Having gone through the turmoil brought on by the bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in the early 2000s, which compelled Luckhart Transport to diversify its operations to extend beyond livestock hauling, the PED outbreak in 2014 was the ultimate litmus test of the company’s unrelenting focus on biosecurity, turning what could have been a crippling event into a game-changing opportunity.
“We’ve always gone a little over-the-top when it comes to getting ourselves ready for the worst case scenario,” said Angie Luckhart Hurst, Co-Owner and Vice President of Luckhart Transport. “With the PED virus, we knew it was a matter of when, not if, and as with anything we do, we were going to be all in because any disease inside a barn directly impacts our livelihood.”
But it was more than just business. It was personal. Ever since the third-generation, family-run business got things moving in 1951, sound animal welfare practices and industry-leading environmental stewardship have been central to its success.
As one of only eight Thermo Assisted Drying and Decontamination (TADD) sites in Canada, Luckhart Transport has also developed a wetland system to naturally clean the waste water from the wash bay in its Sebringville, Ontario cleaning and drying facility, which is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
“We’re only as good as our people and they take great pride in their work,” said Hurst, who started washing trailers as a teenager. “What we do at two in the morning is the same as what happens in the middle of the day. There’s a lot of extra cost to the measures we’ve taken to ensure best-in-class biosecurity – including fresh bedding on every trailer and high-health washes several times a day – but it helps us sleep better at night knowing we’re doing the right thing.”
The company went as far as bringing employees on-farm to show the real-life impact of the disease on both producers and animals.
“It was a real eye-opener for them to see first-hand what can happen if you cut corners. It brought home how important their job is and reinforced their dedication to doing everything it takes to make a positive contribution.”
Truly inspiring words to live by… and work for!