Aherne Award Past Winners

2017 Dr. F.X. Aherne Prize Winner


Winner of the F. X. Aherne Award for Innovative Pork Production at the 2017 Banff Pork Seminar, Bill Rempel from Blue Water Wash in Blumenort, MB.  

Bill Rempel of Blue Water Wash accepted the award for the company’s innovative new heavy equipment undercarriage wash. There has never been a way to wash all organic material from underneath livestock trailers. Organic material has the potential to carry and spread diseases which is a threat to our industry. Blue Water Wash has researched and developed an undercarriage wash which is operational in our new state of the art drive through wash bays in our Blumenort, MB facility.

The System uses 24 high pressure spinning nozzles along with 90 GPM of water to thoroughly clean the underside of any livestock trailer that runs through it. To finish off the undercarriage wash, disinfectant is then applied to the underside of the trailer as it exits the wash bay.

2016 Dr. F.X. Aherne Prize Winners


Winner of the F. X. Aherne award for Innovative Pork Production at the 2016 Banff Pork Seminar, Sam Gelowitz from Prairie Swine Centre in Saskatoon, SK.  

Sam Gelowitz from the Prairie Swine Centre received the award for an innovative carcass removal cart. The carcass removal cart is designed out of safety and ease of removal of dead sows and large grow finish pigs from the building. Previous carts use a vertical manual winch system to hoist the carcass, which became top heavy when transporting animals to the disposal site, and took a lot of manual labor. The new design transports animals safely with a minimal amount of lifting by employees. The design uses a 2,000 pallet jack, a parcel and product rolling system and a 12 volt electric 2,000 lb. winch.


Winner of the F. X. Aherne award for Innovative Pork Production at the 2016 Banff Pork Seminar, Steve Brandt from Steve’s Livestock Transport in  Blumenort, MB

Steve’s Livestock Transport received the prize for a new hydraulic lift deck trailer. The new hydraulic lift deck trailer was designed in conjunction with Wilson Trailer Company of Sioux City, Iowa. The all-aluminum deck system has a powerful hydraulic lift cylinder and stainless steel cable system that raises two full length decks into locked position. It acts as an elevator to lift livestock into different deck levels, which eliminates ramp usage to enter or exit the trailer. That reduces animal fatigue, stress and injury during movement and improves meat quality.

2015 Dr. F.X. Aherne Prize Winners


Winner of the F. X. Aherne award for Innovative Pork Production at the 2015 Banff Pork Seminar, Greg Feenstra (left) and Dave Uttecht (right) of Heartland Pork, LLC in Alpena, South Dakota. 

Greg Feenstra and Dave Uttecht of Heartland Pork won for their "EZ Tub" hog handling innovation which significantly reduces stress on animals and people. The E Z Tub circular tub-style design works with pigs’ natural response patterns to aid in the loading of market hogs. The pen and gate configuration lets the handler work where hogs can see them and uses the pigs’ circling behavior to set up a flow onto the trailer. That reduces stress and produces fewer discounts for injured animals at the packing plant.


Winner of the F. X. Aherne award for Innovative Pork Production at the 2015 Banff Pork Seminar, Lyle & Maaike Campbell of Birnam Pork, Arkona,  Ontario. 

Lyle and Maaike Campbell of Birnam Pork won for an innovative piglet weigh scale which boosted profitability in that operation. The Campbells’ innovative solution to weighing young piglets was low cost and had a direct benefit on their bottom line. Birnam Pork produces weaned piglets that excel in the grower-finish phase of pork production. They needed some way to weigh those piglets so they could ensure they were meeting marketing objectives and getting paid for their efforts.


2014 Dr. F.X. Aherne Prize Winner


The winner of the F. X. Aherne award for Innovative Pork Production at the 2014 Banff Pork Seminar is, at right, Helmut Janz of Maple Leaf.

Helmut Janz is a Barn Manager with Maple Leaf in Zhoda, Manitoba. He developed the "piglet processing arm", which gently and safely holds the animal and allows it to be pivoted and rotated during the handling process. With this new tool, processing tasks such as injections, tattooing, castrating, tail docking and oral drenching can now all be done with the piglet in the cradle by swiveling the arm to the correct position. Because the piglet can be processed without being held and squeezed by staff, there is less stress on the animal. Processing tasks are also safer for employees by eliminating the potential for many repetitive stress and strain injuries.


2013 Dr. F.X. Aherne Prize Winners


Winners of the F. X. Aherne award for innovative pork production at the 2013 Banff pork Seminar include, left to right: Pascal Forest, and Serge Labrecque, of Conception Ro-Main Inc., St-Bernard, Que; Mathieu Couture of Agri-Marche Inc. St-Isidore Que.; Dr. Michael Dyck F. X. Aherne Award committee chair; Joel Wurz of Bench Colony, ShaunavonSask.; and Sylven Blouin, of Agri-Marche Inc.

Innovation is the lifeblood of the pork industry as it builds a new path to the future. Three examples of innovative thinking were showcased as the Banff Pork Seminar presented the annual F.X. Aherne Prize.

"Each of the winners have provided unique and valuable contributions to improve pork production," says Dr. Michael Dyck of the University of Alberta, chair of the F.X. Aherne prize committee.

On hand to accept awards were:

Agri-Marche Inc. Presented to Serge Labrecque and Pascal Forest of Agri-Marche Inc., St-Isidore Que. Recognized for development of a temperature controlled semen conservation unit for delivery vehicles.

2013 Aherne Prize Winners
Mathieu Couture, left, and Sylven Blouin, center, of Agri-Marche Inc. St-Isidore Que., and Dr. Michael Dyck, F. X. Aherne Awards chair, right

Conception Ro-Main Inc. Presented to Serge, Robert and Germain Labrecque of Conception Ro-Main Inc., St-Bernard, Que. Awarded for creation of an ’intelligent’ heat lamp controller and piglet creep system. 

2013 Aherne Prize Winners
Pascal Forest, left, and Serge Labrecque, right, of Conception Ro-Main Inc., St-Bernard, Que. with Dr. Michael Dyck F. X. Aherne Award committee chair, center.


Bench Colony.
 Presented to Joel and Ron Wurz of Bench Colony, near ShaunavonSask. Earned for development of a device to hold pit plugs in place.

2013 Aherne Prize Winners
Dr. Michael Dyck, F. X. Aherne Awards chair, left, Joel Wurz of Bench Colony, ShaunavonSask.
 

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2004 Prize Winners