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Livestock Care Conference In April

Alberta’s Livestock Care Conference, the top forum on farm animal care in Canada, has expanded its format and added new features for this year’s event April 6-7 in Red Deer. The conference is hosted by Alberta Farm Animal Care (AFAC), a partnership of Alberta’s major livestock groups, with a mandate to promote responsible, humane animal care within the livestock industry.

“Innovation and progress in farm animal care has arguably never been more important to how the livestock industry prepares for a successful future,” says AFAC Chair, Doug Sawyer, who runs a cow-calf and backgrounder operation in the Pine Lake, Alta., area. “Animal care is our responsibility and our opportunity. It’s something we take pride in. It’s also something that is absolutely critical for the long term sustainability of Canada’s livestock industry, both domestically and globally.”

AFAC’s role has always been to promote progress and dialogue on farm animal care, and the long running annual Livestock Care Conference is the showcase event of that effort, says Lorna Baird, AFAC Executive Director. This year’s theme — Embracing Changes in Animal Welfare — captures that progressive attitude.

“The people who come to our conference share two things: They care about farm animals and care about our industry,” says Baird. “It’s a place where everyone from producers to community members can get an annual check-up on how we’re doing, and learn from one another to keep getting better.”

The Livestock Care Conference is open to anyone with an interest in farm animal care, typically drawing a broad cross section of producers, industry, researchers, students, government and others. Registration is available online at www.afac.ab.ca or by calling 403-662-8050. Early bird registration discounts are available before March 15. Group discounts are also available. The conference will be held at the Holiday Inn on 67th Street in Red Deer -6500 67th St. For reservations call 1 800-661-4961.

In addition to the event’s traditional core, single-day speaker agenda on April 7, conference participants are also invited on April 6 to attend the AFAC AGM and an evening wine and cheese reception that will feature research posters presented by students from the University of Calgary and University of Alberta. This extended platform is aimed in part to encourage engagement in AFAC activities and highlight the critical importance of research progress.

The format is also designed to allow more time for networking and dialogue, says Baird. “A very important part of the conference is the opportunity for everyone to come together, to exchange experiences, knowledge and ideas,” says Baird. “Often it is the conversations around the formal agenda that provide some of the best inspirations for innovation and progress.”

Key topics on the conference agenda include progress toward new farm animal welfare codes of practice, issues in crisis management, and new opportunities in social media communications. Breakout and panel discussions including researchers and industry leaders are also featured. In addition, annual Awards of Distinction will be presented to recipients who have demonstrated outstanding contributions to farm animal care progress. More details on speakers and agenda will be available closer to the conference.

MoreinformationonAFACandtheLivestock CareConferenceisavailableatwww.afac. ab.ca. Thisincludesinformationonposter proposalsubmissions,andsponsorshipand exhibitoropportunities

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