Late last year, the Poultry CRC and AECL co-funded the appointment of an Extension Officer, Geof Runge.
Geof has visited more than 50 farms since his appointment and these face-to-face meetings allow him to engage with poultry farmers and understand the problems they face.
“The number one issue for egg farmers,” according to Geof, “is the 2001 Welfare Code and its planned implementation in 2008.”
“A lack of awareness of the CRC’s activities can be another issue with farmers, so I try to fill them in on some background about the CRC and what it’s doing to help them, both through its research and education and training activities.”
“Currently, I’m talking to them about two projects funded by AECL – one focussed on improving layer flock uniformity and the other dealing with the issue of composting farm waste, making use of knowledge and skills generated from earlier RIRDC and Poultry CRC projects.”
“The composting project is part of a wider initiative looking at chicken litter, odour, dust and pathogens emitted from poultry sheds.”
“I’m also looking at ways we can leverage the work done by Poultry CRC PhD student, James Turnell, with worms and poultry litter.”
Additionally, Geof has provided his expertise for the production of educational videos for schools (jointly funded by AECL and the CRC) and he’s also working with the CRC’s Education Coordinator, Julie Roberts, to facilitate the national adoption of the successful Queensland WPSA Schools Project.
He’s also on the Steering Committee for the Queensland FarmBis Project and is assisting with the development and trialling of new training packages.
Geof is also helping to promote the CRC’s new industry-focussed website dedicated to poultry and poultry production, Poultry Hub , demonstrating its many features to farmers and other industry personnel.
And if that’s not enough to keep him busy, Geof is organising the Poultry Information Exchange, or PIX, which will run concurrently with the World’s Poultry Congress (WPC) in Brisbane next year, with both the Poultry CRC and ACMF committed as “Sapphire Sponsors”.
Geof and all of us here at the CRC look forward to seeing as many of you as possible at PIX and WPC next year.
In the meantime, if you would like to talk to Geof, phone (07) 5496 6896. He spends a fair bit of time on the road, so his mobile is 0438 966 896.