Education & Training Update – August 2009

Postgraduate / Postdoctoral / Intern Update

Those who visited the Glenwarrie Partnership egg farm of Narelle and Bede Burke during the PoultryGrad workshop and industry visits will be interested to hear that Bede and Narelle are finalists in the NSW Farmer of the Year competition. They’re also showcasing their eggs at the third annual Regional Food Fair in Sydney.

AECL Postdoctoral Fellow, Kapil Chousalkar, is off to a new position as Lecturer in Intensive Animal Health and Production, School of Animal & Veterinary Sciences at Charles Sturt University in Wagga Wagga. See the photograph of Kapil and his wife Leena with their farewell gift from the UNE Poultry Research and Teaching Unit and Poultry CRC staff.
The UNE-UQ State of Origin Chicken Challenge was held again recently. This project involves animal nutrition students who formulate diets and then test their diets on chicken. The overall winner was the University of Queensland with University of New England winning the “highest growth” prize.

Industry Training Update
Food Processing Training Package Review

Mr Richard Jenkins, who is conducting the review of the Food Processing Training Package has now provided us with drafts of two new units to cover the activities that take place in egg grading and packaging facilities. These drafts have been sent out to egg industry personnel.

Schools Update – Teachers’ Resource Kit

The Poultry CRC Teachers’ Resource Kit is almost completed. This kit contains resources that have been developed by the Australian Egg Corporation (AECL), the Australian Chicken Meat Federation (ACMF), the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation (RIRDC) Chicken Meat Research Program, and resources developed by the Poultry CRC (including teacher worksheets, presentations, suggested experiments, etc) along with other relevant resources. Last month, the main components of the kit were mailed to 37 teachers in NSW, ACT and SA, with the remaining components of the kit to be forwarded at a later date. The Poultry CRC is a major sponsor of the National Association of Agricultural Educators conference which is being held in Gatton, Queensland in January 2010. At that conference, the Poultry CRC Teachers’ Resource Kit will be officially “launched” and kits supplied to interested teachers.

Keeping Poultry in the Classroom

Poultry Hub is also adding to its repertoire of handy resources for students and teachers. The development team has been working closely with school teachers and students in an effort to keep poultry in the classroom. Resources like the Anatomy of the Chicken Learning Resource will soon be supported by a series of practical how-to guides designed to help schools build their own coops or chook runs and other husbandry related activities. New England Girls School in Armidale includes poultry throughout its curriculum and its teachers are working with Poultry Hub to develop content useful for poultry-based projects and activities. Tintinara Area School in South Australia, as part of the WPSA Schools Competition, published their own Show Poultry Handbook, now available on Poultry Hub so other schools can emulate the concept and introduce seventh and eighth graders to the delights of poultry keeping. This education-focussed initiative will culminate with the launch of the Teachers Resource Kit next January.

Species other than the chicken are also benefitting from a push to provide more content on ducks, turkeys, ratites and game birds on Poultry Hub. David Farrell, who developed the Family Poultry Training Course, also available on Poultry Hub, has been exploiting his knowledge and contacts to assist the team with this initiative.

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