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MEET THE COUNCIL: MODIFICATIONS WORTH MAKING

The Beef Cattle Research Council (BCRC) is made up of producer members from across Canada, appointed by each of the provincial beef organizations that allocate part of the Canadian Beef Cattle Check-Off  to research. The number of members from each province is proportional to the amount of provincial check-off allocated to research. 

The following is part six in a series to introduce you to this group of innovative thinkers that set BCRC’s direction by sharing practices, strategies, or technologies that they have integrated into their own operations. Read  the past installments in this series.  

Most Canadian beef cattle producers have goals they are working towards on their operation. Sometimes progress involves making major changes, while other times it involves slow and steady adjustments to everyday practices. These two council members have made modifications to improve and advance their operations.  

Attention to Detail is Key to Success

Lyle Adams – Alberta  

Lyle and his family own and operate 6A Cattle Company, which includes an 8,500 head finishing yard along with a 150 head cow herd near Picture Butte, Alberta.  The Adams family purchased the feedlot nine years ago after it had been sitting empty for two years. Both Lyle and his wife Roxanne had previously worked in the feedlot industry, so the purchase seemed like a natural fit for their family. Lyle and Roxanne have four children with two involved in the day-to-day operations of the feedlot. Having family involved helps with labour but Lyle points out they also have a great crew working for them.  

While they do feed some of their own calves, most of the feedlot is filled with custom cattle. Lyle takes a very hands-on approach as a manager, doing everything from pen riding to scraping pens. This allows him to pay attention to detail and make small changes which has been helpful in keeping cattle on feed and maintaining good relationships with those he feeds cattle for.  

In a tight labour market, hiring and keeping good employees is always a worry, but Lyle says they are fortunate to have relatively low staff turn over. He attributes this to a number of factors, including treating their employees like family by recognizing achievements, celebrating them, providing variety in their day-to-day jobs and opportunities for further education and training.  

A recent change Lyle has made to their operation is the addition of the Te Pari® dosing gun system at take-in and when doing mass processing. This system automatically takes the weight of the animal and adjusts the dosage accordingly, taking the guess work out of processing animals. It prevents underdosing and overdosing which helps reduce antibiotic resistance and saves money, which Lyle is then able to pass on to his customers. Making the change to this system hasn’t slowed down processing and it allows staff to be confident that they are administering the proper dosage every time. “It’s just the right thing to do,” says Lyle. 

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