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F.X. Aherne prizes awarded at the Banff Pork Seminar

Garrett Gerbrandt of the Puratone Corporation in Niverville is one of three pork industry innovators honoured with the F.X. Aherne prize for innovative pork production, presented at the 2012 Banff Pork Seminar, held Jan. 17-20.

Gerbrandt received the award for his invention of unique, livestock-friendly loading plates for finishing farms, which are used throughout the Puratone corporate farm system.

Dale Heptonstall of Sunterra Farms in Acme, Alta. earned the prize for his invention of a tail-docking length guide for farrowing. The guide improved consistency of application of protocols and supported better communication between farrowing and finishing departments, which in turn supported improved production efficiency. The guide also supports overall high standards of animal care.

Mary Haugh and Peter Jones of LMR Inc. in Listowel, Ont. received the award for their invention of the “Longarm” — a uniquely designed animal-handling tool that requires up to 70 per cent less time to clear a pen. It supports easier, faster and safer animal handling.

Held since 1972 in Banff, Alberta, the Banff Pork Seminar is co-ordinated by the department of agricultural, food and nutritional science, University of Alberta, in co-operation with Alberta Pork, Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development and other pork industry representatives from across Canada. More information on this year’s conference is available at



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