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Kolk Farms named Western Feedlot of the Year

NewsMakers from the October 23, 2017 issue of Canadian Cattlemen

Brian Good (l) of the Canadian Angus Association presents the award to Jordan and Megan Kolk.
Dr. Joyce Van Donkersgoed. photo: Supplied

Dr. Joyce Van Donkersgoed of Coaldale, Alta., has been named the 2017 recipient of the Metacam 20 Bovine Welfare Award for her leadership in the Canadian beef industry to improve the welfare of feedlot animals. The award is presented annually by the Canadian Association of Bovine Veterinarians (CABV)) in partnership with Boehringer Ingelheim (Canada). She received the award at the 50th annual conference of the American Association of Bovine Practitioners in Omaha, Nebraska. Van Donkersgoed operates a private feedlot practice in southern Alberta where she provides emergency, herd health and production services, and research and regulatory services to her clients. She was also instrumental in developing the Canadian Feedlot Animal Care Assessment tool for auditing animal welfare, which has been certified by the Professional Animal Auditor Certification Organization. It is the first certified audit designed for the feedlot segment of the food production industry.

Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP) has awarded six $500 bursaries to members, or the children of members, who are attending university, college, other post-secondary institutions, or training for a trade. Preference is given to students who are pursuing a career related to agriculture. This year’s winners are: Naomi Best from Harding, Bethan Amy Lewis from Kirkella, Cassidy Gordon from Sonns, Allison Sorrell from Kenton, Connor English from Rivers and Kaitlyn Davey from Westbourne.

Dr. David 
Christensen. photo: Supplied

The Saskatchewan Forage Council has honoured Dr. David Christensen as the 2017 recipient of its Forage Industry Innovation Award. Christensen, an emeritus profes­sor at the University of Saskatch­­ewan, has been a visible presence on the forage scene in Sask­atchewan for the past 56 years.

At it annual meeting the Saskatchewan Forage Council elected Tamara Carter, a beef, forage and grain producer from Lacadena as its new president. She replaces Dave Kerr, a beef producer from Lashburn. Joining her on the board are researchers Bruce Coulman and Greg Penner from the University of Saskatchewan, Mike Schellenberg with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, producers Aaron Ivey of Ituna, Steve Pylot from Meadow Lake, Nathan Siklenka of Glaslyn and Mark McNinch of Mervin, Trevor Plews with Ducks Unlimited, Sarah Sommerfield with the Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture, Allan VanCaeseele with Brett Young Seeds and Garret Hill of Duval representing the Saskatchewan Cattlemen’s Association.

Alberta Barley has named Tom Steve, the general manager of the Alberta Wheat Commission (AWC), as its interim manager. The appointment may be a first step in amalgamating the two associations. The respective boards of AWC and Alberta Barley are currently assessing the feasibility of amalgamating their entire management teams over the next four months.

Earlier this month the board of directors at Alberta Farm Animal Care were still reviewing applications for a new executive director as a replacement for Dr. Angela Rouillard who finished the term of her contract in June.

The Canadian Cattle Identification Agency has become the administrator for traceability records for the National Goat Federation on the assumption that the Canadian Food Inspection Agency will include meat, dairy and fibre goats in its traceability regulation when they are published. The CFIA is expected to announce the final version of its proposed regulations in 2018.

The Canadian Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA) celebrated Animal Health Week October 1 to 7 by drawing attention to the important role animal owners play in animal welfare through sharing the five animal freedoms they require to survive and thrive: adequate shelter, proper nutrition, appropriate veterinary care, proper socialization, and the ability to exhibit normal behaviours.

The Canadian Angus Association has named Kolk Farms Ltd. of Iron Springs, Alta., as its 2017 Western Feedlot of the Year (see photo at top). Kolk Farms is a family-owned feedlot operated by Leighton Kolk, his wife Elinor and their children Jordan, Devan, and Megan. They operate three feed yards with a total capacity of 18,000 head and produces roughly 20 million pounds of beef per year on 4,000 acres of dry and irrigated farmland. The family incorporates low-stress handling into its operations to maintain a high standard of animal welfare.

Kolk Farms is one of five feedlot operations that joined together to feed 100,000 cattle designated for the Certified Angus Beef program.

The Canadian Angus Association introduced the Feedlot of the Year award in 2010 to recognize feedlots that feed Canadian Angus-tagged cattle.

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