Blue Rock Animal Nutrition was established in spring 2013 by Lee Eddy and Kristen Ritson-Bennett, both ruminant nutritionists. Kristen and Lee purchased the Innisfail Minerals plant (formerly the Old Hereford Test Center) where significant changes were made to the manufacturing facility to increase efficiency and manufacture a top quality product that is required for the industry.
Our vision is to be the preferred nutrition consulting service available to cow-calf producers in Western Canada. We establish strong relationships with individual operations to develop effective and sustainable nutrition programs that are specific to their operation.
Our passion is the cattle industry! We work with innovative producers to fine tune their operation to make them more productive, sustainable and profitable. Our professional and experienced nutritionists can assist in building a robust and feasible nutrition program that will work for you. If there is one thing that is constant with farming and ranching, it's change. We are there to help you adapt your program to weather challenges, feed availability and market conditions.
Lee grew up in Nanton, AB but now resides a few miles from Markerville, AB. He has been involved with the agriculture industry for a number of years. He graduated from the University of Alberta with a B.Sc. in agriculture majoring in Soil Science, Animal Science and Economics. He started his career in the industry working with Feed-Rite in Linden, AB and then took a position with Hoffmann-la Roche on the animal nutrition side for the next 10 years.
Lee wanted to work more closely with the primary producer, so in 1998, Lee formed Blue Rock Minerals. He has been working with Alberta producers developing custom mineral premixes and providing nutrition consultation ever since. Lee has been involved in significant nutrition research in the industry and University of Alberta. This research was primarily looking at vitamin E and calf immunity, vitamin E for meat preservation, biotin for hoof health and folic acid research in swine nutrition. Currently Lee is working with the University of Lethbridge and Alberta Agriculture on a BioChar project. This is an exciting and potentially groundbreaking development in beef cattle nutrition and sustainability.
Lee has both spoke on and published many articles about cattle nutrition and is incredibly knowledgeable in the field. He is always looking for a research project to help propel our industry into greater profitability.
Kristen originates from a purebred Simmental operation near Markerville, AB. She graduated from the University of Saskatchewan in 2010 with a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture majoring in animal science and nutrition. Kristen has broad knowledge of agriculture systems from the EU, Australia and New Zealand having traveled and worked in the ag sector in those countries. Kristen’s nutrition focus has been on reproductive success of first and second calf heifers, grazing management, cattle, cow-calf management and small ruminant nutrition.
Kristen's husband Dr. Andrew Ritson-Bennett locally practices veterinary medicine and the two of them often collaborate. They also have a small sheep operation west of Innisfail, AB where they are raising their growing family.
Kristen has been working with Lee Eddy since 2013. Under the leadership and mentor-ship of Lee, Kristen has developed her passion for nutrition of beef cows. You will find Kristen very knowledgeable and practical about cattle production and nutrition. She is passionate about the agriculture industry in Western Canada and is driven to ensure producers are meeting their operations nutrition needs and goals. Kristen has previously served on the Grey Wooded Forage Association board, participated and served in an advisory capacity for a project with the Success for Women in Agri-Food (AFC) and is involved with local community groups, provincial forage and agriculture associations.
Courtney joined Blue Rock in the fall of 2017. Courtney was raised in the Rockyford, AB area and has now settled a few miles south of Delburne, AB. She graduated from the University of Saskatchewan in 2015 with a B.Sc. in Agriculture majoring in Animal Science. Following her B.Sc. degree she decided to broaden her knowledge and pursue a M.Sc. degree majoring in ruminant nutrition at the U of S, which she will defend in fall 2018. Her research focused on extensive grazing systems for beef cattle, particularly swathgrazing.
A combination of growing up around cattle and her education has allowed Courtney to gain a logical and practical approach to cattle nutrition and cow-calf management. She is dedicated to the agriculture industry and wants to ensure producers are meeting their production goals while being mindful of making nutritionally sound decisions for their operations.
Courtney is continuing to build on her knowledge around grazing management and on top of new and exciting developments in the field of cattle nutrition that can be applied to innovative and cutting edge operations.
Karen Schiml was raised on a ranch in southern Saskatchewan breeding commercial and purebred horned Hereford cattle. She obtained her Bachelor of Science in Agriculture from the University of Saskatchewan with a major in Animal Science before entering the feed industry. Karen has over 10 years experience in the feed industry, and managed a commercial feed mill so brings a wealth of industry knowledge with her. After spending her time in feed mills, Karen realized her passion is working with cow calf producers to optimize their nutrition for reproductive success and calf productivity.
Karen and her husband Daryl Chubb have a small commercial cattle operation just outside of Irricana, Alberta where they focus on management, intensive grazing, soil health, and animal productivity. Daryl is a Regenerative Agriculture Consultant and speaker whose passion is soil health for plant productivity. The couple are focused on a whole system approach, using their own land as a research project. They continually monitor how different management strategies and products affect soil, plant and animal production.
Growing up on a traditional cattle operation and currently operating a very progressive grazing management system, Karen is familiar with the intricacies and challenges a broad range of producers face. She is passionate about bringing practical nutrition and production solutions to their operations.
We have the pleasure of working with some outstanding individuals here at Blue Rock. Stan Cherneske is the Plant Manager. He is the one keeping production and logistics moving in the right direction. Scott Mackinnon is our lead manufacturer. He is in charge of mixing, bagging and is the friendly face that loads our customers at the plant. Pat Howard is our amazing office manager, she takes care of all things administrative. Please feel free to stop by and meet these wonderful people who work behind the scenes on a daily basis to help keep Blue Rock running smooth.