Herd Improvement by Data Informed Decision Making

August 9, 2022 from 4:15 pm to 5:00 pm

Speaker: Livestock Gentec Panel Discussion


Herd Improvement by Data Informed Decision Making Presented by Livestock Gentec

Increasing in both number and severity, threats from global conflicts, pandemic restrictions, and climate change have challenged world-wide supply chains. This has resulted in supply shortages, a surge in input prices for crop and livestock producers, and a sharp increase in global food insecurity.

How can producers use the information available to mitigate these challenges while producing better beef more efficiently on their own operation and ensure their own sustainability?

CEU Credits: 0.5

Dr. Troy Drake
Troy is large-animal veterinary practitioner in Kathyrn, Alberta, and the founder of Cow/Calf Health Management Services and HerdtraxTM Inc. (now HerdtraxTM by Telus® Agriculture).

Since 2005, Herdtrax has served the beef industry based on the principle that an economic advantage can be had in the capture, management and understanding of individual animal data. The breadth of this data collection includes calving, health care, reproduction, genetics, nutrition, growth, and carcass value. Herdtrax works with over 1,350 Canadian beef producers, impacting 250,000 cattle annually.

Troy’s ability to deliver value to his clients is through a deep understanding of what is possible, an unparalleled awareness of the drivers of profitability within the beef industry, and a willingness to translate the science for his producer clients to facilitate the evaluation and adoption of management practices and technologies where they can have the greatest impact.

Sean McGrath
Sean is the 5th generation owner of Round Rock Ranch and the founder / President of Ranching Systems Ltd. Sean, his wife Tanya and three children manage and maintain a herd of 250+ cows on native rangeland where they employ a unique mix of the practical, experimental, and entrepreneurial perspectives. The goal is to discover what works best in their cows and on their pastures founded on a couple of simple principles: nature can do amazing things if you let her, and to produce the best beef in a better world.

Sean has an extensive understanding of the science and application of genomics through the provision of genetic evaluation services to national breed organizations, experience in delivering consulting and extension services to beef producers while working hard to instill the agricultural skills in the next generation providing specialized skills instruction at Lakeland College.

Tim Wray
Tim Wray ranches at Irricana, Alberta with his family. Mentored by his uncle, prominent forage advocate Doug Wray, they manage 3,000 acres of pasture, swath grazing and crop residue with the goal of grazing year-round. Matching cattle nutrition and forage supply, they have squeezed profits out of a low margin business.

Tim moved back to the farm in 2015 and, like many ranchers, continues to work part-time off-farm. Living with those time constraints, he is interested in adopting technologies that reduce labour, avoid depreciation, and simplify management. Trying to find an edge, the Wrays have participated in a number of trials experimenting with genetic tools, pasture health, cover crops, residual feed intake, and artificial intelligence.

With a background in Ag Science (B.Sc) and graduate degrees in theology (M.Div) and community development (D.Min), Tim is interested in the things that enrich life. He is connected to the industry as a member of the Foothills Forage and Grazing Association, a participant in the Regenerative Agriculture Lab and the Irricana 4H Beef and Multi Club.

Moderated by William Torres
William is passionate about connecting and sharing his own life experiences via storytelling and developing a trusting relationship with customers. His ability to resonate with others allows him to create that catalytic experience where customers find their “Aha” moment and learn or rekindle the passion for their purpose.

William’s formal training is that of a reproductive physiologist with Bachelor of Science degrees in Animal Science, Biology and Physics from Texas A&M University. William has a wealth of experience gained through roles as varied as that of a United States Marine, a Research Manager of a large scientifically inclined feedlot operator, and most recently as the Executive Director of Technical Services for GrowSafe Systems.

William continues to assist companies increase their customer retention rates through his ability to help them see their operations through the eyes of their customers in his trademark plainspoken manner … and thus the panel’s catalyst.