A swine restraint device and a micro-climate technology for pigs were the winners of the F. X. Aherne Prize for Innovative Pork Production at the 2020 Banff Pork Seminar. Tess Faulkner and Gillian Greaves of South West Ontario Veterinary Services in Stratford, Ont. accepted the award for Hammock and Amos Petersen and Chris Hansen of FarrPro Inc. in Iowa City, Iowa accepted the award for FarrPro Haven.The awards were presented by Ben Willing, University of Alberta, chair of the F. X. Aherne Prize committee.
The Hammock restrains the pig to allow both the operator and the animal to relax. Instead of using a sorting board or their body to restrain the animal, animal care staff is able to place the piglet into the restraint, keeping both hands free to safely operate euthanasia devices like a captive bolt gun, ensuring accurate placement.
FarrPro's Haven unit is a heat and light supplementation platform for use in farrowing crates. It creates a draft free microclimate allowing it to deliver highly efficient heat energy to the litters. It promotes healthy creep behavior while significantly reducing pre-wean mortality and energy use.
"The Aherne Prize recognizes individuals who have developed either original solutions to pork production challenges or creative uses of known technology," says Willing. "There is no better place to celebrate industry innovation than the Banff Pork Seminar and we are pleased to acknowledge grassroots inventiveness in the pork industry."
The late Frank Aherne, a professor at the University of Alberta, was 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.
More complete details and photos of the winners are available in the Inside BPS Special Report available by link from the 2020 Seminar website.