Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - October 3, 1972, Lethbridge, Alberta
Veterinary lab- animal diagnosis research centre -----TueiJoy, Oclober 3, 1972 THE LETHBRIDOE HERAID 13 Regional economist cent man The Lelhbridge provincial veterinary diagnostic labora- tory, located in the industrial park area, is the arm of. the Alberta department of agricul- ture which provides for live- stock disease diagnosis and comprehensive veterinary lab- oratory diagnostic services. It is set up to contribute to human health hi the identifica- tion of Zoonoses (diseaes trans- missible from animals to hum- meat hygiene and by rec- ognition of effects of nit, water and soil pollutants on animals. Dr. Norm Harries, head of the Lethbridge laboratory, said the main purpose of the local facility is to provide facilities for the complete postmortem studies on animals and poultry for practicing veterinarians in southern Alberta. The basic study is (he inler- prelation ol pathological changes in an organ or tissue. Secondary studies for bacteria, fungi, parasites and microscop- ical examination of tissues are also conducted. Normal procedure Cor the lab- oratory is for animal submis- sions to be sent in or brought in to the local office by the practicing veterinarian. Dr. Harries said this is very important since the practicing veterinarian is familiar wi t h management on the farm and the condition of the animal when it is sick. After proper explanation to the practicing veterinarian, he can then interpret the findings of the laboratory to the farmer nr rancher and suggest treat- ment and preventive measures. Poultry submission comprise one sixth of the total and are usually brought in by owners, Imtcherics and feed companies serving the industry. Also, the laboratory staff works closely with wildlife biol- DR. HARRIES AND JIM WOOD CHECK A CHICKEN ogisls and officials and aids them in monitoring wildlife di- seases, Last year, the laboratory han- dled submissions. The var- ious ailments handled included bacterial and viral infections, parasitism, deficiencies and poisonings as well as hereditary and congenital diseases. Thvough the findings of the laboratory, practicing veterin- arians are advised on changing disease patterns and of o u t- breaks of serious or unusual di- seases. The annual report of the la- oratory7 provides indications of disease trends and a basis is formed for future research. Dr, Gordon Chalmers Is the oilier pathologist sharing the work load. Jim Wood is the bacteriolo- gist. He grows and identifies in- fectious organisms. Vikki Wong attends to sec- tioning of tissues for micros- copic study. Bernie Pohl is in charge of the postmortem room duties, including setting up the room for the work of the veterinari- ans. Stenographers for the labora- tory are Albina Gleb and Rob- erta Vandcrzee. Dr. Ifarries said another tech- nician will be added in the near future. Agricultural latv specialist M- interprets legislation, rules Marvin Gaits is a man who works with dollars ami cents and as regional economist with the Alberta department of agri- culture, deals with prohlems and plans under the frame- work of agriculture. Broadly spre.iking, he acts as a resource person to farm- ers, commodity groups, the ex- tension division and agri-busi- business in areas relating to agricultural economics. Some of his work is the preparation of information, consultat ion with individuals and participa- tion in meetings relating to this area. Mr. Galls said a good deal of his work time is spent doing research and preparing cost and return information on pro- duction alternatives available to farmers in southern Alberta. ThJs allows emphasis on new alternatives which may expand the income of the farmer. He is interested in assisting sectors of agriculture in co- ordinating all segments of the industry to improve the oppor- tunities for products. PROCESSING FIRMS To do this, he works with processing firms to co-ordinate programs. By working with tho processors, Ihe product chain is aided to the betterment of tho entire industry, he said. This works back to help the fanner. This may include initiating feasibility studies, preparation of data and discussions with agri-business people. Mr. Gaits is also responsible for co ordinating the farm management program within the region. This includes pro- viding information and support to the extension department staff to pass on to the farmers on record keeping, budgeting, financial management, tax management and family farm business struclures. A part of the management function is to provide the in- formation and assistance re- quired by the farmer to com- plete his own records and also to interpret them. The Alberta department of agriculture has formed a new branch under the department of extension which is expected to afford rural Albcrlans a better CM. HRANDI.EY law specialist understanding of (he law. Cal Brandlcy has been named tlie first agricultural law spe- cialist for the entire province. He has hcadqy.-u-lers in Ed- monton and in the Lcthbridge regional agricultural office. He explains his duties as informing the agricultural pub- lic of the agricultural legisla- tion, the way the acts affect them and the way the acts aro interpreted by the courts. Working very closely Ihe Individual farmers and farm groups, he gave law lec- tures to pconlc in Ihe ini- tial six-month period last year. EXPLAINS LAW He said the government is passing legislation nil the lime and all it has to do is publish it in tl.e Alberta Gazelle. ''My job is to give the legis- lation lo the farmer in a more digeslible ho said. Public contact is the key to .letting out Hie alternatives and basic principles so the farmers can make up their own minds. The meetings give Mr. Bran- rVey a chance lo answer the questions of the farmers face lo face. Also, Ihrough Ihe use of all communication media, he is able to further Ihe aims of his help in the job. Farmers with job. Experiments in Ihe use of video (ape and casselles could a parlicular problem could just ask for (he proper tape and lis- ten for the solulion. INTERPRETATION Through Ihe job, Mr. Bran- dley is planning, implementing and evaluating educations pro- grams dealing with apricullual laws, helping (o inlerpret the aims, objectives and applica- tion of agricultural legislation and implementing in-service training programs for profes- sional staff in Ihe ADA. He also works with depart- ment staff and other resource personnel to provido inputs to farm management programs. In turn, he relates back to government how Ihe agricultur- al slalues are being interpreted and applied by the farming public and by the courts. AMY STRATTWJ steno He has done many cost and returns studies for specific crops in specific areas. This al- lows comparison between crops in a specific district to give the farmer a chance for better pro- duction and therefore, belter returns. Production, health aid with poultry specialist The poultry specialist works under Ihe direction of the ani- mal industry division. The role of the specialist in relation to the poultry- industry is categor- ized into poultry health, poultry production costs and poultry extension work. At present, Gerry Lofthaug is on loan to the southern Al- berta regional office from the Calgary regional office since the appointment of C. S. (Sher- ry' Clark lo the position of southern Alberta regional direc- tor. An appointment lor the posi- tion in Lethbriclge is expected shorily. Gerry said in the area of poultry health, Ihe focus is primarily on the breeding flocks. All breeder flocks are governed by the Chicken and Turkey Flock Approval Pro- gram where all flocks must he blood tested and found free of disease before the eggs can be used for hatching. In Lethhrirtgc and southern Alberta, a voluntary program allowing for breeder birds and hatchery culls to be submitted lo the veterinary diagnostic labs on r, regular basis is in operation. This allows a regular monitor for the overall health status of the flocks. The specialist jJso makes visits (o the farms and hatch- eries lo make change and im- prove m e n t recommendations where applicable. The specialist Is also respon- sible for providing assistance in tabulating production costs to various types of poultry produc- ers. Gerry said cosls are broken down inlo Ihe different vari- able and fixed costs. Various performance factors such as mortality, feed conversion, pro- duction, pounds of meat and dozens of eggs are also in- cluded. He said when these costs and performance factors are com- piled, the farmer lias a picture of how his flock performed on his farm and also in relalion to oilier poultry producers. "With these figures he will have a better chance lo make proper management decisions to improve Ihe overall opera- said Gerry. "We try (o help the farmers on an inrMvidual basis by get- ling solutions to problems through the rest of Ihe re- sources of Ihe Alberta depart- ment of ngricullurc. work directly with lha commercial producers and also handle cases through (lie dis- trict agriculturists."