Lakeland College earns VBP+ status

  From the October 22, 2018 issue of Agri-News
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 Lakeland College is the first post-secondary institution in Alberta to attain Verified Beef Production Plus (VBP+) certification.

Being recognized by this national on-farm food safety program means Lakeland’s Student-Managed Farm – Powered by New Holland (SMF) reflects the highest standards for food safety, animal care and environmental stewardship.

“We’re excited to receive the VBP+ certification because it's a check for us to ensure we are farming, ranching and raising cattle in a sustainable manner – environmentally, economically and socially. This certification proves to our consumer that what we are doing is right and in the best interest of the animals,” says Bevin Hamilton, instructor and staff adviser to the commercial beef unit.

Lakeland is also certified sustainable according to the Canadian Round Table of Sustainable Beef, which announced in August 2018 that VBP+ is now a certification body for them, says Melissa Downing, Alberta VBP+ provincial coordinator.

“Lakeland is very progressive and could be an example for future producers. We can help influence students going through the program so they can become familiar with it,” says Downing. “Within our program, we have four pillars – on-farm food safety, environmental stewardship, biosecurity and animal care. I reviewed the audit report done on Lakeland and the college is in compliance of the program so we issued the certification.”

Two features of the SMF’s sustainable practices that shined throughout the three-step certification process are the use of Herdtrax, an online cattle record management program that tracks data from calving records to nutrition and more, as well as updates to the cattle handling equipment in the G.N. Sweet Livestock Research Facility, Hamilton says.

VBP+ will host annual training workshops at the college with SMF staff and Lakeland students to ensure everyone has the same understanding of the program.

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Taylor Hermiston
Communications & Digital Media Associate
Lakeland College

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For more information about the content of this document, contact Christine Chomiak.
This information published to the web on October 17, 2018.