A big part of the upcoming Calgary Stampede July 8-17 is the role of the event as a celebration of western heritage, including both western events and agriculture. More than ever it also a showcase of innovation in both areas.
The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth has made strong advances in leadership on the issue of animal care, setting an example for western events around the world. Key examples are the Calgary Stampede's own animal care code of practice, developed under the direction of leading experts, and its innovative Fitness to Compete program.
The level of sophistication in animal care is increasing across the board and new examples are emerging every year. One of the latest examples is the rising trend of "nutritional therapy" approaches for performance animals such as the elite equine teams.
At sermo.farm, we are fortunate to work with DeStress Nutritional Technology,a pioneer in advancing nutritional therapy technology both for performance animals and farm animals. A major focus with DeStress is protecting animals from the damaging effects of stress experienced in a variety of situations, such as transport, handling, regrouping, parturition, weaning and performance.
DeStress formulations, for example DeStress Equine, DeStress Ruminants and DeStress Swine, include bio-based nutrition components such as energy sources, electrolytes and bypass amino acids, custom tailored to support, maintain and replenish critical nutritional needs. they also trigger additional positive and calming physiological responses such as serotonin release.
"Sports teams have long realized the importance of optimized nutritional strategies to support well being and performance," says Chance Butterfield, a professional steer wrestler from Ponoka and a DeStress Nutritional Technology sales representative. "This is an area where we have yet to take full advantage with performance and farm animals. But the same principles and advantages apply."
At sermo.farm we are also fortunate to work as part of the team with another leader in animal care innovation, Alberta Farm Animal Care (AFAC). Started in 1993 by Alberta livestock producers, AFAC is an industry-led organization whose purpose is to support the Alberta livestock industry by promoting awareness and encouraging progress on matters of farm animal care. Most of the major livestock organizations in Alberta are members of AFAC, along with additional groups involved with animal agriculture and farm animal care such as the veterinary community and academic / research institutions. Watch for some exciting news this summer on new AFAC initiatives. If you are visiting Calgary Stampede, be sure to stop by the AFAC display booth in the agriculture building (View latest updates live from CS via AFAC Twitter.)