Meristem Land and Science: Driving Progress in Sustainability


News articles available in Special Report from 2016 Banff Pork Seminar

Posted: January 15, 2015

The 2016 F. X. Aherne award for Innovative Pork Production is being shared by two winners. They received their awards Jan. 14 at the Banff Pork Seminar in Banff, Alta.

Sam Gelowitz of the Prairie Swine Centre in Saskatoon, Sask. received the award for an innovative carcass removal cart. Steve's Livestock Transport received the prize for a new hydraulic lift deck trailer.

"Innovation is the lifeblood of any industry and this prize recognizes individuals who have developed either original solutions to pork production challenges or creative uses of known technology," says Dr. Michael Dyck of the University of Alberta, chair of the F.X. Aherne prize committee. "With the quality of applicants it is not hard to see why this award is popular."

The prize is named after industry icon, the late Dr. Frank Aherne, a professor of swine nutrition and production at the University of Alberta in Edmonton and a major force for science-based progress in the western Canadian pork industry.

The carcass removal cart designed by Gelowitz is designed out of safety and ease of removal of dead sows and large grow finish pigs from the building. Previous carts use a vertical manual winch system to hoist the carcass, which became top heavy when transporting animals to the disposal site, and took a lot of manual labor.

The new design transports animals safely with a minimal amount of lifting by employees. The design uses a 2,000 pallet jack, a parcel and product rolling system and a 12 volt electric 2,000 lb. winch.

The pallet jack has excellent maneuverability allowing access to areas 30 in. in width and has zero turn radius to maneuver around sharp corners. The roller system eases the strain of moving animals onto the platform. The battery system is housed in an RV or marine storage unit for protection from the elements. A charger system keeps the battery charged at all times. Additional design elements add strength and help prevent the loaded cart from tipping over.

It all adds up to quick and easy removal of dead animals, less risk of staff injury and increased productivity.

The new hydraulic lift deck trailer from Steve's Livestock Transport was designed in conjunction with Wilson Trailer Company of Sioux City, Iowa.

The all-aluminum deck system has a powerful hydraulic lift cylinder and stainless steel cable system that raises two full length decks into locked position. It acts as an elevator to lift livestock into different deck levels, which eliminates ramp usage to enter or exit the trailer. That reduces animal fatigue, stress and injury during movement and improves meat quality.

The new design has other attributes. It has superior ventilation through the trailer and the common contamination areas are easier to wash out. Biosecurity is enhanced. Heavy duty gates contain and separate loads. The design is also physically easier on drivers.

The Banff Pork Seminar is coordinated by the Department of Agricultural, Food and Nutritional Science, University of Alberta, in cooperation with Alberta Pork, Alberta Agriculture and Forestry and other pork industry representatives from across Canada. A Special Report on the 2016 Seminar is available at www.banffpork.ca.