Virtual approach due to COVID-19 lives theme of ‘Raising the Bar’
Strong community spirit won the day at the 2020 Livestock Care Conference, March 19, hosted by Alberta Farm Animal Care (AFAC). Participants lived the conference theme of “Raising the Bar” by rallying together to stage a successful digital version, following cancellation of in-person conference plans due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Over 80 registrants heeded the call of “Let’s go digital” to participate in the digitally re-imagined “LCC 2.0” featuring virtual presentations by top experts, live chat and interactive Q&A, backed by vibrant social media conversation at #LCC2point0. The decision to shift to digital came just four days before the event following tighter restrictions on group gatherings as part of the COVID-19 response.
“There wasn’t much time to make the transition,” says Annemarie Pedersen, AFAC Executive Director. “But with everyone from the AFAC team to sponsors and participants pulling together we made it happen. The result was a very special LCC at an unprecedented time in history that we will always remember.”
The LCC 2.0 featured Dr. Frank Mitloehner speaking on fact vs. fiction and raising the bar, Dr. Marina Von Keyserlingk on working toward a more socially sustainable industry and Dr. Rebecca Gimenez-Hustead on COVID-19 and emergency preparedness. It also included the AFAC Awards of Distinction, student participation and additional speakers offering important industry perspectives.
Moderator Diane Finstad observed the successful event under unprecedented circumstance was another feather in the cap of livestock producers. “If anyone knows how to adapt and figure things out it’s livestock producers who have a well-developed skill set to do that in their everyday work.”
“We heard from excellent speakers with knowledge and insights that can help us continue to raise the bar,” says poultry producer Cora Scheele of Linden, the Chair of AFAC. “Everyone who participated deserves a big thumbs up for their ongoing support in contributing to advancing animal care.”
Mitloehner closed his presentation with a message of support to those in the agriculture industry carrying forward through the challenges of COVID-19. “Those of you producing food are doing such an incredibly important service to society. Without the medical community and the agricultural community, where would we be? I can’t thank you enough for everything you do. And for those in animal agriculture, doing it while upholding the best in animal care, this is truly remarkable work we as a society must applaud.”
More information on LCC 2.0 including blog items on featured speakers is available atwww.afac.ab.ca