New Standard Ag took on a renovation project located at Greenwald Colony, in Brokenhead, Manitoba, Canada. The renovations started in early January 2020. Before renovations, it was servicing 1200 head of sow. The crew and the client worked to get the barn fully empty in March. Renovations were completed and filled with sows at the beginning of August 2021. This was a great example of the fine eye for detail, taking advantage of space, and utilizing the whole facility to its full potential.
The University of Alberta, a top 5 Canadian University, was ready to update their sow stall barn into an ESF. They contacted the team at New Standard to begin the design process. By the Spring of 2018, they had finalized the plans. They needed a design for 120 head of sow. The team was in contact with Jay Willis, the Research Stations Manager, Faculty of Agricultural, Life and Environmental Sciences.
In recent discussions, we have been fairly nostalgic. Spending time thinking about where we came from can be helpful in figuring out where we are going. Also, as we have many relationships and conversations with our European neighbors, we are reminded that at least here in the US, we are behind in some of the latest in terms of animal well-being. This is not to say everyone is behind, but as a whole, compared with Scandinavia and Europe we have areas we can still improve and grow in to.
We recently were able to talk with our good friend Mikael Kirk of AgriSys based in Denmark. Mikael founded ArgiSys in 2009 and has experience with transitioning many barns to ESF as well as new projects all over the world.
When I was asked to write an article reflecting on recent advancements in the pork production industry, I was first forced to evaluate where we were ten years ago. That was a reasonably straightforward exercise for me, as my son is currently ten years old—but where were we as an industry? Here are a few things that came to mind. They help explain the advancements in both the pork industry and our daily lives.
It should go without saying, but the idea and ethos behind group housing is to get sows out of stalls.
The industry's move toward greater transparency in our animal husbandry practices has coincided with increasing public concern over meat sources. This pressure, combined with an industry adopted Code of Practice (since 2014) in Canada, and various legislative initiatives in some states is leading more and more producers to move to group housing over stalls.
Olymel L.P. is Canada's leader in the production, processing and distribution of pork and poultry meats and is Canada’s largest hog producer. The company has made feeding the world its mission, which it pursues passionately with products of impeccable quality. The company employs over 12,000 people and has production and processing facilities in Quebec, Ontario, Alberta, New Brunswick and Saskatchewan. Olymel exports nearly a third of its total sales. Its annual sales are on the order of $3.5 billion.