As farmers face-off against new challenges to raise livestock profitably and sustainably, they’ll have a new ally helping them shut-out top obstacles and establish winning strategies with innovations in feed technology.
Former top hockey goaltender Kris Westblom has joined CBS Bio Platforms as part of the new business development and customer support team, helping farmers across cattle, swine and poultry sectors. A key focus for Westblom will be assisting customers with the adoption of new tools that fit the trend toward making stronger use of natural bio-based ingredients and processes that fit strategies for improved efficiency and antimicrobial stewardship.
Championing innovations at the farm level
After a successful Western Hockey League and minor pro career with highlights that included facing down Sidney Crosby, teaming with Shea Weber and earning a WHL championship, Westblom has returned to his agricultural roots in a post-hockey career that has included several positions working directly with farmers.
The new opportunity with CBS brings him into a strong focus on helping producers take advantage of the fast-rising potential in feed science – with solutions that span getting more nutritional value out of feed to supporting gut health and performance.
“I’m very pleased to become a part of the CBS Bio Platforms team and I look forward to working with the CBS network of customers and partners in this new role,” says Westblom, who grew up on a family bison farm in northwestern Saskatchewan, where he is still active today as a co-owner and operator. “I have always had a passion for agriculture and working alongside farmers to find new and better ways of doing things. Feed science represents a tremendous area of opportunity.
New tools for new opportunities
“CBS is a pioneer and proven leader in this area, and most important is a company that is continually innovating and looking forward. It’s an exciting time to become a part of the next generation of CBS.”
Adding value that makes a difference at the farm gate is part of the DNA of CBS, says Mark Peters, VP of Sales and Marketing. “Kris is an excellent addition – we’re very excited to welcome him on board. He understands the unique challenges and opportunities at the farm level. He has the know-how to help farmers find the right fit with the adoption of improved solutions and strategies.”
Westblom will be based out of Lethbridge, Alberta, where his young family including wife Jenny and 15-month-old daughter Willa reside. His role will include activity across Canada and into the US. Westblom will be among CBS team members at the upcoming Animal Nutrition Conference of Canada along with numerous industry and farmer events over the summer.
Boosting social license, sustainability
CBS researches, develops and manufactures a wide range of bio-based products used in feed, food and industrial applications. The company’s flagship Feed Science Platforms are focused on innovative applications of enzymes, yeasts and other bio-based feed additive formulations that support optimized nutrition capture, feed efficiency and other production benefits. This includes a drive toward expanding the toolbox of options available to farmers, including options for reducing costs, providing alternatives to antimicrobial use, and meeting new market legislation and consumer preferences for beef, dairy, pork and poultry products.
“One key trend we are seeing is that these technologies are becoming an integral part of sustainability programs,” says Westblom, who along with strong industry experience has a business degree from Acadia University, where he played varsity hockey for the Axemen. “There is a lot of potential for ‘win-wins’ with options that not only help with healthier, more productive animals but also healthier profits – all achieved in a way that helps with the social license of famers and their industries. Feed science advances are really helping to lead us into the future.”
Tackling today’s challenges
Helping backstop farmers against ever-evolving challenges, such as fluctuations in ingredients costs and the need to better utilize alternative or ‘opportunity’ ingredients is another area of strong potential, he notes. “Every day in agriculture is a new chance to move forward and make a difference. As a team, we’re inspired by farmers who are leading the charge and we’re driven to be a catalyst for their success. CBS solutions have made very strong inroads in swine and poultry production, and now we are seeing a lot of rising opportunity and interest on the cattle side as well, as science unlocks the potential of the rumen environment.”
The full portfolio of CBS Feed Science Platforms includes technologies across five major areas including Bio-Catalyst Technology, Enhanced Yeast Technology, Grain Management Technology, Functional Fatty Acids, and Phytogenetics and Probiotics. The FSPs are backed by a process to determine “What’s your FSP fingerprint” – a new approach to advanced precision livestock feeding that helps individual operations identify how they can best integrate and capture synergies among the different types of feed technology. More information is available at www.cbsbioplatforms.com.