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Canadian pork innovator honored at 2009 Banff Pork Seminar


January 23, 2009
By Banff Pork Seminar

pigawardJanuary 23, 2009, Banff, Alb. – A Canadian pork industry innovator was
recognized for his efforts to improve water conservation and reduce
emissions from hog farms at the 2009 Banff Pork Seminar, held Jan.
20-23.

January 23, 2009, Banff, Alb. – A Canadian pork industry innovator was recognized for his efforts to improve water conservation and reduce emissions from hog farms at the 2009 Banff Pork Seminar, held Jan. 20-23.

pigaward
Ruurd Zijlstra, (left), Ross Thurston, (centre) Livestock Water
Recycling Inc. and Gareth Jenkins (right) Livestock Water Recycling Inc.

The F.X. Aherne Prize for Innovative Pork Production honors Canadian pork industry members who have developed either original solutions to pork production challenges or creative uses of known technology. The winner of this year's prize is Ross Thurston of Livestock Water Recycling (LWR) Inc. in Calgary, Alberta for his Swinewater livestock manure treatment system.

The continuous loop Swinewater System conserves water for farming operations, filtering manure-rich wastewater to the point where it is available for reuse as wash water or livestock drinking water. It also removes solids from the water that are later converted into fertilizer. In the process, it helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions by decreasing the discharge of ammonia and phosphorus into the soil.

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“Setting up safe, clean manure management systems has become one of the biggest challenges facing the pork industry today,” explained Ruurd Zijlstra, chair of the F.X. Aherne Prize selection committee. “Meanwhile, the conservation of water and soil and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions have become key issues in the pork industry from an environmental, social, and even marketing perspective.

“Innovations such as Ross Thurston’s Swinewater System help minimize the risk of potential water shortages in the livestock industry and help show consumers that pork producers are acting responsibly in their management practices.”

By association, the awards honor their namesake, the late Dr. Frank Aherne. Dr. Aherne was a professor of swine nutrition and production at the University of Alberta in Edmonton and a driving force in the western Canadian pork industry for many years until his death in 2005.

“A recurring theme of Frank’s career was the development of valuable, applicable concepts and technologies,” says Zijlstra. “The pork industry continues to benefit from many of these innovations today.”


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