The 22nd Red Deer Swine Technology Workshop returned virtually, free-of-charge, for two afternoons, on Wednesday, October 20 and Thursday, October 21, 2021, following a one-year hiatus. The 2021 edition of the event took place via Zoom.

Full recordings


Agenda and presentations

Wednesday, October 20

Noon Sign-on and sponsor recognition
12:30 p.m. Welcome & Introductions

Alastair Bratton

12:40 p.m. PIC video clip

Speaker introduction by Alastair Bratton

12:45 p.m. Pre-wean mortality

Jessica Law

1:25 p.m. Speaker introduction by AgSafe Alberta
1:30 p.m. Ventilation Management, Balancing Efficiency and Health

Rich Smith

2:00 p.m. Speaker introduction by Fortified Nutrition
2:05 p.m. Hitting the Grid – Balancing Feed Cost Against Index and Targets

Ken Engele

2:35 p.m. Speaker introduction by Immigration Care
2:40 p.m. African Swine Fever

Christa Arsenault & Keith Lehman

3:10 p.m. Wrap-up

Thursday, October 21

Noon Sign-on and sponsor recognition
12:30 p.m. Welcome & Introductions

Alastair Bratton

12:40 p.m. Speaker introduction by Farmers Depot
12:45 p.m. Profit Robbers

Alastair Bratton

1:10 p.m. Speaker introduction by Precision Veterinary Services
1:15 p.m. Reproductive Efficiencies

Jennifer Patterson

1:45 p.m. Speaker introduction by Prairie Livestock Veterinarians
1:50 p.m. Sow Mortality

Chris Rademacher

2:30 p.m. Speaker introduction by Nutrition Partners
2:35 p.m. Feed Ingredients and Low-Cost Options

Dan Bussières

3:15 p.m. Wrap-up

Presenter biographies

Arsenault, Christa

Christa Arsenault took on the role of National African Swine Fever (ASF) Coordinator in April 2021, working for the National Farmed Animal Health and Welfare (NFAHW) Council. She has been involved in the swine industry since graduating from the Ontario Veterinary College in 2006. Most will know her through one or more of her previous and ongoing roles, including: working as a private practicing veterinarian in a mixed animal practice; working as a veterinary inspector at the district level in Ontario with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA); Lead Veterinarian in the Animal Health and Welfare Branch, working for the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA); Board member for the Ontario Association of Swine Veterinarians (OASV), during which time she held the role of President twice; Swine Health Ontario (SHO) leadership team ex-officio member; Co-lead for the Ontario Animal Health Swine Network (OAHN); and Manager of the Canadian Swine Health Intelligence Network (CSHIN). Christa has been involved in the ASF planning and preparedness file for the past two years, so she is well integrated into the ongoing work involved in this file. Christa, along with the ASF coordination team, has been working hard on connecting the dots of ASF planning and preparedness at the national, provincial and industry levels, with the goal of moving these initiatives forward. Coordination will be provided to address any gaps that exist, and communication to all stakeholders will be a main priority.

Bratton, Alastair

Alastair Bratton started working with pigs in a weekend position on a PIC multiplier unit in the U.K. He completed a degree in animal science at Harper Adams University and then worked on a range of farms for different companies covering sows, nursery, and finishing on both indoor and outdoor farms. Before moving to Canada in 2006, he was a production manager for British Quality Pork, overseeing 10 different contract farms with 8,000 sows. He moved to Alberta as a site manager, then moved into a production manager role in 2010. He currently oversees multiple sow and nursery sites for Olymel in southern Alberta. Alastair has co-written multiple papers, consulted with many different companies, and has sat on the Alberta Pork Congress board of directions, as well as the Red Deer Swine Technology Workshop organizing committee for the past eight years.

Bussières, Dan

Dan Bussières, a swine nutritionist, graduated in 1996 from Laval University in Quebec and co-founded Groupe Cérès Inc. in 2004. The company, based in Lévis, outside of Quebec City, specializes in all areas of swine production. Groupe Cérès services include consulting services in swine production, production and distribution of breeding stock and sales of nutritional products. The company is also involved in swine production, managing a network of more than 300,000 pigs annually. Dan works on the development and monitoring of nutrition programs for swine producers all over Canada. Groupe Cérès Inc. and its affiliates influence the feeding of more than 5.5 million pigs annually, which includes nutrition consulting, along with research and development, for Manitoba-based HyLife. Dan is also involved with nutrition and production consultation for Tianzow: a breeding company based in China with 80,000 sows. Dan works with many industry partners to conduct field research projects aimed at developing new feed programs to optimize the performances of pigs, their profitability, and to improve meat quality. Today, Groupe Cérès and its other business partners employ more than 100 people committed to working with Canadian-produced pigs.

Engele, Ken

Ken Engele currently serves as the Manager of Information Services at for Prairie Swine Centre. His position is focused on extension – specifically, bringing research results to the Canadian pork industry.  Responsibilities include delivering communication programming through multiple forms, such as print, personal, electronic and on-farm demonstration, in addition to developing and optimizing an economic model that estimates the economic benefit for producers to adopt research into their operations. Overall, Ken has spent 20 years in the Canadian pork industry in the areas of research and commercial production. He is a graduate of the University of Saskatchewan and continues to operate a grain and beef operation with his family near Carmel, Saskatchewan, east of Saskatoon.

Law, Jessica

Jessica Law graduated from the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Calgary. She joined Prairie Swine Health Services after graduation to pursue production animal medicine. In practice, Jessica enjoys working to improve herd health and performance through preventative herd health programs, reproduction, biosecurity, welfare assessments and disease investigations. Her passions lie in pathology, epidemiology and theriogenology. Jessica is currently serving as the vice-president of both the Western Canadian Association of Swine Veterinarians and the Canadian Association of Swine Veterinarians. In 2018, Jessica received the Rising Star Award at the Alberta Pork Congress.

Lehman, Keith

Keith Lehman graduated from the University of Alberta with a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture in 1994 and from the Western College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Saskatchewan in 1999. Keith has worked in private, mixed animal practice and at both the federal and provincial levels of government. He is currently serving as Alberta’s Chief Provincial Veterinarian, a position he’s held since July 2016. He served as chair of the Council of Chief Veterinary officers in 2017 and 2018 and currently serves as a representative of that group on the National Farmed Animal Health and Welfare (NFAHW) Council.

Patterson, Jennifer

Jennifer Patterson is a Research Associate with Livestock Gentec at the University of Alberta. She received her Master of Animal Science from the University of Alberta, specializing in Gilt Management and Reproduction. She plays a key technical leadership role in the Pork Production Efficiency Initiative within the Livestock Gentec mandate. Jennifer conducts innovative basic research projects focused on improving breeding herd management at the production level and works closely with industry partners to support the implementation of management practices to improve efficiencies and sow lifetime productivity, providing technical advice and consultation on reproductive management of the breeding herd.

Rademacher, Chris

Chris Rademacher is a Clinical Professor and Swine Extension Veterinarian in the Veterinary Diagnostic and Production Animal Medicine (VDPAM) department at the Iowa State University (ISU) College of Veterinary Medicine. Chris is also Associate Director of the Iowa Pork Industry Center at ISU. Chris received his Bachelor of Science and Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from the University of Minnesota in 1998. Following graduation, he joined New Fashion Pork as Director of Health Services. In 2009, he joined Murphy-Brown Western Operations (Smithfield Foods) as the Director of Production Improvement. In 2014, he accepted the position of Swine Extension Veterinarian at ISU. He has led programming efforts in Common Swine Industry Audit, VFD antibiotic regulations and, most recently, Foreign Animal Disease Producer Preparation for the Iowa Pork Industry Center, as well as research on strategic antibiotic use, porcine epidemic diarrhea (PED), porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS) and Senecavirus A.

Smith, Rich

Rich Smith is an agricultural engineer with more than 40 years’ experience dealing with the policy, regulatory, stewardship and resource management issues facing livestock operations. He has worked extensively on policies, regulations, approvals, design, construction, and management for these operations. He was born and raised in the Calgary area and received a Bachelor and Master of Agricultural Engineering from the University of Alberta. Rich began his career as a Regional Agricultural Engineer with Saskatchewan Agriculture and then spent 16 years in the same position with Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development in Airdrie. He joined the private sector in 1997 as the Barn Division Manager with Laden Industrial Equipment in Innisfail. Rich followed this experience with three years at Sunterra Farms in Acme, and four years as Manager, Engineering & Environment, with Elite Swine Inc. in Strathmore. Rich joined Alberta Beef Producers (ABP) as the Environmental Manager in 2005 and served as the Executive Director from 2007 until his retirement in 2020.  In addition to his specific duties with Alberta Beef, Rich has also contributed to a wide range of agricultural industry groups. He is an agriculture industry representative on the Board of Directors of the Clean Air Strategic Alliance (CASA) in Alberta. He was a member of the management team of the Intensive Livestock Working Group (ILWG) and sat on the Alberta Agriculture and Forestry & Natural Resources Conservation Board (NRCB) Policy Advisory Group and Technical Advisory Group. He is a member of the Ag for Life board of directors.

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