Education & Training Update – November 2008

Chicken Challenge

The Poultry CRC once again supported the “Chicken Challenge” between the University of New England (UNE) and the University of Queensland’s (UQ) Gatton campus. This year, UNE students travelled to Gatton. The overall winner of the “Chicken Challenge” for 2008 was UNE, with a winning margin of only 0.001 c/g gain, based on the presentation of the experimental procedures and results and most importantly, interpretation of the results and their application to the Australian poultry industry. A prize was also awarded to the UQ team that designed the diet that achieved the highest bird growth rates. UQ’s Professor Wayne Bryden judged the event and noted how well both cohorts of students performed and the difficulty in selecting the winners. UQ’s Dr. Neil Gannon and UNE’s Dr. Darryl Savage, Dr. Ian Godwin and Professor Nolan were also involved.

WPSA Schools Program

The Queensland WPSA Schools Program, run by Mr. Paul Kent of the Queensland Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries had its Open Day on October 24. First prize was won by West Moreton Anglican College for their project ‘Barn Layers vs Free-Range Layers’. Second prize was won by Caboolture State High School for a project that demonstrated green feed for chickens resulted in brighter and fresher eggs. Gordonvale State High School and Corinda State High School tied for third place for their projects on the growth of chickens and the quality of eggs. Speakers at the Open Day included QDPI&F Deputy Director-General John Skinner, Steve Teitzel from Queensland Chicken Grower’s Council, Ms Beth Weldon from AgForce and myself from the Poultry CRC.

Grafton High School Agriculture Students

I had the pleasure of meeting with a group of Year 11 students from Grafton High School when they visited Armidale in November. Their teacher is a UNE rural science graduate and keen to be involved in our work on teacher resources.

Review of Food Processing Training Package

The Agri-Food Industry Skills Council has announced that it has begun the review of the Food Processing Training Package (FDF03), which covers chicken meat processing and will be expanded to cover egg processing. The CRC is coordinating input into this review process (with the assistance of Mr. Michael Williams), just as it is doing for the review of the Rural Production Training Package (RTE03), which is being merged with the Amenity Horticulture (RFT03) and Conservation and Land Management (RTD03) into a single Training Package (AHC08). More information about the current status of the FDF03 review may be found at the Agri-Food Industry Skills Council website.

The contact person for this review process is Richard Jenkins, Richard Jenkins and Associates, PO Box 212, OATLEY NSW 2223, Tel: 02 9579 4483, Fax: 02 9586 1610, Mob: 0408 022857. Email:

Anatomy of the Chicken

Poultry CRC’s Julie Roberts with the old and new versions of the Anatomy of the Chicken resource

The development of the Merial (formerly Merck Sharp and Dohme) Anatomy of the Chicken resource into digital format is now complete. Read more about Anatomy of the Chicken in this issue of eChook.

UNE Units Online

Following the illness and return to Denmark of Dr. Lene Mikkelsen, UNE AECL Postdoctoral Fellow Kapil Chousalkar and I are assisting Dr. Rod Sims of Knowledgecraft to complete the conversion of the UNE unit, Poultry Physiology (PLTY300/500), into a fully online format ready for semester one, 2009. This unit will make use of the Anatomy of the Chicken resource for basic anatomy and will incorporate photographic images of chicken dissection and microscopic histological images of tissues from different physiological systems.

Schools Resources Meeting

A meeting will be held on Monday November 24 to discuss the development of “teachers’ kits” for incorporating poultry science into the agriculture curriculum. The outcomes of this meeting will be summarised in the next issue of eChook.

Poultry CRC Re-Bid

I am coordinating the drafting of the Education Program section of the Poultry CRC re-bid and I welcome any input that you may have about the program.

With best wishes,


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