The building capacity session highlighting the success of PHA’s Researcher in Industry program.

PoultryHub Australia’s (PHA) Ideas Exchange conference was held at the end of September in Brisbane. The conference was well attended with close to 90 participants from across the industry and research sectors. The main themes of the conference were building capacity, brains trust and research highlights. The building capacity session included presentations from up and coming poultry research scientists that have participated in PHA’s Researcher in Industry Program. It was great to hear about their experiences and what they had learnt from their direct interaction with industry. This session also featured an undergraduate student who was a recipient of a PHA scholarship and had learnt to train chickens using clickers, under the direction of Dr Peta Taylor. Her project explored ways to train chickens but also measured the level of engagement of other participants and clearly demonstrated that following the training participants had definitely gained a greater respect and understanding of chickens. One participant stated that “prior to the training I was scared of chickens and would not touch them, but now after training them I want to take my chicken home!”. The youth, energy and passion displayed in this session definitely lifted the excitement in the room ready for the brains trust session.

Tamsyn Crowley and Lloyd Thomson eagerly reviewing the results of the online poll in the brains trust session.

Day two saw a great snapshot of research that PHA is funding. We heard about pest control, welfare, free range rearing systems, insects for waste management and nutrition, feed efficiency and spotty liver epidemiology. Projects in PHA’s latest funding round were also announced. The last part of this session included a panel session led by Tamsyn Crowley that explored what it is like to run a trial on a commercial farm. This session highlighted the benefits of running research trials on a commercial scale and it was great to hear different perspectives on the procedure and outcomes.

PHA would like to thank all who were involved in making this years conference a success. We look forward to next years conference that will be held in Sydney, details to be announced early in 2019. We have noted the feedback received and are hoping to engage more farmers and focus on key production issues facing the industry. If you have any questions about our conference, how to join PHA or interesting topics to cover contact us at poultryhub@une.edu.au.