1. K-State home
  2. »Research and Extension
  3. »News
  4. »News Stories
  5. »2016
  6. »Sunstrum presented BIF Continuing Service Award

K-State Research and Extension News

Sunstrum presented BIF Continuing Service Award

Alison SunstrumPhoto and caption available

Released: June 16, 2016

MANHATTAN, Kan. — The Beef Improvement Federation (BIF) presented Alison Sunstrum, GrowSafe Systems Ltd. CEO, Airdrie, Alberta, a BIF Continuing Service Award June 15 during the group's annual meeting and symposium in Manhattan, Kansas.

Continuing Service Award winners have made major contributions to the BIF organization. This includes serving on the board of directors, speaking at BIF conventions, working on BIF guidelines and other behind-the-scenes activities. As BIF is a volunteer organization, it is this contribution of time and passion for the beef cattle industry that moves BIF forward.

In 1999, Sunstrum invested in GrowSafe. She and founder Camiel Huisma have grown GrowSafe into a global company. GrowSafe technology is improving efficiency and farm profitability, reducing the environmental effect of livestock production and providing novel insight into animal health and well-being.

Sunstrum was an early EDI/ECOMM (electronic data interchange/electronic commerce) innovator. She holds patents for innovative technology and has presented and published articles on electronic data interchange, precision livestock farming and early-stage technology ventures. She leads a talented team of engineers and computer and animal scientists who received the 2012 Dow Alberta Science & Technology Foundation Award for Innovation in Agricultural Sciences, the 2013 Canadian Information Technology & Communications Association Ingenious Award for Innovation, the 2014 INTEL SME Award for Innovation and in 2015 the West Virginia University Wardensville Bull Test Pioneer Award for advancing feed efficiency in the beef industry.

She said she takes pride in the 60 or more graduate students who have defended their theses using GrowSafe data and the successful research collaborations the company has fostered.

A mother of five children, she mentors entrepreneurs and is a passionate advocate for advancing women in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) and agriculture.

More than 600 beef producers, academia and industry representatives were in attendance at the organization's 48th annual convention. BIF's mission is to help improve the industry by promoting greater acceptance of beef cattle performance evaluation.

For more information about this year's symposium, including additional award winners and coverage of meeting and tours, visit BIFconference.com. For more information about BIF, visit Beefimprovement.org.


K-State Research and Extension is a short name for the Kansas State University Agricultural Experiment Station and Cooperative Extension Service, a program designed to generate and distribute useful knowledge for the well-being of Kansans. Supported by county, state, federal and private funds, the program has county Extension offices, experiment fields, area Extension offices and regional research centers statewide. Its headquarters is on the K-State campus in Manhattan.

Story by:
Angie Stump Denton, communication coordinator, Kansas State University Department of Animal Sciences and Industry
785-562-6197 or angiedenton@ksu.edu