We held our annual Ideas Exchange (IE) from 23rd to 25th of September, hosting 107 delegates in total. With three major sessions covering Industry Sustainability, Health and Welfare, and Nutrition and Environment, there was plenty on offer for discussion.
Poultry CRC Chair the Honourable John Kerin addresses delegates
Our annual conference allows representatives from industry, academia and Government the chance to hear about CRC research and current challenges facing the Australian poultry industry. Perspectives from each sector were covered in the presentations across the two-day event. Topics included the building of ‘Sydney Science Park’, wet litter, food quality, diagnostics, euthanasia, sex determination, welfare measures, antibiotic use, odour, litter re-use, gut factors driving performance, betain supplementation, collaborating with industry, poultry research at various universities, the importance to business of educated/capable people and working while undertaking a PhD.
Additionally, it is the conversation between delegates during breaks that forms an integral part of IE’s overall benefit. The opportunity to single out colleagues for one-on-one communication, the time to introduce people who have only communicated by email or the chance to arrange meetings between key players is the real strength of our conference. Attendees acknowledge this; in these days of instant communication (phone, email, social media) the value of being there in person remains paramount in developing and maintaining relationships.
Mr John Vassallo from E.J. Cooper and Son, Baiada’s property development arm, gave a presentation on the building of Sydney Science Park at Luddenham, adjacent to the proposed Badgerys Creek airport (itself penned to begin construction in around two years’ time). The science park is designed to incorporate all aspects of living and working in the immediate vicinity, forming a mini suburb of its own. Baiada will be headquartered here, along with its national food science laboratories and research facilities.
Delegates early in the day
Dr Peter Scott gave a colourful account of his interactions with industry as a consultant. His presentation focussed on the real need for people who are not only educated, but who are also are ‘capable’ of applying themselves and their knowledge. He outlined his frustration with finding ‘good’ people, only to discover that some possessed a distinct ‘attitude problem’.
Poultry CRC PhD student Ms Sarah Weaver spoke about her collaborative research at the University of Adelaide alongside HiChick. She described some interesting results during her research into maternal impact on in-ovo development (in breeder flocks), whereby a small increase in feed intake (20g/bird/day) has resulted in a significant increase in egg production. Indeed, its success is such that HiChick is continuing the trial. Sarah outlined the benefits of working with industry, also noting the respect and diligence she must display within a commercial setting (e.g. quarantine).
The above are just three examples of the range of quality presentations at this year’s conference. We express our thanks to all delegates involved for their input and passion for the poultry industry. As the CRC heads towards winding up (or transition) we will only have one more IE next year. Again, we look forward to robust discussion and the further development of our collaborative poultry network.
RACV Royal Pines Resort