USA - Livestock and meat agency projects help drive change in the industry

This pilot project benefits the entire industry by demonstrating that the producer is able to save a lot of money while limiting the environmental impacts.
Tuesday 24 November 2009 (9 years 1 months 29 days ago)
When you ask hog producer Will Kingma how his new liquid hog manure processing facility will benefit his operations, it’s obvious he’s happy with the new addition.

“It’s going to really transform things around here,” Kingma said about the Alberta Livestock and Meat Industry (ALMA)-funded project. “This is undoubtedly going to save me thousands of dollars, but will be good for the land around me too.”

Kingma said this pilot project benefits the entire industry by demonstrating that the producer is able to save a lot of money while limiting the environmental impacts.

“It’s a win-win,” he said.

Kingdom Farms, an 1,800-head hog operation in Bentley, Alberta, is half way through construction of a pilot livestock water recycling system installed on its homebase. This technology, which was developed in Alberta, will utilize the 250,000 litres of hog manure produced yearly and will convert up to 75 per cent of that manure into water for agricultural
and ethanol production. The facility will also significantly reduce odours from the farm and could reduce about 5,000 metric tonnes of CO2 each year. For this $900,000 project, ALMA is contributing more than $230,000 to Kingdom Farms.

Just by not having to haul this manure that is being used, Kingma said he could potentially save close to $250,000 per year on his bottom line - not including reduced truck traffic and environmental benefits. The benefits of this project will also include savings of up to $10 per finished hog.

“ALMA really helped me out with this one,” Kingma said. “By putting this waste to good use, I’m saving a lot.”

“It was an easy decision to provide funding for this project because it addresses one of ALMA’s key priorities of increasing competitiveness for our producers by driving change in the industry,” said ALMA CEO Gordon Cove. “It’s the first commercial application of this great technology in Alberta.”

Kingdom Farms isn’t the only pork-related project receiving financing from ALMA. The agency is also funding a pilot project to look at various production standards, which are recognized by buyers as part of their quality assurance programs.

“With this project we are going to explore the definition of certified producer standards for hog farms in this province,” said Stuart McKie, a policy specialist with Alberta Pork. “This includes food safety, biosecurity and animal care. This project will get producers more money for their product. It’ll be a ticket to get your product onto the retail shelf.”

While this project involves Alberta Pork, Alberta Milk and Canada Gold Beef, McKie said the project and its partners were pulled together by ALMA.

“It has been a team job and ALMA put this team together,” McKie added.

ALMA has received 244 applications since April 1, 2009 of which 84 have been approved, 40 have been contracted and 125 are pending.

ALMA is a catalyst organization focused on achieving an internationally competitive and profitable livestock and meat industry. It has a $30-million suite of programs aimed at helping move the industry forward. Its five programs include:

international market development; value-added market development; automation and lean manufacturing; business and product development; research and development; industry development; and on-farm technology adaptation.

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