Dylan and Colleen Biggs of TK Ranch were two of the recipients of awards of distinction at the recent Livestock Care Conference hosted by Alberta Farm Animal Care.
The Hanna-area ranchers were recognized for their long-term commitment to animal welfare and sustainably produced food, which has served as a model approach inspiring the progress of many others. This has included hosting clinics on low-stress livestock handling, promoting a range of additional best practices, and always taking time to help others improve.
“The ability of the Biggs to change how people view their own approaches when working livestock has made a profound difference on many operations,” said livestock producer Owen Nelson, who nominated TK Ranch for the award.
“The clinics give practical hands-on experience to each participant so they leave with tools they can use at home. Everyone feels welcome and takes something away from the clinics.”
TK Ranch has made animal welfare an integral part of its business since the ranch began direct marketing in 1995, and it became the first ranch in Alberta to be audited under the Animal Welfare Approved Standards.
Also receiving awards were Ric Henderson, director of community & protective services with Red Deer County, and Jenna Griffin, industry development officer for Egg Farmers of Alberta.
Henderson has been a champion for raising awareness of the province’s fleet of emergency livestock-handling trailers. Red Deer County had the first of these specialized trailers in the province.
Griffin has been the driving force behind several significant enhancements for Alberta’s egg and poultry industries, including a two-year project to design a new Modified Atmospheric Chamber Cart, which provides egg farmers in Alberta access to advanced gassing technology. Another has been her efforts to advance the evaluation of a progressive Low Atmospheric Pressure Stunning system.