Understanding Producer Needs: A One Welfare Approach
By Dr. Melissa Moggy, Alberta Farm Animal Care
Four students from the University of Alberta are conducting a capstone project with mentorship from Alberta Farm Animal Care and faculty member, Dr. Clover Bench. We were initially asked by the course professor for project ideas, and we considered multiple producer challenges on which to focus. Producer mental health was a consideration as we know that it is closely related to animal welfare. However, we realized that, with so many challenges that producers face, we need more information on what producers perceive are their biggest challenges. Regardless of what challenges are highlighted, they would have an impact on their mental health if producers feel overwhelmed and not supported.
Alberta’s livestock industry is exceptionally diverse, but for a short-term project, we needed to narrow our concentration. The students decided to focus on Alberta cow-calf producers, and we supported that decision.
From this, the following project objectives were decided on:
- Identify the biggest challenges facing cow-calf producers.
- Determine where producers are seeking support to address their challenges, if available.
- Provide AFAC with this information and make recommendations on how they can help.
To obtain this information, the students have created a short survey for producers and will be developing resources to address the challenges brought forward through the survey. Results from this project will be presented in a report to AFAC, and we will utilize the report to guide us in future communication and extension plans.
If you are an Alberta cow-calf producer, we encourage you to complete the survey and share it with others. The survey is 10 questions long and will take less than 10 minutes to complete and will be open until March 13th. The students have a goal of attending the Livestock Care Conference in March to share their developed resources and seek your opinion on them, and we hope that you will be open to participating at the link below.