Hilltribe Organics: Helping Thailand communities build egg businesses

Hilltribe Organics: Helping Thailand communities build egg businesses

In the November 2016 issue of Canadian Poultry magazine, we published a story on building inclusive businesse

Why is biosecurity so difficult?

Why is biosecurity so difficult?

They’re an ancient foe, a worthy opponent.

Algae for healthier eggs

Algae for healthier eggs

Canadian egg farmers have a new opportunity to offer healthy eggs high in omega-3

Alternative bedding

Alternative bedding

Bedding is being examined as an increasingly important factor in poultry health

Precision livestock farming

Precision livestock farming

When a farmer enters the barn, he or she hears first, then sees, then smells the environment.

April 25, 2017, Columbus, OH - Keel bone health is increasingly seen as an animal welfare metric in alternative housing systems. A new research study shows the majority of keel bone damage originates from collisions with perches inside the layer house.Dr. Maja Makagon, assistant professor of applied animal behavior at University of California, Davis’ Department of Animal Science, discussed the results of a study conducted to analyze keel bone damage in a layer environment. Makagon, who spoke on April 19 as part of the Egg Industry Center Egg Industry Issues Forum in Columbus, Ohio, said the study utilized accelerometers and 3D imaging technology to study the force of the collisions and measure their effects on the keel bone.The keel is an extension of the sternum that provides an anchor for the bird’s wing muscles and provides leverage for flight. As laying hens are being removed from a conventional cage environment, Makagon said, keel integrity is increasingly seen as an indicator of animal welfare. Damaged keels are associated with increased mortality, reduced egg production and egg quality, and keel damage is likely associated with pain for the animal. READ MORE
April 17, 2017, Dufferin County, Ont. – On behalf of the four feather boards, the Feather Board Command Centre (FBCC) is issuing an Infectious Laryngotracheitis (ILT) Disease advisory to all poultry industry service providers operating in a 10-km zone in Dufferin County southwest of Shelburne. FBCC has been alerted by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) that birds from a small backyard “dual purpose” chicken flock in Dufferin County have tested positive for Infectious Laryngotracheitis. The lab submission came through the Small Flock Surveillance Project administered by OMAFRA and the University of Guelph. OMAFRA staff are providing advice to the small flock owner and his veterinarian to ensure proper biosecurity and disease control measures are implemented. This advisory status is anticipated to last until late May. READ MORE
Increased pressure on the poultry industry to produce antibiotic-free chickens remains a challenge, as rearing birds without antibiotics results in an increased risk of pathogen contamination. The Canadian poultry industry is faced with an increased risk in the development of necrotic enteritis, known to be caused by Clostridium perfringens bacterium.  
March 30, 2017, University Park, PA — Poultry and animal disease experts in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences are urging commercial poultry producers to ramp up their vigilance and biosecurity in the wake of recent outbreaks of avian influenza in several states. In early March, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA-APHIS) announced that a commercial flock of breeder chickens in Tennessee tested positive for highly pathogenic avian flu, or HPAI. Since then, USDA-APHIS has revealed another case of the same H7N9 virus at a second Tennessee farm, and Alabama agriculture officials announced an outbreak of suspected low-pathogenic avian flu affecting three premises in that state. In addition, low-pathogenic avian flu was reported in a Wisconsin turkey flock and a Kentucky broiler breeder flock, and routine surveillance has found the presence of low-pathogenic avian flu in wild waterfowl in various states. The pathogenicity of a virus refers to its ability to produce disease. Some H5 or H7 viruses have the capacity to mutate into "high-path" strains under certain conditions, according to Eva Wallner-Pendleton, senior research associate and avian pathologist in Penn State's Animal Diagnostic Laboratory. "Low-path AI viruses can go undiagnosed because they often produce very little illness or death," she said. "The time needed to mutate into high-path viruses varies considerably from weeks to months, or it can occur rapidly." Infection with North American strains of low-pathogenic avian flu is a common natural occurrence in wild birds, such as ducks and geese, which usually show few or no symptoms, Wallner-Pendleton explained. "But if these strains get into a poultry flock, they can mutate and become highly pathogenic, causing significant mortality," she said. She noted that poultry flocks infected with low-pathogenic H5 or H7 avian flu subtypes often will be culled to stop the spread of the virus and to keep it from becoming more virulent. The recent Tennessee outbreak occurred within the Mississippi flyway, which is one of four paths taken by wild birds when migrating in the spring and fall in North America. During the 2014-15 outbreak of highly pathogenic H5N2 avian flu that led to the loss of about 50 million turkeys and laying hens in the Midwest, the Atlantic flyway – which connects with the Mississippi flyway – was the only migratory flyway not affected. "In Tennessee, one of the affected poultry houses was near a pond, which may have attracted wild waterfowl," Wallner-Pendleton said. "In cool, wet weather, bird droppings can contain viable virus for a long time, and the pathogen can be spread to poultry flocks on people's shoes or on vehicle tires and so forth. So a key biosecurity recommendation is to prevent any contact between waterfowl and domestic poultry and to take steps to ensure that the virus is not introduced into a poultry house on clothing or equipment." Gregory Martin, a Penn State Extension poultry science educator based in Lancaster County, pointed out that state and federal agriculture officials are strongly urge producers to develop an HPAI flock plan and augment it with a comprehensive biosecurity plan. "These plans may be required for producers to receive indemnification for any losses resulting from an avian flu outbreak," he said. To assist producers in developing a biosecurity plan, Martin said, Penn State poultry scientists and veterinarians have developed a plan template that can be customized for various types of flocks.
March 28, 2017, Atlanta, GA – A flock of chickens at a commercial poultry breeding operation located in Chattooga County has tested positive for H7, presumptive low pathogenic avian influenza (LPAI). This is the first confirmation of avian influenza in domestic poultry in Georgia. The virus was identified during routine pre-sale screening for the commercial facility and was confirmed as H7 avian influenza by the USDA National Veterinary Services Laboratory (NVSL) in Ames, Ia. As a precaution, the affected flock has been depopulated. Officials are testing and monitoring other flocks within the surveillance area and no other flocks have tested positive or experienced any clinical signs. The announcement follows similar confirmations from Alabama, Kentucky and Tennessee in recent weeks. The Georgia case is considered a presumptive low pathogenic avian influenza because the flock did not show any signs of illness. While LPAI is different from HPAI, control measures are under way as a precautionary measure. Wild birds are the source of the virus. Avian influenza virus strains often occur naturally in wild birds, and can infect wild migratory birds without causing illness. “Poultry is the top sector of our number one industry, agriculture, and we are committed to protecting the livelihoods of the many farm families that are dependent on it,” said Georgia Commissioner of Agriculture Gary W. Black. “In order to successfully do that, it is imperative that we continue our efforts of extensive biosecurity.” The official order prohibiting poultry exhibitions and the assembling of poultry to be sold issued by the state veterinarian’s office on March 16, 2017, remains in effect. The order prohibits all poultry exhibitions, sales at regional and county fairs, festivals, swap meets, live bird markets, flea markets, and auctions. The order also prohibits the concentration, collection or assembly of poultry of all types, including wild waterfowl from one or more premises for purposes of sale. Shipments of eggs or baby chicks from National Poultry Improvement Plan (NPIP), Avian Influenza Clean, approved facilities are not affected by this order.
March 22, 2017, Frankfort, KY — Federal and state authorities say a case of low pathogenic avian influenza has been detected in a commercial poultry flock in western Kentucky. Kentucky State Veterinarian Robert C. Stout said the National Veterinary Services Laboratory in Ames, Iowa, confirmed the presence of H7N9 low pathogenic avian influenza in samples taken from the Christian County premises. The virus exposure at the premises was initially detected by the Murray State University Breathitt Veterinary Center in Hopkinsville while conducting a routine pre-slaughter test last week. Dr. Stout said there were no clinical signs of disease in the birds. The affected premises are under quarantine, and the flock of approximately 22,000 hens was depopulated as a precautionary measure, Dr. Stout said. “Dr. Stout and his staff have extensive experience and expertise in animal disease control and eradication,” Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles said. “They have an excellent working relationship with the Kentucky Poultry Federation and the poultry industry. They are uniquely qualified to contain this outbreak so our domestic customers and international trading partners can remain confident in Kentucky poultry.” Low pathogenic avian influenza (LPAI) may cause no disease or mild illness. Highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) can cause severe disease with high mortality. The Office of the Kentucky State Veterinarian and its partners in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA APHIS) are conducting surveillance on flocks within a six-mile radius of the index farm, Dr. Stout said. The company that operates the farm is conducting additional surveillance testing on other commercial facilities it operates within that area.
Canadian egg farmers have a new opportunity to offer healthy eggs high in omega-3 to nutrition-focused consumers thanks to a recent decision by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA).
March 16, 2017 – The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has confirmed a second case of highly pathogenic H7N9 avian influenza in a commercial breeder flock in Lincoln County, Tenn. This H7N9 strain is of North American wild bird lineage and is the same strain of avian influenza that was previously confirmed in Tennessee. It is not the same as the China H7N9 virus that has impacted poultry and infected humans in Asia. The flock of 55,000 chickens is located in the Mississippi flyway, within three kilometers of the first Tennessee case. Samples from the affected flock, which displayed signs of illness and experienced increased mortality, were tested at Tennessee’s Kord Animal Health Diagnostic Laboratory and confirmed at the APHIS National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL) in Ames, Iowa. The USDA is working with the Tennessee Department of Agriculture on the joint incident response. State officials quarantined the affected premises, and depopulation has begun. Federal and state partners will conduct surveillance and testing of commercial and backyard poultry within a 10 kilometer (6.2 mile) radius of the site. The USDA will be informing the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) as well as international trading partners of this finding. The Tennessee Department of Agriculture is working directly with poultry workers at the affected facilities to ensure that they are taking the proper precautions to prevent illness and contain disease spread.
March 15, 2017, Montgomery, AL — State Veterinarian Dr. Tony Frazier, in consultation with Commissioner John McMillan, has issued a stop movement order for certain poultry in Alabama. “The health of poultry is critically important at this time,” said Dr. Frazier. “With three investigations of avian influenza in north Alabama on three separate premises we feel that the stop movement order is the most effective way to implement biosecurity for all poultry in our state.” The first two investigations were on two separate premises in north Alabama. One flock of chickens at a commercial breeder operation located in Lauderdale County, Ala. was found to be suspect for avian influenza. No significant mortality in the flock was reported. The other premise was a backyard flock in Madison County, Ala. Samples from both premises have been sent to the USDA National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL) in Ames, Iowa, and are being tested to determine presence of the virus. The most recent investigation began following routine surveillance while executing Alabama’s HPAI Preparedness and Response Plan. USDA poultry technicians collected samples at the TaCo-Bet Trade Day flea market in Scottsboro located in Jackson County, Ala. on March 12. Samples collected were suspect and those samples are on the way to the USDA lab in Ames, Iowa. USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is working closely with the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries (ADAI) on a joint incident response. This suspected strain of avian influenza does not pose a risk to the food supply. No affected poultry entered the food chain. The risk of human infection with avian influenza during poultry outbreaks is very low. “Following the 2015 avian influenza outbreak in the Midwest, planning, preparation, and extensive biosecurity efforts were escalated in Alabama. Industry, growers, state and federal agencies and other stakeholders have worked hard to maintain a level of readiness,” said Commissioner of Agriculture and Industries John McMillan. “Our staff is committed to staying actively involved in the avian influenza situation until any threats are addressed.”
March 10, 2017, Nashville, TN – The Tennessee state veterinarian confirms that a flock of chickens at a commercial poultry breeding operation has tested positive for low pathogenic avian influenza (LPAI). This chicken breeding operation is located in Giles County, Tenn. The company that operates it is different from the one associated with the recent detection of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in Lincoln County. At this time, officials do not believe one premise sickened the other. On March 6, routine screening tests at the Giles County premises indicated the presence of avian influenza in the flock. State and federal laboratories confirmed the existence of H7N9 LPAI in tested samples. “This is why we test and monitor for avian influenza,” State Veterinarian Dr. Charles Hatcher said. “When routine testing showed a problem at this facility, the operators immediately took action and notified our lab. That fast response is critical to stopping the spread of this virus.” As a precaution, the affected flock was depopulated and has been buried. The premises is under quarantine. Domesticated poultry within a 10 kilometer (6.2 mile) radius of the site are also under quarantine and are being tested and monitored for illness. To date, all additional samples have tested negative for avian influenza and no other flocks within the area have shown signs of illness. The primary difference between LPAI and HPAI is mortality rate in domesticated poultry. A slight change to the viral structure can make a virus deadly for birds. Avian influenza virus strains often occur naturally in wild migratory birds without causing illness in those birds. With LPAI, domesticated chickens and turkeys may show little or no signs of illness. However, HPAI is often fatal for domesticated poultry. The Giles County LPAI incident is similar to the Lincoln County HPAI incident in that both the low pathogenic and highly pathogenic viruses are an H7N9 strain of avian influenza. USDA’s National Veterinary Services Laboratories confirms the H7N9 virus that affected the Lincoln County premises is of North American wild bird lineage. It is not the same as the China H7N9 virus affecting Asia and is genetically distinct. The Lincoln County premises affected by HPAI remains under quarantine. To date, all additional poultry samples from the area surrounding that site have tested negative for avian influenza and no other flocks within the area have shown signs of illness. Testing and monitoring continues.
March 8, 2017, Barron, WI – A low-pathogenic bird flu strain has been detected in a Jennie-O Turkey Store operation in Barron, Wis., marking the second bird flu case in a U.S. commercial operation this week. The U.S. Department of Agriculture posted notice of the Barron County case to the Paris-based World Organisation for Animal Health's website March 7. Hormel Foods, which owns Wilmar-based Jennie-O, confirmed the H5N2 strain was detected March 4 at its Barron operation. The USDA report said 84,000 birds are at the farm. READ MORE
March 7, 2017, Ames, IA – USDA’s National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL) has confirmed the full subtype for the highly pathogenic H7 avian influenza reported in Lincoln County, Tenn. The virus has been identified as North American wild bird lineage H7N9 HPAI based upon full genome sequence analysis of the samples at the NVSL. All eight gene segments of the virus are North American wild bird lineage. This is NOT the same as the China H7N9 virus that has impacted poultry and infected humans in Asia. While the subtype is the same as the China H7N9 lineage that emerged in 2013, this is a different virus and is genetically distinct from the China H7N9 lineage. As additional background, avian influenza viruses are classified by a combination of two groups of proteins: hemagglutinin or “H” proteins, of which there are 16 (H1–H16), and neuraminidase or “N” proteins, of which there are 9 (N1–N9). Many different combinations of “H” and “N” proteins are possible. Each combination is considered a different subtype, and subtypes are further broken down into different strains. Genetically related strains within a subtype are referred to as lineage. The USDA continues to work with the Tennessee Department of Agriculture on the joint incident response. Birds on the affected premises have been depopulated, and burial is in progress. An epidemiological investigation is underway to determine the source of the infection. Federal and state partners continue to conduct surveillance and testing of poultry within an expanded 10-mile radius around the affected premises to ensure all commercial operations in the area are disease-free. In addition, strict movement controls are in place within an established control zone to prevent the disease from spreading. As of yesterday, all commercial premises within the surveillance area had been tested, and all of the tests from the surrounding facilities were negative for disease. Officials will continue to observe commercial and backyard poultry for signs of influenza, and all flocks in the surveillance zone will be tested again. The rapid testing and response in this incident is the result of extensive planning with local, state, federal and industry partners to ensure the most efficient and effective coordination. Since the previous HPAI detections in 2015 and 2016, APHIS and its state and industry partners have learned valuable lessons to help implement stronger preparedness and response capabilities. More information about avian influenza can be found on the USDA avian influenza page.
May 15, 2017, Alpharetta, GA - The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) recently approved the distribution of Selisseo®, the first pure source of organic selenium capable of meeting nutritional requirements in the Canadian market.The purity of the proprietary organoselenium-based product, which has been tested in numerous trials, has been shown to consistently deliver more selenium while increasing the availability of selenocysteine (SeCys), thus providing animals with high antioxidant capabilities.Selenium is an essential nutrient and powerful antioxidant that plays a critical role in metabolism, reproductive health and immunity by fighting oxidative stress.Organic selenium is more easily integrated into body metabolism than other currently available selenium sources such as inorganic selenium salts and selenium-enriched yeasts.For more information, visit: http://www.adisseo.com
Supplementing poultry rations with trace minerals like copper, zinc and manganese can help improve flock health and profitability.
May 9, 2017 – On May 11, 2017 at 10 AM, WATT Global Media will host a webinar discussing Avian Influenza (AI).Highly pathogenic AI outbreaks have occurred in commercial poultry operations on every continent except Antarctica in the last decade, including this year’s outbreaks in the U.S., Europe and Asia.The impact of these outbreaks has increased along with the size of the poultry industry. The outbreak in the U.S. in 2015 was the world’s most expensive resulting in a loss of around 50 million birds, and the current H7H9 outbreak in China has claimed over 100 human lives.Join a group of panelists from around the globe as they discuss steps that could be taken in the laboratory, on the farm and in the board room to better position the industry to deal with this ongoing challenge. READ MORE
April 19, 2017, Grande Prairie, Atla. - Farmers in the Peace Region returned 19,871 kilograms of obsolete and unwanted pesticides and 450 kilograms of livestock and equine medications, including poultry medications, through CleanFARMS' obsolete collection campaign this year.CleanFARMS, which operates the program, is a national, industry-led agricultural waste stewardship organization. Collections took place at six participating ag-retail locations throughout the region from September 21-23, 2016. This marked the first time that a combined collection of pesticides and livestock medications has been offered in the Peace Region. CleanFARMS partnered with the Canadian Animal Health Institute (CAHI) to add the collection of livestock and equine medications to CleanFARMS' existing obsolete pesticide collection program.The obsolete collection program is generally delivered in each province or region of the country every three years and comes at no cost to farmers. The free disposal program will be delivered again in the region in 2019. In between collections, farmers are encouraged to safely store their unwanted pesticides and livestock medications until they can properly dispose of them through the program. The obsolete collection program is part of the plant science and animal health industry's commitment to the responsible lifecycle management of their products. READ MORE
April 18, 2017, Peterborough, Ont. – The government of Ontario has announced plans to grow opportunities for local poultry through the Greenbelt Fund. The Greenbelt Fund will support 24 new projects across Ontario, totalling over $830,000 in new investments through the province's Local Food Investment Fund program. One of the 24 projects is the Reiche Meat Products Ltd., which will see $14,550 put towards establishing a poultry processing facility in Renfrew County. The availability of an abattoir in Renfrew County will allow existing small-scale poultry farms to scale up and meet growing demand for local poultry at farmers' markets and in stores. The project is expected to increase local food sales by $100,000 and bring 20 new farmers to market. Since 2010, the Greenbelt Fund has seen a 13:1 return on its investment in local food projects. READ MORE Other projects include:Poechman Family Farms Microgreens for Pastured Eggs ($38,100) Poechman Family Farms will invest in significant changes to its barn to improve quality of life for its hens as well as quality and flavour of its eggs, meeting consumer demand for humane eggs. The project will involve the introduction of a new perch for the hens, and specially grown greenhouse microgreens for the hens' diet. The pilot will allow Poechman Family Farms to share learnings with other egg farmers in the Organic Meadows Co-Operative and the Yorkshire Valley Farms distribution family. National Farmers Union – Ontario Building a Network of Local Food Advocates ($32,675) The National Farmers Union – Ontario will enhance local food literacy across the province by building a network of local food advocates across a number of sectors, including educators, healthcare providers, faith communities, artists, academics, outdoors professionals, and youth. The NFU will create tailored local food information material for the different advocates and create a directory of local food advocates. Victorian Order of Nurses – Windsor Essex Promoting Local Food Literacy & Increasing Local Food Consumption in Southwestern Ontario Schools ($18,988) The Victorian Order of Nurses delivers school breakfast and snack programs that feed over 100,000 students every year. This project will develop local food literacy awareness materials for students and parents, to accompany increased local food served through these programs. Bayfield Berry Farm Increasing Processing of Ontario Fruit Juices, Cider, Preserves & Fruit Liqueurs ($37,250) Bayfield Berry Farm will expand their on-farm processing facility to meet growing demand for fruit juices, ciders, preserves and fruit liqueurs. The expansion will allow Bayfield Berry Farm to develop packaging and labelling, including requisite nutritional information, to sell their products to wholesale and retail markets, in addition to their on-farm shop. The project is expected to increase sales by up to 50% in their first year. Cauldron Kitchen Inc. Local Food Entrepreneurship Program ($5,000) Cauldron Kitchen will launch a Local Food Entrepreneurship Program for 4-8 participants to build the skills to create a viable local food business. Participants will have access to business development classes, mentoring and commercial kitchen use. Cohn Farms Processing and Distribution Hub ($72,500) Cohn Farms will be scaling up capacity at its processing and distribution hub to meet growing demand for local food, which is outpacing supply. The project is expected to double the number of farms supplying Cohn Farms to 25-30, create over 15 full-time equivalent jobs, and increase sales of local food by over $4m per year. Deep Roots Food Hub Grow West Carleton – Food Hub ($48,500) Deep Roots Food Hub will increase access to local produce by investing in a new co-packing approach for its roots cellar, providing storage, distribution and marketing opportunities to area farmers. In addition, the project will expand the Good Food Box program and include an "Eat West Carleton" promotional campaign.Earth Fresh Farms Increasing Access for Ontario's New Innovative White Potato ($42,900) Earth Fresh Farms will work with 9 Ontario growers to grow premium Polar White potatoes and extend the season for Ontario white potatoes. The project is expected to increase the market for Polar White, Ontario potatoes significantly, with increased sales of well over $1m a year. Ecological Farmers Association of Ontario Supporting Local Food Market Access for Ecological Growers Across Ontario ($14,475) The Ecological Farmers Association of Ontario will increase market access for small to mid-scale ecological producers by providing specialized training through workshops and farm tours, including selling to new markets (eg. Food hubs, retail, wholesale, farmers markets), on-farm value-added opportunities, and new and emerging markets (eg. World crops, heritage grains, ecological fruit). Farmersville Community Abattoir Farmersville Community Abattoir – Processing Equipment ($30,141) Farmersville Community Abattoir is a new, not-for-profit initiative to establish a community-owned abattoir to meet the needs of the farming communities in Leeds and Grenville, Frontenac, Lanark and Ottawa-Carleton. By establishing a community-owned facility, Farmersville Community Abattoir will help ensure the long-term viability of the agricultural system in Eastern Ontario for 1,300 farmers in the region and increase local food sales by $240,000. Farms at Work – Tides Canada Initiatives Expanding Impact and Sustainability of Local Food Month in Peterborough ($15,000) Farms at Work will expand the impact and improve the sustainability of Peterborough Local Food Month, by working in partnership with Transition Town Peterborough to facilitate local food-related workshops, events and tours throughout September and culminating in the Purple Onion Festival. Flanagan Foodservice Homegrown – Local Food Project ($42,840) Flanagan Foodservice is Canada's largest family-owned foodservice distributor and will increase sales of Ontario foods by increasing its local food offerings, improving traceability, and investing in a promotional campaign to improve awareness of Ontario food available to its customers. The project is expected to increase local food sales by $1 million in 2017.Greenhouses Canada Northern Ontario Mobile Growing Facility ($52,283) Greenhouses Canada will purchase a mobile "grow truck" to serve as an indoor demonstration and training site, and allow for transportation of fresh produce to remote northern communities (including on seasonal ice roads). The project is expected to increase local food sales by $117,000. Halton Healthcare Good For You, Locally Grown – Phase 2 ($51,500) Halton Healthcare will build on the progress made to increase local food served in its hospitals by working with farmers, manufacturers and other industry colleagues to develop recipes using Ontario food that meet the nutritional needs of patients. The project will also establish branding to identify local food choices to patients, as well as a marketing campaign to promote the local food offerings at Halton Healthcare facilities. Len & Patti's Butcher Block Improved Production Efficiency to Increase Ontario Raised Pork, Beef, Lamb, Elk & Goat ($46,438) To meet growing demand for Ontario raised meats, Len & Patti's Butcher Block will invest in modernized machinery to increase production capacity. The project will include a new smoke house, tumbler, sausage stuffer, and patty machine. The increase in production capacity is expected to increase the sale of local meat by $2.5 million by the end of 2017.Local Line Inc. Local Line Food Hub Project ($28,316) Local Line will build custom local food hub software for Ontario food hubs, based on a market assessment of the needs of Ontario's existing food hubs. The platform will leverage existing Local Line marketplace and reporting software to create easy-to-use software for new and established local food hubs. Munye Kitchens Increasing Local Food Outreach – Multi-Ethnic African Communities & Beyond ($23,495) Munye Kitchens will create a local food guide for multi-ethnic African communities to increase awareness of locally-grown foods relevant to the African communities and identify where Ontario-grown produce can be purchased. The project will also educate consumers on how to use African crops like okra and callaloo, grown in Ontario and the Greenbelt. Muskoka Foundry Market Assessment for the Development of a Local Food Hub ($30,000) Muskoka Foundry will establish a new aggregated local food hub in Northern Ontario in Bracebridge's historic Foundry building. The space will include 10 permanent retail spots for agri-food processors, and provide mentorship opportunities for new processors and producers through an additional 10-15 temporary vendor stalls.  The project is expected to increase local food sales by $1.5m per year. Neyaashiing Smoked Fish Increasing Access for Local Neyaashiing Smoked Fish Products ($13,250) Neyaashiing Smoked Fish will invest in upgrades to its smoking facility to improve food preparation, food safety and production output. This will allow Neyaashiing Smoked Fish to increase access to new markets for smoked fish sourced and processed in First Nations communities, both through retail and wholesale market channels. Select Food Products Implementation of New Cooking Line to Increase Production Capabilities and Access the Ontario Market ($75,000) Select Food Products has made a significant investment in a new cooking and production line in order to deliver a made-in-Ontario with Ontario ingredients French's Ketchup. The project will nearly triple production capacity for Select and help French's to execute on its commitment to make and source ketchup in Canada.   Wendy's Mobile Market Season-Extension, Value-Adding Processing and Services ($71,538) Wendy's Mobile Market will retrofit a cow barn into a local food processing and storage facility to offer season-extending and value-added processing to local farmers. The facility will create new processed products including jams, jellies, preserves, dried fruit, and frozen entrees. West Niagara Agricultural Society Niagara 4-H Local Food Booth ($14,463) West Niagara Agricultural Society will partner with Niagara 4-H to purchase a road-worthy trailer for the volunteers of the 4-H club to bring to food and agricultural events throughout the region. The trailer will allow the 4-H to introduce their local food products to urban and near-urban students who might not otherwise be exposed to local food offerings. Wickens Lake Sunshine Greenhouse Retrofit Extension – Northern Ontario ($9,942) Wickens Lake Sunshine will invest in a retrofit and extension of its existing hydroponics greenhouse to extend the farms' growing season and increase capacity. Once the upgrades are complete, Wickens Lake Sunshine will partner with Open Roads Public School and the Cloverbelt Local Food Co-Op to supply produce for the school's salad bar program, bringing more local, nutritious food to students.
With public pressure on the Dutch agricultural sector to address issues related to environmental sustainability and animal welfare, industry stakeholders came together to design a new broiler production concept called Windstreek. The concept not only addresses public concerns, but also improves economics at the farm level.
Kevin Weeden was raised on a turkey farm just outside of New Hamburg, Ont. Back in the ‘60s, he remembers seeing the Hybrid turkey crews arrive and change their boots and clothing. Eventually he became Hybrid’s vice-president of sales and marketing, a position he held until 1995. And that, he said, gives him confidence when stating Hybrid is the best in the world at biosecurity.
When Canadian Poultry introduces new technologies for the farm, we often leave readers wondering “where are they now?” months or years later. Well, wonder no more. We’ve tracked several seemingly groundbreaking innovations and now we’re bringing you updates on how those innovations have panned out since we first presented them in our pages.
In November 2016, poultry producers from around the world gathered to hear Erik Helmink, marketing director at HatchTech, share his expertise on antibiotic-free poultry production at EuroTier, the world’s largest livestock production trade fair.
In January, new broiler producer Brent Pryce welcomed more than 20,000 birds (14,000 quota) into his brand new barn in Walton, Ont.“I grew up on a farm, with my grandfather starting with dairy and then cash crops and some pork and beef, and always wanted to get into farming,” Pryce says. “I worked towards this through starting up a few different businesses like road dust control, a rental business, vehicle undercoating, and then decided last summer to take the plunge to buy quota and build a barn.”Construction started in September 2016 and finished in December 2016.“Our sons, Russell and Clinton, are the reason Catherine and I did it, so that they can have a future in farming if they want it,” Pryce adds. “We’re starting with the goal of producing 2.2 kilogram birds, with four kilograms as the ultimate goal.”Pryce chose a cross-ventilation barn design with a heating system that’s brand new to North America – one he’s seen working well in other barns he’s visited. Pryce also believes it will help save on heating bills and electricity, which is quite costly in Ontario, and provide excellent humidity control.Weeden Environments was a main contractor for the project. Nathan Conley, the firm’s manager for Ontario and the northern United States, says the cross-ventilation design offers a lower building cost than longer and narrower tunnel barns. “Many of Brent’s neighbours and friends are very happy with their cross-ventilated buildings,” he says. “We recommended that two sides have modular side wall air inlets for consistent control over incoming air during minimum ventilation. The air from both sides travels up and along the ceiling [the warmest part of the barn] and therefore it’s conditioned before it reaches the birds and the litter. We then use stir fans to produce consistent temperatures throughout.”Conley says when warmer weather arrives, a continuous double baffle inlet on one side of the barn will be employed; this set-up creates the same amount of wind chill over the birds as continuous baffle on both sides of the barn. Val-Co HyperMax exhaust fans were chosen for the barn, which Conley says are high-performing and very energy efficient.A first in North America, the barn’s forced air propane heating and humidity control system is provided by Mabre. Mike Neutel, CEO of Neu Air Systems in Woodstock, Ont., says the systems are used all over the world. The set-up includes two 600,000 Btu Mabre propane furnaces with Reillo burners.“In poultry barns, typical heating systems are tube heaters and box forced air heaters,” Neutel says. “Some growers have these heaters vented to the outdoors and some vent the products of combustion in the barn.”He notes the contaminants contained in this air are very harmful to birds, and the exhaust also contains tons of moisture – 0.82 litres of water for every litre of liquid propane burned, and 0.65 litres of water for every litre of liquid natural gas.Mabre heating systems exit exhaust through chimneys while maintaining a high efficiency of 92 per cent, Neutel notes, while the forced air blowers provide excellent air circulation, which is key in maintaining proper humidity levels. A very even temperature, often within a degree throughout the entire barn, is achieved, but no draft is created. Return air going back to the furnace incorporates fresh outside air through a louver, while heating and mixing this air through an exchanger.   View the embedded image gallery online at: https://www.canadianpoultrymag.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=latest&layout=latest&Itemid=1#sigProGalleriaf3f6e7f508 All of this, Neutel says, was important to Pryce. “[He] also commented during his decision process that the low ammonia levels will make it a safe environment for his children to manage the barn when they get older without having to worry about farmer lung,” Neutel adds. Mabre systems maintain humidity between 50 and 60 per cent, even with outside humidity levels of 90 per cent, which Neutel says keeps ammonia levels very low. Mabre is available with natural gas, propane, wood pellet and wood chip options. More than 200 wood pellet systems have been installed in Quebec poultry barns.In terms of how popular the cross-ventilation systems will become, Conley notes that in Ontario, producers are moving away from two and three-story barns for easier cleaning and to incorporate modular loading systems. “In the U.S., longer tunnel-ventilated barns are the norm, because the barns are larger and the temperatures higher,” he explains. “With this design – used there and around the world – the barn operates the same as a cross-ventilated barn, where air is brought in via sidewall inlets and exhausted out the sidewalls, but when hotter weather arrives, we gradually transition into tunnel to generate air speed down the length of the barn to create wind chill over the birds to cool them. I think that you’ll begin to see a trend of tunnel-ventilated buildings popping up over the next few years as we continue to see hotter, longer summers and the need to control heat stress becomes greater.”In late January, Pryce reported in on barn performance and his first flock, which had arrived three weeks prior. “So far, I’m really happy with the heat unit and the environment in there is great. Right now is when you see things start to slide a bit, but it’s the same as the first few days the chickens came in. Usually you don’t really take young kids in a barn, but I’m pretty comfortable with taking my young kids in. The carbon dioxide and humidity levels are bang on.”
They’re an ancient foe, a worthy opponent. For over 300 million years, we’ve been battling the bugs of infectious disease – but are we winning?
March 28, 2017, Ottawa, Ont – Egg Farmers of Canada and the National Farm Animal Care Council (NFACC) recently announced the release of a revised Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Layers. Canada’s codes of practice are nationally developed guidelines for the care and handling of farm animals. They serve as the foundation for ensuring that farm animals are cared for using sound management and welfare practices that promote animal health and wellbeing. Codes are used as educational tools, reference materials for regulations, and the foundation for industry animal care assessment programs. “Canada’s more than 1,000 egg farmers are deeply committed to and strive for continuous improvements when it comes to the care and well-being of their hens,” said Roger Pelissero, chairman of Egg Farmers of Canada. “Egg Farmers of Canada is a long-time supporter of the National Farm Animal Care Council. We value the leadership of the code committee and their dedication to evidence-based standards that serve as a key building block to our national animal care program,” he added. NFACC’s code development process is a uniquely consensus-based, multi-stakeholder approach that ensures credibility and transparency through scientific rigour, stakeholder collaboration, and consistency. Updates to the layer code were led by a 17-person code committee comprised of egg farmers, animal welfare and enforcement representatives, researchers, transporters, egg processors, veterinarians and government representatives. Aiding in their work was a five-person scientific committee that included research and veterinary expertise in laying hen behaviour, health and welfare. A public comment period was held in the summer of 2016 to allow the public and all stakeholders to provide input. “The new code provides progressive standards for hen welfare in Canada,” said poultry welfare expert Dr. Ian Duncan, who represented the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies on the code committee. “We worked diligently for almost four years to secure these important new welfare commitments.” Canada’s codes of practice are a powerful tool for meeting rising consumer, marketplace and societal expectations relative to farm animal welfare. Codes support responsible animal care practices and keep everyone involved in farm animal care and handling on the same page. “The code of practice is an important tool for egg farmers across the country,” explains Glen Jennings, egg farmer and chair of the code development committee. “The new code is the result of four years of in-depth scientific evaluation and rigorous discussion. The outcome balances hen welfare, behaviour and health in a manner that is sustainable and achievable by farmers.” The new layer code is available online at www.nfacc.ca/codes-of-practice/poultry-layers.
In the November 2016 issue of Canadian Poultry magazine, we published a story on building inclusive businesses: “Growing bottom lines with social impact.” The story was based on a talk given by Markus Dietrich, co-founder and director of Asian Social Enterprise Incubator Inc., at the International Egg Conference in Warsaw, Poland.
May 9, 2017, Ottawa, Ont. – Dr. Bonnie Mallard, professor at the University of Guelph (U of G) has been named a recipient of the 2017 Governor General’s Innovation Award.Mallard created the High Immune Response Technology (HIR), which manages livestock health through genetic identification. This sustainable and efficient approach was designed to meet consumer expectations for healthy, non-GMO products while maintaining profitability and addressing global food demands.Mallard was nominated for the award by Universities Canada.The Governor General's Innovation Awards recognize and celebrate outstanding Canadian individuals, teams and organizations whose exceptional and transformative work help shape our future and positively impact our quality of life.The Governor General will present the awards to the winners during a ceremony at Rideau Hall, in Ottawa, on May 23, 2017, at 6 p.m.Listed below are the other winners and their citations:David BrownIsland View, New BrunswickDavid Brown founded MyCodev Group in order to resolve a lack of supply of chitosan, a valuable pharmaceutical ingredient that is essential in a wide variety of medical devices and drugs. Mr. Brown's innovative technology produces chitosan directly from a fungal fermentation, a process that uses very little energy or chemicals. Mycodev Group is only four years old and is selling its chitosan to major pharmaceutical and medical device companies around the world.Nominated by Futurpreneur CanadaMarie-Odile JunkerOttawa, OntarioMarie-Odile Junker has been a pioneer with respect to endangered Aboriginal languages in Canada, exploring how information and communication technologies can be used to preserve these languages. She has also brought together numerous speaker communities by using a participatory-action research framework that has resulted in the creation of several collaborative websites, including the Algonquian Linguistic Atlas and its online dictionary.Nominated by Federation for the Humanities and Social SciencesPatricia Lingley-Pottie and Patrick McGrath (Strongest Families Institute)Halifax, Nova ScotiaDr. Patricia Lingley-Pottie and Dr. Patrick McGrath are the creators of the Strongest Families Institute, a non-profit organization that delivers evidence-based programs to children, youth and families through a unique distance-delivery system. Using proprietary software technology, trained coaches are able to connect with users by phone or via the Internet, thus allowing families greater flexibility when accessing services. The programs address common mental health problems and other issues impacting overall health and well-being.Nominated by Ernest C. Manning Awards FoundationAudra RenyiMontréal, QuebecAudra Renyi co-founded World Wide Hearing (WWH) Foundation, which uses affordable technology, market incentives and rapid training to help underprivileged people affected by hearing loss. Ms. Renyi is also the founder and CEO of earAccess, a for-profit social enterprise that aims to cut the price of hearing aids by 75 per cent. HAW uses innovative distribution models to ensure hearing aids and related services are available to those who need them the most.Nominated by Grand Challenges CanadaPaul SanterreToronto, OntarioDr. Paul Santerre invented Endexo technology, a unique compound of surface-modifying macro molecules that are added to plastics during the manufacturing process of medical devices, like catheters. The special coating helps reduce clotting when the devices are used to treat patients, reducing the risk of adverse reactions and potentially deadly complications. Now being used in commercialized products in Canada, the U.S. and Europe, Endexo is helping to improve treatment outcomes for thousands of patients.Nominated by Ernest C. Manning Awards Foundation
May 8, 2017, London, Ont. - Dr. John Summers, Professor Emeritus of the University of Guelph, has been posthumously awarded the 2016 Ed McKinlay Poultry Worker of the Year award.This award is presented annually to outstanding individuals in the poultry industry and was presented on April 6th, 2017 at the London Poultry Show.Ed Verkley, chair of the Poultry Industry Council stated, “Dr. John Summers was a leader in the poultry nutrition field. He taught and mentored many individuals who went on to work in the Ontario poultry industry, and his continuous contact with industry resulted in his research work being relevant and timely for direct application into the sector. Dr. Summers is very deserving of this award.”Dr. Summers originally joined the University of Guelph’s Department of Poultry Science in 1956. Following the completion of his PhD from Rutgers University, New Jersey in 1962, he returned to the Department and remained there until his retirement in 1987. Dr. Summers was appointed Chair of the Department of Poultry Science in 1969.His research focus areas and accomplishments were quite diverse, and he served as a Technical Adviser to many organizations throughout his career. Dr. Summers passed away in August 2016. His son, Dr. David Summers accepted the award on his behalf.
May 3, 2017, Guelph, Ont. - Carolynne Griffith of Alvinston has been named the 2017 recipient of the Farm & Food Care Ontario Champion Award.Griffith is an egg and crop farmer from Lambton County and a past chair of Egg Farmers of Ontario. Throughout her career as an egg farmer, she has answered thousands of consumer questions about eggs and egg farming at various events such as the Canadian National Exhibition, Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, Western Fair, local events and schools. She was also instrumental in helping to establish the Who made Your Eggs Today? Campaign.As a past chair of FarmGate 5, Carolynne represented farmers on a global level in numerous trade negotiations around the world including meetings in Geneva, Hong Kong and Brussels.Harry Pelissero, General Manager of Egg Farmers of Ontario, applauds Griffith for her strong agricultural advocacy through all positions. “Carolynne dedicates herself to all undertakings, and she shows her genuine passion and pride for farming with grace and quiet elegance. She consistently commits her time, knowledge and experiences to engaging industry members, students and Canadians in general.”Lambton Federation of Agriculture spokesperson Al Langford says Griffith has been instrumental in the agriculture sector, having supported many local and provincial farm organizations in a wide variety of ways – from organizing events and serving as a board member and past Chair of Egg Farmers of Ontario, to actively engaging the Canadian public. “The Champion Award has been presented annually, since 1999, to worthy agricultural advocates.Farm & Food Care Ontario is a coalition of farmers, agriculture and food partners proactively working together to ensure public trust and confidence in food and farming.For more information visit www.FarmFoodCareON.org.
April 28, 2017, Toronto, Ont. - Pecking Order, a new documentary film set at the 2015 New Zealand National Poultry Show, takes viewers into the world of competitive poultry pageantry and examines the politics in the Christchurch Poultry, Bantam and Pigeon Club in its near 150-year history.Competitive poultry pageantry is not only a highly entertaining hobby—it’s an obsession. For members of Christchurch Poultry, Bantam and Pigeon Club in New Zealand, it’s also way of life.Senior member, Beth Inwood, and president, Doug Bain, have tasted the glory of raising perfect rosecomb cockerels and rumpless pullets, while newbie teenagers Rhys Lilley and Sarah Bunton enjoy the good clean fun. But feathers start to fly when infighting breaks out in the club during the run-up to the 2015 National Poultry Show.As energetic as any sport film and as comedic as you’d imagine Best in Show chicken pageantry to be, Pecking Order serves up an endearing look at poultry passion.Pecking Order is set to premiere at the Hot Docs International Film Festival in Toronto, Ont., on April 29.For more information, visit: Pecking Order - Hot Docs International Film Festival
April 11, 2017, Calgary, Alta. - A mother-daughter duo from Alberta is capitalizing on the growing popularity of backyard farming by launching a rent-a-chicken business. Megan Wylie works alongside her mother on their Millarville family farm to run, The Urban Chicks, a company aimed at providing customers with everything necessary to operate a backyard chicken coop. Customers are given two chickens, a coop, organic feed, grit and oyster shells, feed dishes and cleaning supplies. In October, the chickens are picked up and returned to the Millarville farm. Wylie says this allows customers to acquire fresh eggs while avoiding caring for the chickens in the more tedious winter months. The Urban Chicks even provide their customers with a ‘laying guarantee,’ where they will replace a hen if it stops laying eggs. READ MORE
March 1, 2017, Dublin, OH – The Wendy's Company recently announced the expansion of its Supplier Code of Conduct, which now includes all U.S. and Canadian contracts managed by Quality Supply Chain Cooperative (QSCC) and suppliers that provide a significant stream of goods or services to Wendy’s on an annual basis. "We expect all of our suppliers to comply with the law and use best practices in all aspects of their operations, and to conduct business in a way that is consistent with the values of Wendy's and our franchisees,” said Todd Penegor, president and CEO of the Wendy's Company. “Further, it's important to us to reaffirm our past commitments and aspire to even greater accomplishments in the areas of environmental and social responsibility." The code focuses on topics important to the Wendy's brand and its customers, including food safety and food ingredients, farm animal health and well-being, human rights and labour practices, environmentally sustainable business practices, and business ethics and integrity. The company will now add approximately 100 additional suppliers to be covered by the code, including all U.S. and Canadian contracts managed by QSCC, and suppliers that provide a significant stream of goods or services to the Wendy's Company on an annual basis. The code will also require third party reviews related to the human rights and labour practices of certain produce suppliers. The decision to add third party reviews was due in part to the nature of agricultural work, its workforce, and an evaluation of various risk factors. The code's provisions apply to all suppliers. However certain sections may be inapplicable to certain suppliers. Wendy's Supplier Code of Conduct is accessible under the Responsibility tab in Supply Chain Practices section of its website.
February 24, 2017, Mississauga, Ont – Maple Leaf Foods Inc. recently reported net earnings of $181.7 million for the year ended December 31, 2016. This is up from $41.6 million in net earnings reported at year-end 2015. “We finished 2016 with a strong quarter sustained by solid commercial performance,” said Michael H. McCain, president and CEO of Maple Leaf Foods. “With the combination of our increasingly competitive cost structure, and commercial strategies that intersect with important consumer needs and trends, we are well positioned for future profitable growth.” The company’s Meat Products Group, which includes value-added fresh poultry products, reported a 1.2 per cent increase in sales, earning $3,316.5 million for 2016. Fourth quarter sales alone were $824.4 million, a decrease of 5.1 per cent from the previous year.   Margins in prepared meats improved due to lower operating costs across the network. Earnings in fresh poultry declined slightly as industry processor margins receded from record levels in the fourth quarter of 2015.   Prepared meats sales declined slightly in response to a price increase in the first quarter but strengthened as the year progressed. Fresh poultry sales increased due to stronger volume and an improved sales mix.
Jan. 26, 2017 - Poultry genetics company Aviagen has reported that its new hatchery in Watertown, N.Y. is now fully operational and began shipping chicks to customers in early November.Located in upstate New York just south of the Ontario border, the Watertown hatchery is strategically situated to efficiently supply Canadian customers with broiler breeding stock. “Aviagen continually makes investments that result in better service to customers,” says Kevin McDaniel, president, Aviagen North America. “The new hatchery enables us to keep up with the region’s expanding demand for our products, while at the same time promoting the success of our customers by offering them the highest quality of chicks possible.”The Watertown facility has become Aviagen’s seventh commercial breeding stock hatchery in the U.S.With a hatching capacity of up to 135,000 high-quality chicks per week (7 million per year), the new hatchery is able to effectively keep up a growing demand in the region. It is equipped with advanced technology equipment such as Jamesway Platinum incubators and hatchers, which are designed for heightened biosecurity and energy efficiency. Sophisticated environmental controls ensure consistently exceptional hatch results and provide the highest level of care available for our eggs and chicks.The new hatchery boasts a favorable strategic location. Its nearness to Aviagen customer farms translates to minimal transport times, which safeguards the safety, health and welfare of day-old chicks. And, the close proximity to JFK airport in New York makes it a logical location to safely and securely export choice broiler breeding stock.The new hatchery also contributes to the economy of the Watertown community, by employing 40 local people.
Jan. 13, 2017 – After graduating from high school, Gary Baars hung up a shingle as TNT Agri-Services, offering “relief milking and much more.” “Much more” soon started becoming a reality and on Jan. 11th, the now 33-year-old Chilliwack, B.C. dairyman, hay salesman and cattle dealer and his wife, Marie (26), became the B.C. & Yukon Outstanding Young Farmers for 2017.In 2006, TNT Agri Services turned into TNT Hay Sales as Baars started selling hay, first to local horse farms and then to local dairy farms.“We sell a lot of hay to different dairy farms,” Baars says. Not long after, the young entrepreneur expanded TNT to include cattle sales. When Farm Credit Canada offered him a large loan with “no strings attached” in early 2011, Baars used it to start his own dairy farm.“I had enough money to buy quota for 15 cows,” he recalls.Two years later, Marie’s grandmother asked if they would manage her 160-cow 80-acre dairy farm in east Abbotsford. The Baars agreed on condition they could buy it.“We amalgamated our small herd with her larger herd and have been steadily improving the facilities over the past few years,” Baars reports.His entrepreneurship did not stop there. Last year, he purchased additional hay-growing acreage in Greendale and joined up with two partners to buy a 472-acre 100-cow dairy in Manitoba.“We have already grown that farm by 20 per cent,” Baars says.He has also served as a director of both the Mainland Young Milk Producers and the B.C. Young Farmers. Baars’ entrepreneurial spirit even extends itself to his recreational activities. Gary and his father-in-law have begun holding Cornfield Races twice a year, inviting friends and neighbours to race beat-up cars on the farm.To earn the 2017 award from judges Rick Thiessen (2004 BC & Canadian Outstanding Young Farmer), Mark Sweeney (retired B.C. Ministry of Agriculture berry and horticulture specialist) and Kurt Bausenhaus (KPMG), the Baars outpointed Jeremy and Tamara Vaandrager ofVaandrager Farms in west Abbotsford.After managing several egg farms for other owners, the Vaandragers obtained a 3,000 bird quota in the 2010 B.C. Egg Marketing Board new entrant lottery. In the six years since, they have increased their quota holdings to 6,000 birds and are in the process of converting their farm from a free-run operation to an aviary.“Aviaries have become common in Europe but it is still a relatively new system in North America,” Vaandrager notes.The BCOYF program is sponsored by the BC Broiler Hatching Egg Commission, Clearbrook Grain & Milling, Farm Credit Canada and Insure Wealth. To be eligible for the award, applicants must be under 40 and derive at least two-thirds of their gross revenue from farming. They arejudged on the progress in their agricultural careers, the sustainability of their farming operations and involvement in their industry and community.Gary and Marie Baars will represent B.C. at the national OYF competition in Penticton, B.C., in November. The national competition is supported by AdFarm, Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada, Annex Business Media, Bayer Crop Science, BDO, CIBC, Farm Management Canada and John Deere.
The arduous review process is over and the award has now been bestowed. Of the various operations nominated for the 2016 Canadian Poultry Sustainability Award, Farmcrest Foods Ltd. (Farmcrest) is the winner.The enterprise was started in 1999 and is owned by Richard Bell and his brother-in-law Alan Bird, whose families both originate from Ireland and came to Canada looking for new opportunities. In addition to Richard and Alan, members of three generations of the families currently help out on the farm, including Richard’s father Cecil (a retired farmer), brother Henry and sons Henry Jr. and Jack.  The operation includes: a hatchery and poultry barns (in addition to growing their own birds Farmcrest also contracts 16 new entrant growers to supply chicken to their processing plant); feed mill; processing plant; rendering plant (renderings are not used on the farm but sold for animal feed); enclosed mechanical composting for bird mortality, and crop production (200 acres of owned land and 400 acres of leased land farmed with potatoes, sunflowers and soybeans). Farmcrest also has its own poultry retail store. In total, the operation employs 45 people. The farm itself is situated on soils ranging from clay and loamy clay to sandy loam with some peat areas in a relatively flat river bottom area near Salmon Arm, B.C. “It is also very close to Shuswap Lake,” Bell explains. “We therefore need to be very careful with the amount and type of nutrients applied to this well-drained area to prevent runoff.” Farmcrest’s regular nutrient management practices include using a concrete pad (contained to prevent runoff) for manure storage. There is also virtually no runoff of nutrients from the fields (and little odour) as manure is worked in with a disc or ploughed under immediately after application. “We only apply the manure to the fields needing it for the seed that is being planted,” Bell notes. “Our soil health has improved steadily in the last five years since these measures were put in place.” No commercial fertilizers are used.Farmcrest has an environmental farm plan and has used expert advice from a certified crop advisor since 2011. In 2013, Farmcrest also began a working relationship with Poultry Partners, a team of technicians, production specialists, veterinarians and nutritionists based in Airdrie, Alta., which offers a variety of agricultural industry services. The firm supported Farmcrest’s nomination for the sustainability award through a letter of recommendation - as did the British Columbia Chicken Marketing Board. “They’ve done an excellent job farming intensively in a very ecologically-sensitive area,” Shawn Fairbairn, Poultry Partners general manager says. “They have committed to improve soil fertility, optimize production and most importantly, reduce chemical and pesticide use and virtually eliminate synthetic fertilizer to ensure the surrounding ecosystem remains undisturbed. There is on-going monitoring and testing of the manure, soil and crops to ensure their goals are being reached. The investment in new equipment to allow for less soil disturbance and odour when poultry manure is applied is one example of their forward-thinking.”  Fairbairn also notes that farm equipment is continuously upgraded at Farmcrest so that the most precise technology is used with the most fuel-efficient engines. “By growing about 85 per cent of all the feed ingredients their chickens consume, they have dramatically reduced the carbon footprint of their operation,” he adds. Farmcrest also uses moisture and pH meters for soil testing to understand when conditions are optimal for manure application. An overall goal to achieve air quality improvement (reductions in odour, ammonia and particulate matter inside and outside the barn) has been achieved by ensuring an optimal level of nitrogen is available to the birds. Ingredient and feed sampling are conducted on a regular basis to track this, and tests to track soil nitrogen levels are also completed annually. Because of all this monitoring and adjustment (not to mention an on-farm feed mill that makes immediate changes in the ration possible), Farmcrest has seen improvements in bird growth as well as air quality and soil improvement. No irrigation is used at Farmcrest, and as much water as possible is conserved through the use of an ‘air chill’ system in the processing plant, nipple drinkers in the barns and a misting system for barn disinfection. Farmcrest has built 14 new poultry barns in the last five years, and Richard says their goal with each build is to be as energy efficient as possible. This includes the use of R60 insulation, LED lighting, high-efficiency electric motors and radiant tube heating. Product differentiationFarmcrest was the first in its region to grow grain corn and now non-GMO grain corn. This led to the operation breaking new ground on a national level by being the first poultry operation in Canada to market non-GMO chicken (verified through nongmoproject.org). Poultry Partners assisted with further development of products. “[Farmcrest] listened to their customers and have proactively responded to the demand that was there in their local market. This has been extremely good for their business and the long-term financial viability of their operation.” Fairbairn describes the Bird and Bell families as having a “tangible passion” for poultry and farming. “We love working with clients that are ‘hands-on’ and engaged,” he notes. “And the folks at Farmcrest are extremely engaged. Their work ethic and commitment to the environment and their local community is easy to grasp when you spend time with them. They are big believers in continuous learning and improvement. There is on-going reinvestment in all aspects of their operation to allow for improved welfare, safety and production efficiency for the birds, workers and the food they produce.”  Team effortThe fact that the Farmcrest owners directly work alongside their employees every day has created, in Fairbairn’s view, a culture of hard work and high standards. “It is also unique to see three generations of family all working together towards a common goal,” he notes. “The youngest generation is actively involved in working and planning and will be well prepared to continue the legacy of this agri-business. The owners are always looking for new technologies and ideas. They literally travel the world to attend trade shows, farm tours and crop production events to ensure they are on the leading edge of agriculture. As a consulting group, we are extremely fortunate to have a client like Farmcrest.” Bell says he feels honoured that Farmcrest has won the 2016 Canadian Poultry Sustainability Award. “It is very much a team effort,” he notes. “I wish to thank my staff and our team for their dedicated efforts each and every day.” Visit farmcrestfoods.ca if you would like to read in more detail about the business.
Hybrid Turkeys, a division of Hendrix Genetics, has built a new breeder facility between Berkeley and Markdale, Ont. The name of the farm, “Berkdale” is a mix of the two.While construction of a new turkey breeder farm might not seem terribly newsworthy, this one is, firstly because of its location. The site was chosen at a significant distance from the company’s other operations in southern Ontario, mainly for biosecurity reasons. “Five years ago we wouldn’t have even considered a location so far away from our other farms,” says Hybrid Turkeys’ farm division manager, Marek Mirda. “To ensure secure supply to our customers, especially during disease outbreaks and establishment of quarantine zones, we looked for an area with distance from our own and other poultry farms. During disease outbreaks there can be an impact on healthy farms due to restriction of movement within quarantine zones, so we want to minimize or eliminate this potential risk.”Hybrid Turkeys began its search for a location by examining a Canadian Food Inspection Agency map of Ontario that pinpoints all types of livestock operations. “We evaluated this area on the map to choose a location with the least amount of poultry operations,” Mirda notes. “After working with real estate firms, we found this property between Berkeley and Markdale.”New designLocation aside, Berkdale has other important biosecurity aspects, with the most significant being a farm design that connects the barns. In the past, Hybrid Turkeys would have designed the farm so the egg house and lay barn (for example) were separate buildings, and staff would therefore have to change clothing and boots every time they would go between. “A system of separate entry and exit not only adds risk of picking up outside organisms, but is also difficult during winter months in Canada,” Mirda explains. “The new system has staff go through biosecurity procedures once and then they have safe access to the entire barn system.” Hendrix Genetics is in the final stages of upgrading a layer breeder facility in Ontario that will have the same design, he adds. In addition, Berkdale (and a Hybrid Turkeys pedigree facility as well) have a dry shower and other additional measures to keep foreign organisms as far away from the barn as possible - on both the brood/grow side as well as lay barn side. Upon arrival at the farm, staff and any visitors must enter the dry shower facility, which requires individuals to change out of street clothes into farm clothing and footwear. Next, individuals exit the dry shower into a neutral air pressure zone before accessing the completely enclosed wet shower rooms. After using the shower facilities, individuals change again into new farm clothing and boots, ready to enter the clean zone of the farm. Outside the buildings, there is complete separation of the clean and dirty zones. Dirty zone roads are for external suppliers to deliver fuel and other supplies without entering the farm area. Clean zone roads are only for internal clean vehicles that transfer staff or supplies between barns. All the buildings’ mechanical equipment can be accessed from the dirty zone so that contracted service technicians have quick access in case of urgent need. Hybrid Turkey employees have access to a storage garage in the clean zone with equipment only to be used within the clean zone, and one on the dirty side for use only in the dirty zone. Additional biosecurity was gained through filling any saw cuts on concrete with caulking to prevent particulates from settling in. “One of the project members suggested we used ‘an entire truckload of caulking’ to ensure no cut was missed!” Mirda reports. In addition, as part of the ventilation system, the farm features darkout hoods large enough for a person to fit inside, which makes it easier to ensure proper cleaning of these areas. There is also a wash station for vehicles on the ‘lay side’ of the farm.Berkdale also features an innovative truck-loading dock for the egg cooler, complete with dock-levelling equipment and seal for the truck. This system allows for the use of trolleys to transfer eggs from the storage room into the trucks rather than the traditional moving of eggs by hand. “Temperature shock is avoided,” explains Mirda, “and there is also no need for an outside connection, in that the delivery driver can stay in the cab while the eggs are loaded by internal staff. It’s a best-practices system that improves worker health and safety and minimize the handling of eggs.”Results so farBerkdale began operation in August and all systems are running smoothly with birds doing extremely well. Mirda says the winter season is when staff expects to see the new design of this facility to show its full benefits. This will be in part because use of the barns on the lay side (that are connected between egg house and laybarn) will begin then, and also, from a comfort and efficiency standpoint, workers will not have to go outside as much during the harsh weather.When asked what factors other poultry operators should consider in building a similar facility isolated from all other farms in the company, the Berkdale staff had good input. They pointed to the decision of whether to try and relocate current employees or search for new employees close to the new facility who may need a lot of training and support. They also pointed out that you have to be ready for staff and equipment from other company facilities to be dispatched as needed for hands-on assistance at the ‘orphan’ facility.Scott Rowland, general manager, Americas at Hybrid Turkeys says that although this facility came at a significant cost, the company leaders feel that the investment in Berkdale is the next step in biosecurity for both customers and staff. “The features of this facility were designed to secure the supply to meet our customers’ needs, while ensuring excellent health and safety of our workers,” he says. “This investment signifies our dedication to continuous improvement. By spreading out our operations, we are working towards the next generation of biosecurity.”Hybrid Turkeys also has production and research facilities in several other locations in Canada, as well as in the U.S., France, Poland and Hungary.
May 19, 2017, Waterloo, Ont. - Farmers know the importance of keeping the land, water and air healthy to sustain their farms from one generation of farm family to the next. They also know that a clean environment and a strong economy go hand-in-hand.The Honourable Bardish Chagger, Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister of Small Business and Tourism, today announced a $1.9 million investment with the University of Waterloo to examine greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with agricultural activities and the potential benefits of alternative land use practices and beneficial management practices (BMPs).This project with the University of Waterloo is one of 20 new research projects supported by the $27 million Agricultural Greenhouse Gases Program (AGGP), a partnership with universities and conservation groups across Canada. The program supports research into greenhouse gas mitigation practices and technologies that can be adopted on the farm.
May 18, 2017, Adelaide, Aus. - People choose to buy free-range or cage-free eggs because they believe they taste better and are better quality than eggs from caged hens, new research published today suggests.In a study, conducted by researchers at the University of Adelaide and published in Anthrozoös, the journal of the International Society for Anthrozoology, the most often reported motivations for buying free-range eggs included reasons such as the eggs were of better quality, more nutritious, and safer to eat, and that they allowed purchasers to avoid “industrialized” food.Despite participants describing caged-egg production as “cruel”, they did not tend to emphasize welfare reasons as critical for their purchases of free-range eggs. Instead, participants felt that the free-range chickens were “happier” and thus produced a better quality of product.This finding suggests that consumers are more likely to purchase a food product if it is both “ethical” and viewed as being of better quality, rather than for ethical reasons alone.The study also revealed that there were high levels of awareness among participants of caged-egg production when compared to other types of animal farming.In addition, participants who bought free-range or cage-free eggs did not necessarily tend to buy meat with ethical claims, in part because the price difference is much smaller in eggs in comparison to different types of meat products. Some people produced their own free-range eggs by keeping a few hens.To collect the data for the study, the researchers conducted focus groups and shopping mall interviews with 73 participants (of mixed age and gender) and asked about their food purchasing habits.Then they categorized the different reasons that people gave for their decisions to understand why people choose the food they do, especially when there are ethical issues and competing values involved.Lead author Dr. Heather J. Bray from the School of Humanities and the Food Values Research Group at the University of Adelaide commented, “Taste and quality are strong motivations for purchasing and may be part of the reason why people are prepared to pay a higher price. More importantly these findings suggest that consumers think about animal welfare in a much broader way than we previously thought, and in particular they believe that better welfare is connected to a better quality product.”The authors recommend that more research is needed including studies to further understand consumer motivations behind purchasing products with ethical production claims, in order to explore whether changes in production methods or labelling would be supported by consumers.This work was funded by the Australian Research Council. Read the full article online: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/08927936.2017.1310986
May 16, 2017, Lancaster, PA - Farmers have been referred to as the first environmentalists. Their livestock and crops depend on a healthy environment to thrive. Still, there’s often room for improvement.According to some early findings from a study by Penn State graduate student Erica Rogers, poultry producers are potentially lowering their impact on the Chesapeake Bay.Rogers and fellow Penn State graduate student Amy Barkley discussed those initial findings from their two master’s thesis projects with the poultry service technicians attending Monday’s Penn State Poultry Health and Management Seminar at the Lancaster Farm and Home Center.Her project’s goal is to accurately depict poultry’s contribution to the Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load. The Chesapeake Bay “is one of the most studied watersheds in the world,” she said, but the problem with the current model is “they are using outdated information for poultry.”Rogers built her work around the concept that poultry litter management has changed and farmers have adopted more precise diets for their flocks. READ MORE
May 16, 2017, Ottawa, Ont. - The Canadian Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA) starts the initial steps to develop a tool set to provide veterinarians with guidelines to support responsible and prudent use of antimicrobial medications in animals during a planning workshop in Ottawa, Ontario from May 9 and 10, 2017.“The veterinary community has a professional responsibility to support Canada's overarching strategy on antimicrobial resistance and use, and to adopt a multidimensional approach towards antimicrobial stewardship,” says Dr. Troy Bourque, CVMA President. “We are excited to embark on this project to meet veterinary needs for critical information, oversight and decision-support related to prudent antimicrobial use (AMU) in animals.”Participating in the workshop are Canadian veterinarians, veterinary researchers and educators, government officials and species-group stakeholders working in the areas of swine, poultry, beef, dairy, small ruminants and companion animals.They are working together to help identify AMU stewardship issues of concern, anticipate content and format needs for veterinary practitioners, address existing information gaps and discuss ways to communicate and engage the new tool set.The overall outcome of the project is to develop guidelines for prudent AMU across the six species groups and pilot a prototype tool set to review effectiveness and guide further improvements.“Ultimately, we want to promote enhanced antimicrobial stewardship to slow or limit the rising trend of AMR,” says Dr. Phil Buote, Chair of the Expert Advisory Group involved in the project, as well as Deputy Registrar for the Alberta Veterinary Medical Association.“Providing these guidelines and tools to veterinarians is intended to influence their prescribing behaviours and enhance communication with producers and industry on the science-based rationale for antimicrobial use. The goal is to promote stewardship and maintain access to effective medically important antimicrobials.”The CVMA is building on past achievements with its specific-usage Antimicrobial Prudent Use Guidelines for Beef Cattle, Dairy Cattle, Poultry and Swine (2008), and small animal guidelines through an Antimicrobial SmartVet application for urinary tract infections.Funding for the project is provided by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada via their AgriMarketing Program supplemented with in-kind contributions by partners including the CVMA and veterinarians.
May 15, 2017, Guelph, Ont. - Collaboration and innovations surrounding antimicrobial stewardship were the focus of a recent poultry research day at the University of Guelph.Featuring a panel of industry and academic experts, the Poultry Health Research Network (PHRN) Research Day brought together researchers, industry, government, and producer representatives to discuss this timely topic.The discussion comes at an important time, as the federal and provincial governments are coming together on a Pan-Canadian framework on antimicrobial resistance, said Dr. Shayan Sharif, PHRN leader and an immunologist at the Ontario Veterinary College.Lloyd Longfield, Member of Parliament for Guelph, acknowledged the global challenge of antimicrobial resistance during a lunchtime address.He noted, it’s great to meet people from all over North America who are looking at common issues, and asked how can “we work together using each other’s strengths” to solve some of these world challenges? “Antimicrobial resistance is one of those challenges.”Longfield, who serves on the Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food, as well as the Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology, added he’ll be asking for help from people around the room “to make sure we have the most current information for science-based decision making.”The U of G is an agri-food centre of excellence and has been for more than 100 years, noted Malcolm Campbell, U of G vice president research, before introducing MP Longfield to conference attendees. “We partner with people right across the sector. We sit right in the middle of an innovation corridor.”U of G is the third in the world for agriculture, he added. “That comes from the research impact of our faculty and the graduate students supervised by them.”A number of those graduate students shared their ongoing research into questions surrounding antimicrobial resistance, vaccines and immunity, and rapid detection devices.Students are the industry capacity of tomorrow, noted Helen Anne Hudson, Director of Corporate Social Responsibility, Burnbrae Farms Ltd. “We are facing a huge shortage of human resources in the agriculture industry. We are in need of people trained in all facets. Events like this help students to network with industry and also find collaborations.”“The student presentations provided not only an excellent overview of the work being conducted at the University of Guelph, but also highlighted the up and coming talent that will be important future leaders in the Canadian poultry industry,” added Steve Leech, National Program Manager, Food Safety, Animal Care and Research, with Chicken Farmers of Canada.Leech also noted networking value for industry, producers, government and researchers.“The research day is a great opportunity to interact with stakeholders that are all focused on different areas of antimicrobial stewardship, from primary researchers, to policy makers and farmers implementing on the ground,” he said. “The sharing of hurdles, opportunities and ideas helps to create relationships, and to define the research priorities that will help the industry succeed.”Hudson agreed, adding, “Despite all of our efforts, we all tend to work to some extent in silos. It is important to break down these silos, share ideas and develop collaborations from them. Connecting researchers with other researchers or industry people who are working in the same fields or with different expertise is huge.”Antimicrobial stewardship is a high priority issue in our industry generating a lot of interest as witnessed by the attendance at the research day, she added.Keynote speakers during the day included: Dr. Billy Hargis, University of Arkansas, Dr. Martine Boulianne, University of Montreal, and Dr. Scott McEwen, Ontario Veterinary College.A panel discussion focused on antimicrobial stewardship in poultry provided an open forum for discussion with conference participants.The University of Guelph has had a long-standing commitment to innovation in animal health and production, with one of the largest groups of poultry scientists and poultry experts in North America. The Poultry Health Research Network has been steadily expanding since its inception in 2012 and now includes more than 60 members from across the U of G campus, as well as industry and government researchers.Find out more about the PHRN at phrn.net.
May 12, 2017, London, Ont. - Researchers are delving deeper into the nesting motivations of birds and finding them as finicky about nesting as humans are about their comfort.They are also finding more research needs to be done.Michelle Hunniford, a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Animal Biosciences at the University of Guelph, is researching the nesting behaviour of laying hens.She has found that new ways of evaluating nesting behaviour are needed.She told a session at the London Poultry Show that settling behavior, the process hens go through to find and get themselves comfortable to lay an egg, along with egg location should drive cage design evaluation. The speed that a hen gets to that comfort level is correlated to how much pecking it does to establish its space and how long it occupies nesting space.The University of Guelph re-searchers observed hens through their waking period — lights came on at 5 a.m. — and recorded their behaviour.They then created graphs that showed a “settled” laying hen moved through its settling phases in more defined periods compared to an “unsettled” layer hen.In most enhanced systems, the layers have a nesting area, with flooring and a scratch area.Hunniford and her colleagues looked at what nests would motivate hens to settle in the desired nesting areas.They found it was difficult to predict which hens would lay where and some hens preferred one system while others chose another.As a result, one of Hunniford’s recommendations include that providing two smaller nests is more important that providing one large, fully furnished nest. READ MORE
May 11, 2017, Dublin, Ireland - Research and Markets has announced the release of the "Global Processed Poultry Meat Market Analysis & Trends - Industry Forecast to 2025" report.The Global Processed Poultry Meat Market is poised to grow at a CAGR (compond annual growth rate) of around 7.6 per cent over the next decade to reach approximately $418 billion by 2025.This industry report analyzes the market estimates and forecasts of all the given segments on global as well as regional levels presented in the research scope. The study provides historical market data for 2014, 2015 revenue estimations are presented for 2016 and forecasts from 2016 till 2025.The study focuses on market trends, leading players, supply chain trends, technological innovations, key developments, and future strategies for existing players, new entrants and the future investors. The market size is calculated based on the revenue generated through sales from all the given segments and sub segments in the research scope. The market data is gathered from extensive primary interviews and secondary research.The study presents detailed market analysis with inputs derived from industry professionals across the value chain. A special focus has been made on 23 countries such as U.S., Canada, Mexico, U.K., Germany, Spain, France, Italy, China, Brazil, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, etc. For more information about this report, visit: http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/s3p3wc/global_processed
May 10, 2017, Ottawa, Ont. – Statistics Canada released the 2016 Census of Agriculture today, providing an overview of each agriculture sector in Canada.The number of farms reporting hens and chickens increased 15.8 per cent from 2011 to 23,910 in 2016. The number of birds rose from 133.0 million to 145.5 million.According to the Census, one in eight farms, or 12.7 per cent, sell food directly to consumers, with 96.1 per cent of products being unprocessed products, such as eggs and fruit.Overall, farm profits are unchanged since 2010 and farms were as profitable in 2015 at the national level as they were in 2010. The gross farm receipts totaled $69.4 billion in 2015, with primary agriculture accounting for 1.5 per cent of the national gross domestic product in 2013.Agriculture goods accounted for 2.2 per cent of Canada’s total imports and 4.6 per cent of total exports.The Census reports that farm operators are slightly older and there are fewer farms in Canada than in 2011, but farms are on average larger and more area is being devoted to crop production.Farm size varied considerably based on region and farm type. The largest operation on average were found in Saskatchewan (1,784 acres), while the smallest on average were located in Newfoundland and Labrador (174 acres).The value of land and buildings used by agricultural operations increased 37.5 per cent, from $311.2 billion in 2011 to $427.9 billion in 2016.For more information or to view the entire Census of Agriculture, visit: http://www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/170510/dq170510a-eng.htm
May 8, 2017 - Supplements containing arsenic have been banned in the European Union since 1999 and in North America since 2013. In many countries they are still added to poultry feed to prevent parasitic infection and promote weight gain.Scientists have now demonstrated that the danger to human health may be greater than previously thought because the metabolic breakdown of these compounds in chickens occurs via intermediates that are significantly more toxic than the initial additives. READ MORE
May 8, 2017, Africa - One strategy for dealing with poultry poop is to turn it into biofuel, and now scientists have developed a way to do this by mixing the waste with another environmental scourge, an invasive weed that is affecting agriculture in Africa. They report their approach in American Chemical Society’s journal Energy & Fuels. Poultry sludge is sometimes turned into fertilizer, but recent trends in industrialized chicken farming have led to an increase in waste mismanagement and negative environmental impacts, according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization.Droppings can contain nutrients, hormones, antibiotics and heavy metals and can wash into the soil and surface water. To deal with this problem, scientists have been working on ways to convert the waste into fuel. But alone, poultry droppings don’t transform well into biogas, so it’s mixed with plant materials such as switch grass.Samuel O. Dahunsi, Solomon U. Oranusi and colleagues wanted to see if they could combine the chicken waste with Tithonia diversifolia (Mexican sunflower), which was introduced to Africa as an ornamental plant decades ago and has become a major weed threatening agricultural production on the continent.The researchers developed a process to pre-treat chicken droppings, and then have anaerobic microbes digest the waste and Mexican sunflowers together. Eight kilograms of poultry waste and sunflowers produced more than 3 kg of biogas — more than enough fuel to drive the reaction and have some leftover for other uses such as powering a generator. Also, the researchers say that the residual solids from the process could be applied as fertilizer or soil conditioner.The authors acknowledge funding from Landmark University (Nigeria).
May 5, 2017, Toronto, Ont.- A recent national survey revealed 70 per cent of Canadian mothers are unaware that babies six to 12 months need 11 mg of iron per dayi – that's nearly 40 per cent more than is required of a full-grown man.The startling statistic was uncovered just in time for World Iron Awareness Week taking place May 1-7 to encourage education and understanding surrounding the importance of iron consumption at every age and stage.The Canada-wide infant feeding survey was commissioned to help inform parents how and when to introduce babies to iron-rich foods.Based on survey findings, Canadian moms are seeking infant feeding information from a wide variety of sources including doctors and pediatricians, online resources, baby care books, magazines and of course, friends and family.While moms of infants are aware that iron is an essential nutrient, there is confusion surrounding when parents should be introducing iron-rich solid foods like meat into their baby's diet.In 2012, Health Canada released new guidelines advising parents to offer their six-month old infants meat, fish, poultry or meat alternatives two or more times a day, on a daily basis.While other foods may offer significant amounts of iron, meat provides our bodies with heme iron – a more easily absorbed variation of the nutrient. Adding meat to a meal also helps absorb up to four times the amount of iron from other foods like green vegetables, bread and cerealsiii.Only about half of moms (55 per cent) surveyed were aware that heme iron found in meats is better absorbed than other dietary iron, or that iron deficiency anemia in infants is associated with irreversible developmental delays (51 per cent).
April 27, 2017, Gatineau, QC - The U.S. Federal Drug Agency (FDA) is giving Quebec-based Agrisoma Biosciences Inc. regulatory clearance to produce a new GMO-free and low carbon animal feed.The approval gives Agrisoma agricultural license to commercialize a protein byproduct of the Carinata oilseed.Carinata is currently grown by farmers to produce oil that makes low carbon biofuels for the aviation industry. Agrisoma has discovered a powerful, natural protein inside the Carinata seed, which can also be processed to produce a nutritious, low carbon animal feed with overall greenhouse gas emissions significantly lower than animal feed made from other common crops used as feed in the livestock industry."This decision places Agrisoma at the forefront of creating a planet-friendly animal feed alternative that helps reduces overall greenhouse gas emissions in livestock production, poultry, aquaculture and dairy markets," says Steve Fabijanski, President and CEO of Agrisoma. READ MORE
May 19, 2017, Toronto, Ont. - At its 32nd annual meeting held in Toronto May 18, 2017, the Further Poultry Processors Association of Canada (FPPAC) elected the following Board of Directors and Officers:Officers:Chairman- Blair Shier, J.D. SweidVice-Chair- Chris Hobbs, ADP Direct PoultryBoard of Directors:Betty Dikeos, D & D PoultryJamie Falcao, Maple Leaf FoodsKeith Hehn, Golden Valley FarmsIan Hesketh, Intercity PackersChris Hobbs, ADP Direct PoultryDon Kilimnik, DC FoodsEd Lamers, Tillsonburg Custom FoodsBlair Shier, J.D. SweidKevin Thompson, Sargent FarmsAppointments:CFC Rep- Ian Hesketh, Intercity PackersCFC Alternate- Don Kilimnik, DC FoodsTFC Rep- Keith Hehn, Golden Valley FarmsTFC Alternate- Tony Tavares, Exceldor FoodsTQAC Chicken Rep- Ian Hesketh, Intercity PackersTQAC Chicken Alternate- Ed Lamers, Tillsonburg FoodsTQAC Chicken Alternate- Robert de Valk, FPPACTQAC Turkey Rep- Keith Hehn, Golden Valley FarmsTQAC Turkey Alternate- Tony Tavares, Exceldor FoodsTQAC Turkey Alternate- Robert de Valk, FPPACGeneral Manager- Robert de Valk, FPPAC
May 19, 2017, Guelph, Ont. - Thought leaders from the farming and food industry will gather in Calgary September 18-20 at the second annual Canadian Centre for Food Integrity (CCFI) Public Trust Summit.Transparency in our food system is no longer optional; so farmers and ranchers through to the largest food companies need to know more on how to effectively earn public trust in our food and how it’s grown.“The CCFI Public Trust Summit is not ‘just another meeting.’ It’s an experience for you to come and learn from the entire food system,plus help shape the path forward for earning trust in Canadian food and farming,” says Crystal Mackay, Canadian Centre for Food Integrity.This year’s theme “Tackling Transparency — the Truth About Trust” kicks off with a full day of Experience Alberta farm and food tours on September 18th, capped off by an evening celebrating the “Science of the Six-Pack.”Brew masters will be on-hand to walkthrough how local barley, hops, yeast, and water combine to make pints of beer.The second day’s highlights include: Release of the 2017 CCFI public trust in food and farming consumer research World class speakers with a variety of perspectives and insights on transparency and trust A lively consumer panel of millennials sharing exactly what they think about food and farming The conference wraps up with a “Connecting with Canadians” working breakfast on September 20, where attendees will learn more about what they can do and idea swap on what’s happening in Canada to engage with consumers.The inaugural CCFI Public Trust Summit, held last June in Ottawa, sold out with an incredibly diverse representation from food companies, retail and food service, government, academia, farmers and food influencers, like bloggers and dietitians.For more information, visit: www.foodintegrity.ca
May 18, 2017, Milton, Ont. - Three new members were elected to AgScape’s 2017 Board of Directors at the organization’s annual general meeting on May 3.The 12-member board directs the organization’s mandate to advance specialized agri-food education in Ontario.Jim McMillan, a farmer from Beamsville, Ont. joins the board in a community seat position.Charlotte O’Neill from Elanco Animal Health and Stephanie Szusz from TD Canada Trust both join the board in corporate seat positions.Peter Hohenadel from the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair was re-elected to the board in a corporate seat position.Returning board members who are taking on new duties include Audrie Bouwmeester and Jennifer Peart. Audrie Bouwmeester – a dairy education program manager with Dairy Farmers of Ontario – is the newly appointed acting chair and vice chair, and holds a corporate seat position.Jennifer Peart with Farm Credit Canada has been appointed acting treasurer and also holds a corporate seat on the board.AgScape’s board includes three additional community seats held by past chair Lorie Jocius, Deb Campbell of Agronomy Advantage and Natalie Walt with Ceres Global Ag Corp.Three additional corporate seats are held by Kathryn Doan of AgCareers.com, Mark Kerry with Monsanto Canada Inc. and Meaghan Ryersee from Syngenta Canada Inc.The AgScape board also includes two advisors – Catherine Mahler with the Ministry of Education and Helen Scutt with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.AgScape is a not-for-profit organization providing reliable and balanced resources to Ontario schools on agriculture, food production, environmental sustainability and related topics.AgScape, formerly OAFE, was created in 1991 with the mission of building awareness and understanding of the importance of our agriculture and food system. For more information visit www.agscape.ca.
May 17, 2017, Ottawa, Ont. - Today, Health Canada announced new rules for veterinary drugs that will better protect Canadians against antimicrobial resistance (AMR); these changes to the Food and Drug Regulations have been published in the Canada Gazette, Part II.Changes to the Food and Drug Regulations include: Restricting the personal importation of certain veterinary drugs for food-producing animals; Requiring companies to follow stricter guidelines to ensure the quality of their active pharmaceutical ingredients; Requiring manufacturers, importers and compounders of veterinary drugs to report annual sales of medically important antimicrobial drugs to Health Canada to enable better surveillance; and Introducing a more flexible and risk-appropriate framework to make importation simpler for low-risk veterinary health products, including products that may be used as alternatives to antimicrobial drugs. These changes complement other ongoing initiatives, such as collaborating with provincial and territorial health authorities, the pharmaceutical industry, veterinarians, food animal producers and other stakeholders to promote the prudent use of antimicrobial drugs in animals. As antimicrobial-resistant bacteria may be transferred to humans from animals through the food chain and compromise the treatment of human infections, these regulatory initiatives are important steps in protecting the long-term health and well-being of all Canadians.Health Canada is responsible for authorizing human and veterinary antimicrobial drugs in Canada and promoting their prudent use. Approximately 80% of medically important antimicrobials sold in Canada are used in livestock.Microorganisms (such as bacteria, fungi, viruses, and parasites) develop resistance when they are exposed to antimicrobial drugs (such as antibiotics, antifungals and antivirals). As a result, the medicines become ineffective, and infections persist in the body. These infections can spread to others, and increase the risk of serious complications.For further information, visit: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/antibiotic-antimicrobial-resistance/animals.html
May 17, 2017, Ann Arbor, MI — Global public health organization NSF International has developed an independent certification protocol — Raised Without Antibiotics — to certify animal products have been raised without exposure to antibiotics.The new certification protocol will help identify products that do not contribute to the growth of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.NSF International’s Raised Without Antibiotics certification can be granted to a wide variety of animal products, including meat, poultry, seafood, dairy, eggs, leather and certain supplement ingredients.The certification provides independent verification of on-package claims and is the only “raised without antibiotics” certification that covers all animal products.“A growing number of consumers are concerned about the widespread development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria and the use of antibiotics in food production,” said Sarah Krol, Global Managing Director of Food Safety Product Certification, NSF International. “NSF International’s Raised Without Antibiotics certification gives consumers an easy way to identify and purchase animal products that have been raised without exposure to antibiotics, which may help alleviate their concerns.”A 2016 survey conducted for NSF International found that 59 percent of consumers prefer products from animals raised without antibiotics. But, without an independent, transparent protocol and certification process, consumers have not been able to verify claims made by marketers – until now.Betagro Group in Thailand, a large supplier of chicken to consumers in Asia and Europe, is the first company to earn NSF International’s Raised Without Antibiotics certification.NSF International developed the Raised Without Antibiotics protocol in partnership with the food animal industry and veterinary stakeholders.Under the program, animals cannot be certified if they have received antibiotics. The use of ionophore chemical coccidiostats, which are not considered contributors to antimicrobial resistance, may be permitted to prevent infections, depending on labeling regulations in the region of product sale.The program also encourages preventive measures such as vaccination, alternative treatments, litter management techniques and appropriate stocking density to maintain the health and welfare of the animals.If sick animals require antibiotics for treatment, they can receive veterinary care but must be removed from the Raised Without Antibiotics program.Learn more about NSF International’s Raised Without Antibiotics certification.Register for an informational webinar on Wednesday, June 21, 2017 from 9:30 to 10 a.m. U.S. Pacific Time.
May 17, 2017, Borden-Carleton, P.E.I. - The recipients of grants from a $2 million transition fund set up by McCain after it closed its potato processing plant in 2014 in Borden-Carleton, P.E.I., were announced Tuesday.Nine businesses and the municipal government received grants. The amounts ranged from $7,000 to $1 million. Innovation PEI established a steering committee to administer the fund and review funding applications; the committee included representatives from Innovation PEI, Borden-Carleton, the Central Development Corporation, ACOA, and McCain’s.The 10 successful applicants announced include: MacDougall Steel: $1 million. Silliker Glass: $300,000. Atlantic Beef Products: $142,000. Mrs. Dunsters: $26,000. Tree Top Haven: $25,000. Island Apple Storage: $25,000. P.E.I. Handpie Company: $7,000. Town Of Borden-Carleton: $50,000. Canadian Cold Storage: $200,000 (subject to project approval). Larkins Poultry: $225,000 (subject to project approval). Larkin Brothers plans to use the funds to establish a new poultry processing plant with the aim of increasing value added products and increased market share. READ MORE
May 12, 2017, Ottawa, Ont. - Canada’s farmers and processors need the federal government’s help to navigate the increasingly complex labyrinth of international trade to ensure they have access to the foreign markets they depend on, according to a report released Tuesday by the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Forestry.The committee met with over 500 witnesses and other stakeholders from across the country to examine international market access priorities for Canadian farmers and processors — a key contributor to the Canadian economy — to understand the challenges they face when exporting their products and to identify possible solutions to facilitate and encourage international market access.The committee’s report, Market Access: Giving Canadian Farmers and Processors the World, outlines ways to ensure Canadian products get to shelves around the world.World-renowned products like Quebec maple syrup, Alberta beef, blueberries from Atlantic Canada, Okanagan and Niagara wines, and canola from the Prairies all reinforce the Canada Brand.The committee sees the Canada Brand as crucial to positioning Canadian products on the international stage.The committee makes 18 recommendations in its report, including: That the federal government eliminate non-tariff barriers to trade and pursue free trade agreements with other countries. That all levels of government work together to eliminate interprovincial trade barriers and invest in rail, road and marine infrastructure to guarantee that Canadian producers and processors are able to efficiently transport their products to consumers. That the federal government improve access to infrastructure grants for farmers and food producers who want to invest in new technologies, and that Employment and Social Development Canada and Immigration and Citizenship Canada create programs that help farmers hire foreign workers to address labour shortages. Adopting the committee’s recommendations will help the government ensure that the Canadian agriculture sector continues to thrive.
May 12, 2017, Burlington, Ont. - National allocations for A-145 (Aug 6 – Sept 30) and A-146 (Oct 1 – Nov 25) are both set at +5.0% relative to adjusted bases at the Chicken Farmers of Canada (CFC) meeting on May 3, 2017 in Ottawa.Chicken Farmers of Ontario (CFO) provided its recommendation for national allocation to CFC of +6% above adjusted base for A-145 and A-146. As in prior periods CFO’s recommendation had been framed on a public policy of “balanced best interest” and based on an analysis of the market and an assessment of the demand and supply opportunities as well as potential risks to the market. READ MORE
May 11, 2017 - According to Reuters, China has lifted a ban on Canadian poultry imports implemented in 2014 following an outbreak of bird flu, its quality watchdog said in a statement on Thursday.The ban had been in force since December 2014, when Canada reported the detection of H5-type bird flu on two farms in British Columbia.
Transparency, sustainability and traceability have become basic consumer expectations, making them essential to food production, says John Scott, former president of the Canadian Federation of Independent Grocers (CFIG).
The opening of a new broiler breeding stock hatchery by industry powerhouse Aviagen in January in northern New York State is good news for the Canadian poultry industry. Located just a 30-minute drive from the Canadian border and fairly close to JFK International Airport, the new facility will minimize transport time to eastern Canadian broiler chicken breeder barns.
In my first week as Canadian Poultry magazine’s new editor, I had the privilege of learning the lay of the land at the London Poultry Show. One message was clear from the many conversations I had: while there are a few challenges, the poultry industry is remarkably stable and producers are thriving.

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