This year due to the pandemic Ideas Exchange was held as a virtual event. The day began with a quote “Life changes very quickly, in a very positive way, if you let it”, I wanted to highlight that while we are facing new challenges in 2020, we have the opportunity to turn every challenge into a positive. Following this message, I gave an overview of Poultry Hub Australia’s achievements over the last financial year, highlighting our successes and looking to our future challenges. While preparing the overview I reflected on our key triumphs, including a host of new industry members, 3 new staff members, increased investment in all three of our key areas (research, education and training) and several successful key grants. It’s great to have the opportunity to share all this great news with the PHA community and it really motivates me to keep going to build PHA to be bigger and better next year!
The conference was split into four sessions each with 3-4 presenters. The first two sessions were filled with a plethora of nutrition-based research talks. From insects to calcium there were many key nutritional scientists that shared their research and their key take home messages. Session three was focused on health and disease. In this session researchers shared insights into potential new biomarkers of intestinal inflammation, new monitoring techniques for pathogens, a new assay to detect spotty liver disease and testing the cross protection of a S. Enteritidis vaccine. The final session was focused on welfare and featured research that explored attitudes to hen welfare, poultry euthanasia practices and impacts of water provision via misters in commercial ducks.
The event was deemed a success with over 80 participants and 15 presenters. In the hours and days following the event we received many emails of support and congratulations including comments such as “With the current COVID climate I have sat through A LOT of ‘webinars’, however, I think this was easily the best even though it was also the longest” and “Congratulations on putting such a fantastic program together. I believe the day went very well and beyond expectations”. While I am overjoyed that the event went well and we received great feedback I look forward to the event running in person next year down in Melbourne.