Courtney O'Keefe was raised in the Rockyford area, but now resides 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 complete in the fall of 2017. Her research was focused on extensive grazing systems for beef cattle, particularly swath grazing.
A combination of growing up around cattle and her education has allowed Courtney to gain a practical and logical approach to many issues producers face daily. 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 very excited to join the Blue Rock team and become a part of the Innisfail community!
"Our aim is to be the choice nutrition consulting service available to cow-calf producers in Western Canada. We establish strong relationships with cattle producers to develop effective
and sustainable nutrition programs that are specific to their operation."
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 Heredford 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.
Kristen originates from a small purebred Simmental operation near Markerville, Alberta. 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 focus has been on reproductive success of the first and second calf heifers, grazing management, cow-calf production and small ruminant nutrition.
In addition to time spent with cattle producers, Kristen, her Husband Dr. Andrew Ritson-Bennett (DVM) and son Liam raise purebred Black Welsh Mountain Sheep west of Innisfail.
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 and is currently serving an advisory position with the Success for Women in Agri-Food, a project headed by the Agriculture and Food Council.
Lee Eddy grew up in Nanton, but now resides a few miles from Markerville, Alberta. He has been involved with the agriculture industry for a number of years. He graduated from the University of Alberta with a BSc in agriculture majoring in Soil Science, Animal Science and Economics. He started his career in the industry working with Feed-Rite in Linden 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 premix and balancing rations to help producers ever since. Lee has been involved in significant nutrition research in the industry and the 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. 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.