Alta. ranch receives Mark of Excellence Award

The company was chosen for its commitment to excellence through innovation, and its leadership in livestock genetics

One of the largest seedstock cattle operations in Western Canada has been awarded for its contributions to livestock improvement.

Soderglen Ranches Ltd. of Alberta is one of this year’s recipients of the Mark of Excellence Award by AgSights, a non-profit co-operative based in Elora, Ont., whose services include herd management tools and genetic evaluation.

Winning such awards “is always a good thing,” said Scott Lees, general manager for Soderglen Ranches. “I don’t know what we do any different than anyone else, so that’s just a bit of a surprise.”

The company was chosen for its commitment to excellence through innovation, and its leadership in livestock genetics is recognized throughout the industry, Dave Milliner, president of AgSights, said in a statement.

“Great leaders don’t set out to be leaders, they set out to make a difference,” said Betty Jo Almond, general manager of AgSight, during a recent awards presentation held online due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The dairy and poultry sectors have proven how genetic selection results in a more consistent product for consumers by creating higher performing animals, she said during an interview.

As well, with rising concerns about climate change, boosting yields while reducing inputs is a vital part of making the beef sector more environmentally sustainable.

“When you see someone who’s really focusing on the potential and thinking of their customers — and what the end product needs to be able to do at the end of the day — then someone who’s using the tools available to make the best product that they can for their customers is really worth recognizing because we need to be doing that a lot more in the industry.”

Soderglen Ranches is the first Alberta producer to be given the award, which has been awarded intermittently since 1994, said Almond.

The company believes that boosting yields while reducing inputs is a vital part of making the beef sector more environmentally sustainable. | Alan Browarny photo

The company includes ranches northwest of Airdrie, southwest of Ford Macleod, and southeast of Cardston. It serves about 200 customers mostly in Alberta and Saskatchewan, and focuses on breeds such as Charolais, Red Angus, Black Angus, Red Simmental and Black Simmental.

Soderglen Ranches has also developed two of its own hybrids: Continental Carcass Maker and Red/Black MAX.

Besides Soderglen Ranches, Lee Leachman of Leachman Cattle of Colorado was also chosen for the Mark of Excellence Award. It marks the first time the honour has been given simultaneously to two recipients.

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