitter @banffpork. Connect on Facebook /BanffPork.

Book now: BPS hotel rooms moving quickly

Date posted: October 30, 2019

Banff Spring Hotel

Here's a news flash from Ashley Steeple at Banff Pork Seminar (BPS) 2020 headquarters. "Registrations for Banff Pork Seminar 2020 are flowing in at a steady rate but hotel rooms at the conference center Banff Springs Hotel are moving very briskly," says the Seminar coordinator.

"If anyone is considering registering and needs a hotel room, it is a good idea to book as soon as possible," she says. "The convenience and other benefits of staying at the Banff Springs are hard to beat.

Full program details and registration information is available at the Seminar website Follow on Twitter @banffpork. Connect on Facebook /BanffPork.

News Release: North America's pork industry meets at Banff Pork Seminar 2020

Date posted: October 22, 2019

Entry deadline for Banff Pork Seminar Aherne Prize is Oct. 31, 2019

It is simply the best place to be in the pork industry in North America. The 2020 Banff Pork Seminar (BPS) runs Jan. 7 to 9 at the beautiful Banff Springs Hotel in Banff Alta.

"The fact that this is our 49th Seminar underlines the value to the industry," says BPS program co-chair Dr. Ruurd Zijlstra of the University of Alberta. "This seminar has remained a leader because it always brings the best speakers together.

"It is also unparalleled opportunity for networking and fun. That's because the event has really grown into Banff Pork Seminar Week, with companies and organizations using this as a destination to bring staff and clients together for related business meetings."

The 2020 theme is "External forces, internal solutions" says BPS program co-chair Dr. Michael Dyck of the University of Alberta. "We face strong external forces," he says. "How we respond, how we develop internal industry solutions will define our success.

"The plenary speakers at BPS 2020 bring new, current perspective on the hard issues while a host of speakers in the Breakout Sessions provide clear thinking and implementable ideas on the practical side of the industry."

Here's a session snapshot. Tuesday's welcome reception eases into the week. Wednesday's Joe Schwarcz of McGill University tackles "Sense, nonsense and science." Then Tiffany Lee of the North American Meat Institute talks "The alternative protein movement: A challenge or unique opportunity."

Thursday, Brett Stuart of Global AgriTrends talks "Global markets and trends. And Klaus Depner of the Friedrich Loeffler Institute will outline "How much we need to know about African Swine Fever to be able to prevent, control and eradicate." Thursday's BPS 2020 closing plenary session looks at the thorny and growing issue of wild boars in Canada.

Breakout sessions topics include liability and the producer, nutrition, vaccines and health, sow management, pig resilience and smart technology. Wednesday's breakouts features an innovators' session; Thursday that time slot features a session on cross culture communications.

Full program details and registration information is available at the Seminar website Follow on Twitter @banffpork. Connect on Facebook /BanffPork. Get complete Seminar coverage in a Special Meeting Report via the link on the Seminar site.

Student science abstract deadlines Oct. 31, 2019

Date posted: October 22, 2020

First prize winner, Victoria Seip, University of Guelph with Ben Willing

First prize winner, Victoria Seip, University of Guelph with Ben Willing

There is more profile for successful young scientists in all industries in today's highly communicative world. The R. O. Ball Young Scientist Award presented at the Banff Pork Seminar (BPS) each year is an example that has proven popular with young scientists across the continent.

The award is named after Dr. Ron Ball, a long-time researcher and former BPS program director. It recognizes graduate and undergraduate students who provide a best overall combination of good and relevant science, a well-written abstract and an excellent presentation.

Deadline for abstracts for the 2020 Banff Pork Seminar student competition is October 31, 2019.

News Release: Entry deadline for Banff Pork Seminar Aherne Prize is Oct. 31, 2019

News Release: Entry deadline for Banff Pork Seminar Aherne Prize is Oct. 31, 2019

Date posted: October 22, 2019

North America's pork industry has grown through innovation. This is highlighted in the annual Banff Pork Seminar (BPS) awarding of the F.X. Aherne Prize for Innovative Pork Production.

Researcher Dr. Ben Willing of the University of Alberta, chairs the BPS awards selection committee. He says BPS is always impressed with the creativity and quality of entries for the Aherne Prize.

Named after the late Dr. Frank Aherne, a professor of swine nutrition and production at the University of Alberta, the contest is open to owners, production managers, herdspeople or consultants in, or anyone who has developed an innovation relevant to the North American pork industry.

"That can include original solutions to pork production challenges or creative uses for known technology," says Willing, "and past winners have included innovations both large and small, complex and simple. All segments of the pork industry qualify. That includes feeding, breeding, ventilation, disease control and prevention, transportation, manure management, animal handling, facility or enterprise management, and pork quality and safety.

The prize includes free 2020 BPS conference registration, accommodation at the world-renowned Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel and travel assistance for the Banff Pork Seminar Jan. 7 to 9, 2020 for up to two innovators. That's a value of approximately $2,000 each. Perhaps equally satisfying is the recognition of having innovations featured at this world-renowned pork industry conference, says Willing.

Best place to find all contest details are on the Seminar website Entry deadline for the upcoming 2020 BPS Prize is Oct. 31, 2019.

Follow Banff Pork Seminar on Twitter @banffpork. Connect on Facebook /BanffPork. Get complete coverage in a Special Meeting Report of the 2020 Banff Pork Seminar, presented by communications partner Meristem. Find the special report link on the Seminar site home page

Banff Pork Seminar 2020: The search for the leadership edge

Date posted: October 22, 2019

North America's pork industry will meet at Banff Pork Seminar 2020

Welcome to Banff Pork Seminar (BPS) 2020.

Each year the Inside BPS Special Meeting Report is produced to take you "inside" the events and help you keep on top of developments. It's produced by Meristem editors in partnership with the Banff Pork Seminar (BPS) organizing committee.

The pork industry has brought an explosion of technology and techniques in recent years and the Banff Pork Seminar continues to be where the North American pork industry meets to find that leadership edge. Delegates will travel from across the continent and around the world launching the year with a search for knowledge, a hunger for networking and an opportunity for fun in this world renowned resort community and hotel.

The information in this Special Report – including blog items and news features – is designed to be available for use by media and industry, with credit to the source. These are a few key points.

The BPS hub. The best place to get everything you need to know about the 2020 Seminar, Jan. 7 to 9 is the Seminar website You can sign up for e-news advisories from Seminar coordinator, Ashley Steeple.

Inside BPS blog. These blog items will provide key information and perspective prior to, during and immediately following the 2020 seminar. Blog items are designed for use by media, industry communications specialists, producers and others in the industry. Simply provide a credit line to the Inside BPS Special Report and a live link to the Report.

News releases and news features. While these articles are primarily designed for media and industry communications specialists, they are available for anyone to use and are available for reprint. News releases can be used without requirement to provide credit. News features should be credited to the Banff Pork Seminar 2020 and linked to the Special Report.

Photos. Selected speaker photos are available for use. Credit Banff Pork Seminar.

Media assistance. As in past years, media assistance is available. You can find contact information and other key details under the "Media Assistance" link in the top right column of this Special Report web page.

Social media. Information and links to stories on BPS will also be featured on social media. Watch for regular updates under the #BanffPork hashtag. Follow the Banff Pork Seminar at Twitter handle @BanffPork and on the BPS Facebook Page. Follow Meristem at Twitter handle @NewStreamTweets.

Banff Pork Seminar organizers have worked hard to ensure each delegate's time in Banff is beneficial in a business sense and memorable on a personal level. Welcome to Banff Pork Seminar 2020.