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Paying Tribute to Douglas Briggs

The Distinguished Pioneer in Nutritional Research for Livestock 

Company History

He Had A Feeding Impact Behind the Scenes


There is no doubt that many dairy nutritionists are leaving or have left a footprint in the area of dairy cattle feeding. 

In 1967, a small electronics company, Calan Electronics, was founded in Scotland by a visionary named Colin Watson. In 1969, a pivotal moment occurred when Dr. Peter Broadbent from Aberdeen University patented a groundbreaking animal feeding gate. Calan Electronics saw the potential in this innovation and took it upon themselves to develop and bring it to market, dubbing it the "Calan Broadbent Door." The turning point came in 1972 when Colin Watson traveled to the University of New Hampshire to demonstrate the Calan Broadbent Door. In the audience was a young feed salesman at Agway, Douglas Briggs. Doug was captivated by the potential of this technology to revolutionize livestock nutrition and farming practices. His immediate interest in the Animal Door set the stage for a significant development. In 1973, Douglas Briggs acquired the rights to the Calan Broadbent System, and he wasted no time in launching American Calan Inc., headquartered in Northwood, New Hampshire. This marked the birth of a company that would go on to revolutionize livestock nutrition and have a profound impact on farmers and feed producers worldwide.

Over the years, the impact of American Calan and its innovations continued to grow. In 1988, the Calan Door and Calan Key gained national attention when they were featured on CBS News with Dan Rather as a special interest story. This recognition not only brought widespread attention to the company but also validated the importance of their work.  

Fast forward to the present, and the undeniable legacy of American Calan comes into focus. Their impact is truly global, with over 50,000 Calan Doors sold worldwide and more than 300 Calan Data Rangers distributed internationally. In addition, they have secured the trust of over 200 public and private research institutions that rely on the Calan Feeding System.


This widespread embrace of the Calan System is evident in facilities across North America, South America, Europe, Asia, and Africa. It's clear that they recognize the pivotal role it plays in enhancing livestock nutrition and, by extension, elevating farmers' productivity. This extensive network of support has facilitated thousands of research projects and studies that continue to drive advancements in the field of Animal Nutrition and promote environmental sustainability.

Furthermore, the Calan System has been harnessed by countless Animal Science students, researchers, and professors, fostering a collaborative environment that propels the science of animal nutrition forward. This concerted effort has not only advanced the field but has also encouraged the adoption of improved practices for a more sustainable approach to livestock farming.

American Calan, has gone from a modest beginning to becoming a global leader in livestock nutrition technology. Their dedication to innovation and commitment to making a difference in the nutritional research for livestock have left an indelible mark on the world of agriculture. As they continue to pave the way for a more sustainable and productive future in livestock nutrition, the impact of American Calan remains as significant as ever. 

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