Recently, the Poultry CRC sent out an email to key members of the Australian Poultry Industry asking them to identify future capacity gaps in the industry, and ways that the CRC Education Program could help fill those gaps.
“We had about a 50% response rate to the email” said Education Manager, Liz Roan. “Some of the feedback was really helpful and insightful. I will be able to use it to help refine our ongoing Education Plan and direct our activities over the next 4 years”.
Key areas emerged in a number of responses. For example, welfare, biosecurity and education about the need for, and efficacy of, vaccination were repeated themes. Interestingly, social license to operate and negative public perceptions were also raised as concerns for a number of producers.
“It seems like cooks are having a big say in society these days” quipped Poultry CEO, Mingan Choct.
The need for certified training for farm staff, as well as the continued development of on-line resources was also highlighted, with a number of people asking the CRC to run workshops in targeted areas of concern.
“Our industry is starved of commercial nutritionists” commented one of our respondents. With a growing number of vacancies in poultry nutrition needing to be filled, the CRC hopes that field trips such as one we took to Ridleys Agriproducts with our Postgrads earlier this year might help encourage young scientists to look at this as a prospective career.
One interesting idea that emerged was the possibility of running a lecture tour, targeting 3rd or 4th year agriculture students, teaming up with industry personnel who can speak from experience about the variety of career options available in the poultry industry. “It’s something we’ll be looking at closely as we finalise our plans for 2014-2017” said Liz Roan. “I would like to stress that it’s not too late for people to have their say. If they haven’t yet replied, then I’m still happy to take comments.”
“If you don’t get involved in the planning process, then you can’t get upset if you are left out at the other end. It’s up to industry to identify their needs so we can plan how to allocate our education funds for the remaining term of the CRC, so that industry reaps the greatest benefit.”