Research students who are supported by the Poultry CRC have gained further insight into the practical side of the Australian poultry industry by attending the CRC’s 2011 PoultryGrad student workshop. 17 students and post-doctoral workers from our participant universities attended the event in Melbourne which was held on 24th – 27th October, 2011. The event included tours of Hy-Line Australia’s production and hatchery facilities at Huntly, along with presentations by industry representatives and the students themselves.
The first day served to highlight current developments and the major challenges facing the Australian poultry industry. Poultry CRC CEO, Mingan Choct opened the day speaking on how the poultry industry needs to produce more from less, farming sustainably. Each student delivered a short (5 min) presentation on their own research, with a focus on significant issues and outcomes to date. Subsequent presentations from industry leaders covered the following aspects of poultry production and research;
- Dr Peter C. Scott (Scolexia) – Career opportunities and challenges
- Dr Rebecca Forder (The University of Adelaide) – Experiences and lessons learned in undertaking research
- Susan Bibby (Aviagen) – Global perspective on breeding programs
- Brian Ahmed (Victorian Farmers Federation) – Layer industry overview
- Brian Burke (Inghams) – Broiler industry overview
- Peter Cransberg (Ridley Agriproducts) – Poultry feed overview
- Lloyd Thomson (Poultry CRC) – Pitfalls in Research Agreements
The second day saw students head towards Bendigo to visit Hy-Line Australia’s rearing and parent farms. Hy-Line are a a Poultry CRC participant and Australia’s largest supplier of day-old layer chicks and point-of-lay pullets. After introductory presentations from Hy-Line CEO Greg Underwood, and Quality Assurance Manager Geoff Baker, students were taken through the compulsory training that precedes entry of any non-staff to the facilities.
“It’s great to have been given the opportunity to support the CRC in this way and work with you” said Hy-Line CEO, Greg Underwood.
Students were privileged to tour Hy-Line’s Rearing Farm, Parent Sheds and CSL Farm (adhering to strict biosecurity measures at each facility). This was followed up the next morning with a comprehensive tour of Hy-Line’s Hatchery Facilities, an extraordinary treat indeed, as these facilities are rarely opened up for visitors. Feedback from both Hy-Line staff and students involved has been extremely positive.
Sonia Yun Liu, a PhD student at the Univeristy of Sydney observed that she now felt much more passionate about working in the poultry industry, having met the “wonderful people” who work at Hy-Line.
Honours student, Hannah Lum, is now considering further study as a direct result of having spent time with the other PhD students. She found the workshop to be very beneficial. “It was such an awesome experience and made me really excited about getting involved with the industry in future. Everyone was so nice, welcoming and knowledgeable, I know I’ll learn from them” she said.
Poultry CRC would like to thank all of the speakers who interrupted their busy schedule to come to Melbourne to speak at our workshop, and of course Hy-Line staff for providing this unique opportunity for students. Their contribution of both time and effort put into making this event such a success is greatly appreciated.