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Banff Pork Seminar awards Aherne Innovation Prize

Banff Pork banff award 2021.jpg
Innovative safety bracelet grip control for power washers in the barn wins the top award this year.

A Quebec pork industry employee, Martin Gosselin of Saint-Isidore, Quebec, is the winner of the F X Aherne Prize for Innovative Pork Production at the 2021 Banff Pork Seminar. The award was presented Jan. 7, 2021 by Ben Willing, University of Alberta professor and chair of the awards committee. 

Gosselin, who works with the Quebec-based feed company Agri-Marche, won his award for an innovative “safety bracelet” grip control for power washers in the barn.  Power washers require enormous force and the repetitive effort required by workers to control them can lead to a range of occupational health issues for workers.

Typically, these washing wands are controlled with some makeshift holders or not at all. Drawing from ideas he saw in the watercraft, snowmobile and cycling industry, Gosselin designed a grip that allows the worker to hold and fully control the trigger without undue strain. It also ensures its safe use by allowing easy shut down of the equipment.

“That simple but effective solution is a fitting winner for the Aherne Prize,” said Willing. “This prize honors individuals who have developed either original solutions to pork production challenges or creative uses of known technology. Those grassroots inventions draw widespread interest because they make a real difference in production.” 

Frank Aherne, who the award is named after, was a professor at the University of Alberta and a major force for science-based progress in the Canadian pork industry.

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.


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