Utilizing vaccines to reduce antimicrobial use

Utilizing vaccines to reduce antimicrobial use

By controlling certain viral diseases with vaccination, producers can reduce on-farm antimicrobial usage.

Nesting in enriched cages

Nesting in enriched cages

While multiple studies have uncovered some of what affects nesting and pre-nesting behaviour, much remains to be learned.

Maximizing broiler performance

Maximizing broiler performance

Reaching genetic potential through best management practices.

Disease found in small backyard flock.DATE: Late MayLOCATIONS: Southeastern ManitobaDETAILS: Chicken producers in Manitoba are concerned about a disease outbreak at a backyard chicken farm. In late May, or early June, a case of Infectious Laryngotracheitis (ILT) was detected on farm south of Steinbach, in southeastern Manitoba. The ILT outbreak is at a small farm with “dozens” of birds, according to Manitoba Chicken Producers. This case is particularly worrisome because of the location. Southeastern Manitoba is a crucial production region for laying hens and broiler chickens.SOURCE: producer.com
An ILT Disease Biosecurity Advisory Area has been established for a 10 km area east of Simcoe in Norfolk County.
Biosecurity Advisory put in place.
Two disease updates from Quebec.
Lawmakers are calling on the federal government to better support farmers who they say are especially vulnerable to mental-health issues like stress, depression and suicidal thoughts.
I’ve written before about a growing frustration within the industry. Increasingly, global food companies are coming out with their own welfare programs for poultry and egg sectors. Many of them include their own unique commitments suppliers must adhere to. Adding to this frustration, some of these pledges appear to be driven not by evidence but by pressure activists put on brands.
Early mortality in a flock can have several causes or contributing factors. One of the most common reasons is a bacterial infection of the navel (omphalitis) or yolk sac. In this article, I discuss omphalitis and other factors that can impact early mortality rates and overall chick quality.
It’s one of the most significant immunosuppressive diseases in the Canadian chicken industry. Infectious bursal disease (IBD), also known as Gumboro disease, is caused by a very highly contagious and immunosuppressive virus (family Birnaviridae) in chickens.
The first time American egg farmer John Brunnquell walked into a cage-free barn everything he thought he knew about hen welfare was called into question. It was the early 1990s, and Brunnquell could recite the benefits of caged production by heart: Birds don’t walk around in their own manure, cages protect them from predators and they can be quickly fed if they get sick, he said.
Coccidiosis refers to a parasitic infection of the gut that causes clinical signs of disease. The parasites referred to are coccidial species (Eimeria). Some key clinical signs  include reduced feed consumption, increased water consumption, ruffled feathers, watery feces, dehydration, reduced weight gain, increased feed conversion, bloody dropping and mortality.
Global poultry production has entered an era of increased oversight of antibiotic use during live production. Being able to treat sick animals with antibiotics is important. As an industry, we must continue to do our part to maintain antibiotic effectiveness so they can be used as tools for sick animals. As with any change, there will be a learning curve moving forward.
A valid veterinarian-client-patient-relationship (VCPR) is simply the term given to describe the relationship the poultry farmer and the attending veterinarian share.
It’s been many years since heat exchangers arrived on the poultry industry scene. As with countless technologies, designs of new models are greatly improved over those of the past. Heat exchangers have become much easier to both clean and install, and in terms of efficiency, some manufacturers claim that current systems cut barn heating bills in half. The higher indoor temperatures of broiler operations make them more worthwhile than egg producers.
The phrase ‘energy efficiency’ in a poultry industry context likely brings to mind shining rows of LED lights. It’s true that an increasingly large number of Canadian poultry farms have LEDs now.
After a long winter across Canada, summer and higher temperatures are approaching. That means it’s important to be prepared for the heat and the impact this could have on your birds.
What is the recommended dose of fenbendazole for an individual animal, based on its weight? How much fenbendazole will it take to treat a specific number of animals? Which Safe-Guard or Panacur formulation is the most appropriate and cost effective option in a particular instance?The answers to these and other questions are just a few clicks away with Merck Animal Health’s new Safe-Guard mobile application.This one-of-a-kind tool makes it easy for veterinarians and producers to quickly calculate the volume and amount of fenbendazole required based on the number of animals to be treated, the animal’s weight, and the selected formulation of Safe-Guard, Panacur or Panacur Aquasol.The Safe-Guard mobile application also includes an optional cost comparison feature to help users select the most cost-effective formulation and presentation of fenbendazole to meet their specific needs.Other features include in-app access to product labels for all formulations of Safe-Guard, Panacur and Panacur Aquasol, as well as selected studies and a resource section containing helpful information and articles.“Merck Animal Health has always been committed to providing veterinarians and producers with value-added products and services that promote the well-being of animals and help increase productivity and efficiency,” said Douglas Wong, product manager, farm animal business unit, in a press release.“Our goal in developing the Safe-Guard mobile application was to create an easy-to-use, practical calculator and resource tool that helps save time and money by taking the guesswork out of fenbendazole administration.”The Safe-Guard mobile application can be used to calculate fenbendazole dosages, quantities and costs for four different species: cattle, swine, horses and poultry.The Safe-Guard mobile application for both iOS and Android is now available for download on the Apple Store and Google Play.
Depending on where you are in the world, consumer preferences will dictate desired egg colour and egg size; however, good quality eggs should always be free from internal blemishes such as blood spots, pigment spots, and meat spots. Researchers examine dozens of traits that are linked to egg quality.
Al Dam, poultry specialist at the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, says that in 2018, he had more inquiries about darkling beetle infestations than he’s had in a long time.
Cockroaches, ants, birds, ground beetles and rodents are exactly the kinds of visitors you do not want to stop by unannounced. Poultry facilities often have an abundant supply of food, water and shelter – the three resources pests need to survive. And any tiny cracks, gaps around utilities or tears in window screens could let pests in to your workplace.
It’s an approach that’s time-honoured and still holds significant value in pest control: a multi-pronged strategy is a very effective way to manage serious pests like mites, flies and more in the barn. Are there new products and strategies, however, to add to the tool kit, and what threats are of most concern right now in Canada? We contacted several experts to get their views.
When Andre van Kammen of Cedar Acres Farm in Chilliwack, B.C., decided to build a new barn for his newly-acquired chicken quota (from his in-laws), he thought outside the box – or, in his case, outside the tunnel.
While precision farming technology has taken the crop production world by storm, it’s been slow to enter the livestock sector, especially poultry production. But in recent years, innovative companies and researchers around the world are finding new ways to measure, calculate and analyze data using sensor technology.
When you consider food safety, it’s easy to think of the kitchen – storing poultry properly, preparing it wisely and cooking it thoroughly. But the journey to safe food on our plates starts well before then. It actually begins on the farm. Canadian Poultry asked a few industry experts about how farm management practices contribute to food safety.
Founded in 2008, Greengage is a lighting company that designs LED lamps, power hubs and sensors for agricultural production.
KFC Canada recently announced its partnership with Chicken Farmers of Canada by featuring the Raised by a Canadian Farmer seal on its products, which demonstrates the commitment of restaurants and grocery retailers who source chicken raised to the highest standards of quality and care by Canadian farmers, of which 100 per cent of KFC Canada's system supports.The Raised by a Canadian Farmer seal not only represents where the chicken comes from, but also stands for a three-fold set of exacting standards: Animal Care, ensuring chicken health and welfare on farms; On-Farm Food Safety, emphasizing cleanliness, safety and biosecurity on farms; and Sustainability, committing to sustainability efforts and farm land preservation."KFC Canada stands behind its chicken quality and taste credentials and we're proud to serve chicken that Canadians trust and love, from our classic Original Recipe buckets to our boneless Tenders," said Nivera Wallani, President and General Manager, KFC Canada, in a press release. "Featuring the Chicken Farmers of Canada Raised by a Canadian Farmer seal on our products demonstrates and reinforces not only our support for Canadian chicken farmers, but our commitment to serving chicken raised with industry-leading animal welfare, food safety and sustainability practices."Canadians will begin to see the Raised by a Canadian Farmer seal on in-store packaging and signage at KFC locations across the country, as well as on KFC Canada's social media pages and website."The Raised by a Canadian Farmer brand is synonymous with origin and quality and is a symbol for the innovation, pride, and hard work that Canadian chicken farmers put in every day," said Benoît Fontaine, Chair, Chicken Farmers of Canada. "For years, KFC Canada has demonstrated to the world that chicken partners throughout the Canadian value chain are committed to delivering on consumer expectations for food safety, animal care, and sustainability excellence.
Cobb-Vantress recently added two experts to its poultry team – Benoît Lanthier and Marlon Garcia Andrade. Both Lanthier and Andrade join the North American Technical Service Team as technical advisors with Lanthier serving Canada and Andrade serving Central America.In his new role, Lanthier will provide technical service to customers in Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Manitoba and Saskatchewan. Prior to joining Cobb, Lanthier worked as a poultry veterinary consultant gaining experience in hatcheries, feed mills and product development, including knowledge in reducing antibiotic use in broilers.“I’m thrilled to have Dr. Lanthier join our team,” says Ken Semon, senior director of North American technical service at Cobb-Vantress. “At Cobb, we aim to provide customers with a broad array of technical support. Benoît’s veterinary background combined with his extensive knowledge of antibiotic-free programs will add value to our customers throughout Canada.”Customers in Guatemala, Nicaragua, Panama and Belize will have the opportunity to work with Andrade, who will be responsible for providing technical support to Cobb customers across the region. Andrade is a poultry veteran, bringing an extensive background in feed formulation, feed manufacturing and broiler management to the Cobb team.“Marlon’s background in nutrition and broiler management adds value to the level of support we have in Central America,” said Semon.“I’m delighted to have Marlon join our team, and I know his expertise will further our commitment to serving our customers.”Lanthier and Andrade join a team of experienced technical advisors who provide support to customers across North America. The team blends expertise in a broad range of poultry segments to give Cobb customers unmatched customer service.
James and Cammy Lockwood of Lockwood Farms on Vancouver Island share a deep concern about the future of the planet. This inspired the couple to become the first commercial layer farm in Canada to include black soldier fly (BSF) larvae in their poultry diet. That innovation has led to the millennials being named B.C.’s Outstanding Young Farmers in March.
The Barred Plymouth Rock is Teryn Girard’s favourite kind of chicken.
Auburn University’s National Poultry Technology Center (NPTC), a leader in poultry housing and associated technologies for more than a decade, and Tyson Foods Inc. recently announced the opening of the largest stand-alone solar powered poultry house to be operated completely off the grid. The 54-foot by 500-foot poultry house is located in Cullman County, Ala., and capable of housing 36,000 broilers.The poultry house will be one of two identical houses on Tim and Selena Butts’ farm where 5.50-pound broilers will be grown. One house will be the control house while the other will be operated exclusively by solar power, also known as Stand-Alone Solar for Poultry (SASP).“Auburn University’s NPTC will work closely with Tyson Foods and Southern Solar Systems to provide leadership in the application of solar power technology to broiler production houses,” said Paul Patterson, dean of Auburn’s College of Agriculture. “The research will provide important, new information on how solar power technology can improve environmental sustainability and profits for farmers.”The house’s power will derive from three components: the photovoltaic (PV) panel or solar cell, a battery set and a generator. On-site researchers will compare its energy use regularly with the normal operation of the twin house located next door over a 12-month cycle.The data and insights gleaned from this project will be an important next step in identifying sustainable practices and new forms of energy for the poultry industry at large.“Ultimately, this project will allow us to identify how solar houses might improve farmer profitability and bring increased efficiency to the poultry industry,” said Chip Miller, vice president of poultry live operations for Tyson Foods. “Through our partnership with Auburn University’s NPTC, we are creating a model for the future of the industry—one that is more sustainable and brings critical value and insights, previously unavailable, to poultry farmers.”“The combination of solar and batteries along with the other technologies are converting power to usable alternating current (AC) that’s identical to grid power,” said Dennis Brothers, extension specialist with NPTC. “Electricity drives all functions in poultry houses and is the largest variable cost for poultry farmers. We believe this new system may reduce costs for farmers while increasing efficiency.”The rising cost of electricity coupled with the unpredictability of long-term grid power has created an opportunity for Tyson Foods to explore solutions to help alleviate the effect of climbing prices.“Looking ahead, we are eager to evaluate the efficacy of the solar house and its impact on farmer profitability,” concluded Miller. “We expect this pilot to be the first of many, as we continue to leverage the power of collaboration to drive progress in the poultry industry.”
“Everything old is new again.” That phrase by American author Stephen King captures the sentiment behind Aviagen’s reviving of a decommissioned hatchery in Albertville, a rural community in northeast Alabama, U.S. Aviagen has transformed the historic hatchery into the new Research and Training Center. In a ceremony on May 22, Aviagen CEO Jan Henriksen hosted the grand opening of the newly refurbished center.“Aviagen is committed to investing in research and development to bring ongoing bird performance improvement to our customers and to the industry as a whole,” said Henriksen. “The Albertville Research and Training Center plays an important role in our overall mission to provide quality broiler breeding stock to our customers that ultimately help provide local communities with a healthy, affordable source of protein.”Aviagen has instilled the new center with state-of-the-art technology and a rustic modern look, while preserving much of the original natural materials and charm. The newly restored building will offer multiple spaces where Aviagen teams can meet and learn with their valued customers and industry colleagues.The new Research and Training Center is part of a larger campus known as the Aviagen Product Development Center, which also includes a research hatchery, processing plant and breeder and broiler farm. The complete operation is integral to Aviagen’s global research and development efforts.Fusion of historic and cutting edgeWhile endowing the new space with leading-edge technology Aviagen went to great lengths to preserve its history. Much of the original building’s wood ceiling was reclaimed and repurposed to create a custom conference table, accent walls and a floating ceiling. The Aviagen core values are displayed on a wall of reclaimed brick from the original building, illustrating that the corporate principles form the foundation of all decisions and actions of Aviagen staff.Ample meeting, research and training spaceThe Derek Emmerson Education Center will serve as the training hub. This 1,350-square-foot classroom will be home to the Aviagen Production Management School – a four week, international customer learning experience – as well as many other education events. The center was named after the former Vice President of Research and Development, who supervised the U.S. broiler breeding program.Carrying the name of a former Aviagen Head of Research and Development and Deputy CEO who worked for the company for almost 40 years, the Nigel Barton Executive Conference Room will see much collaboration and idea sharing. This space will host internal collaborations, as well as meetings with customers, industry colleagues and academia.And, from a state-of-the-art Farm Operations Center, staff and visitors may observe and monitor flock behavior and house conditions via streaming video of each of the poultry houses on the campus. The new space also includes a necropsy training room, which will lead to improved approaches to disease diagnosis and prevention.“Out of our extensive R&D comes a wealth of knowledge on breeding advancements and best practices for improving performance and efficiencies for our customers,” said Eduardo Souza, vice president of Research and Development. “The new center provides a modern, inviting space to further our R&D and share these latest developments.”
Signify, a large global lighting company, has acquired Once Inc., based in Plymouth, Minn., and iLox, based in Vechta, Germany. Once and iLox are market leaders in the design and manufacturing of animal-centric lighting.“With this acquisition, we add know-how, technology and expertise in animal lighting that complements ours in horticulture lighting. We are very pleased to partner with the teams of Once and iLox to combine our innovations to capture growth,” said Bill Bien, Business Leader Agriculture at Signify, in a press release. “This next step in the development of our Agriculture Business addresses the global need for feeding the world's growing population, further unlocking the potential of light for brighter lives and a better world.”“We are excited to become part of Signify. The potential market is young and growing and we look forward to working together to further improve animal welfare and farmers' production,” added Zdenko Grajcar, CEO and founder of Once.Once Inc. was founded in 2009 and signed an agreement to acquire Germany-based iLox in 2018, adding sales and service capabilities outside the U.S.The transactions are expected to close in the second quarter of 2019. No financial details about the transactions were disclosed.
U.K. broiler farmer David Speller is the proud owner of a ‘smart’ barn that takes technology to the next level.
Aging facilities and business consolidation are being cited by Federated Co-operative Limited as reasons for its decision to close three of its six livestock feed production plants on the Prairies.FCL says its Co-op Feeds operations in Melfort, Sask., and Brandon, Man., will shut down in August and October respectively, while production at a facility in Edmonton will be moved south to Wetaskiwin.Manufacturing will continue at plants in Calgary , Saskatoon and Moosomin, Sask.The plants produce cattle, horse, sheep and poultry feed in bags and bulk orders.Ten jobs will be lost through the Brandon and Melfort closures, but FCL associate vice-president Patrick Bergermann hopes the employees can find work in the company's retailing system.He says the company will do its best to ensure that livestock producers affected by the closures will continue to get the products they need from the three remaining plants.Bergermann said there has been consolidation on both the producer side and manufacturing side of the feed business. He also said the plants slated for closure have ''a lot of age.''''They were going to require a lot of capital investment ... we needed to look at what was going to be sustainable.''Bergermann also said the shutdown of the Melfort facility is not an indictment of the quality of work done by its employees.''We've got a lot of great people there that have been doing a good job in serving local producers for a long time,'' he said.
Country Junction Feeds based in Western Canada has announced a major expansion of its operations with the agreement to acquire the Federated Co-operatives Ltd. (FCL) feed mill in Edmonton.The leading feed company, headquartered in Wetaskiwin, Alberta, serves a broadening customer base across Alberta, Canada and into the U.S., specializing in quality bulk and bagged feeds for beef, dairy, equine, poultry, swine, goat, lamb, certified organic feeds and more.The agreement to acquire the FCL Edmonton feed mill Sept. 30, 2019, adds significant feed mill capacity directed at serving northern Alberta and beyond with diversified Country Junction Feeds feed products and services including industry leading animal nutrition expertise.“We are very pleased with the agreement to acquire the Edmonton feed mill,” says Darrel Kimmel, Manager of Country Junction Feeds. “The additional capacity and resources will enhance our overall product and service offerings while aligning with our strategic vision for Country Junction Feeds moving forward. It’s an important time of evolution and opportunity in the feed industry and for the broadening customer base we serve. “Our growing Country Junction Feeds team is looking forward to playing a strong role in helping our customers succeed in this new environment.”Country Junction Feeds management and key staff, including leading animal nutritionists Bernie Grumpelt, Nancy Fischer and Jamie McAllister, will have central roles in supporting the expansion and directing the activity of the added feed mill. Overall capacity from both current and added facilities will allow Country Junction Feeds to deliver a wide range of feed and solutions to fit all major livestock and equine species and production approaches, including tailored solutions for different stages of life and both conventional and niche market opportunities.“We take pride in being proactive in offering the latest advantages in feed and nutrition solutions, technology and strategies,” says Kimmel. “This will continue under the new expansion. This is another important step in our continued growth that will benefit all current and new Country Junction Feeds customers.”
On September 1, 2019, Anton de Weerd will step down as Marel Poultry’s executive vice president (EVP).
Tina Widowski has had a long and distinguished career studying farm animal welfare.
Regina's O&T Farms Ltd., in collaboration with the University of Guelph, initiated a series of research projects focused on developmental programming in both broiler and pullet breeding stock. The purpose of the research, which started in 2017, was to determine the effects of feeding omega-3 fatty acids to breeder birds on reproductive efficiency, embryonic survival, as well as the epigenetic influence on progeny performance, development and overall health.One stage of this research aimed to evaluate the impacts of maternal and post-hatch feeding of omega-3 fatty acids on skeletal development in pullets. To test this, the University of Guelph (U of G) designed a trial in which a dry-extruded flaxseed-based omega-3 feed ingredient produced by O&T Farm was included in either the maternal diet, the post-hatch diet, or both. Reza Akbari, a PhD candidate working on the project, recently presented preliminary data at the Animal Nutrition Conference of Canada (ANCC) in Niagara Falls, Ont..His findings suggest the maternal feeding of the ingredient can significantly improve skeletal strength in young pullets by nearly 22 per cent compared to the control.“The results demonstrated effectiveness of maternal and post-hatch feeding of omega-3 fatty acid in support of skeletal strength in young pullets which can greatly reduce poor egg shell quality and skeletal maladies seen in laying hens across all housing types,” said U of G's Elijah Kiarie, assistant professor in poultry nutrition, who led the research. “The potential of omega-3 fatty acids in stimulating bone, brain, and immune cells development at embryonic through to early phases of the chick’s life could significantly improve productivity and welfare.”
What will keep the Canadian egg industry healthy and sustainable into the future? Egg Farmers of Canada’s four research chairs – an ecological economist, an animal welfare scientist, a behavioural economist and a public policy researcher – recently combined efforts to start to answer exactly that question.
Food production is an important contributor to climate change, accounting for about a quarter of carbon emissions globally.
In newly released research, scientists from The Roslin Institute have prevented the avian influenza virus from replicating in lab-grown chicken cells, suggesting that it may one day be possible to produce chickens that are resistant to the disease. The study was funded by Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council with additional funding from Cobb-Vantress.The Roslin Institute — a world-leading center for animal science research — conducted the study last year and the results were published in eLife this week.To inhibit the avian influenza virus from replicating, the research team used gene-editing techniques to delete a section of chicken DNA inside lab-grown cells. Researchers targeted a specific molecule inside chicken cells called ANP32A, which the influenza virus takes over to help replicate itself. After removing the section of DNA responsible for producing ANP32A, the virus was no longer able to grow inside cells with the genetic change.Researchers at The Roslin Institute, in collaboration with experts from Cambridge University, previously produced chickens that did not transmit avian influenza to other chickens following infection using genetic modification techniques. This new approach is unique because it does not involve introducing new genetic material into the bird’s DNA.“This is an important advance that suggests we may be able to use gene-editing techniques to produce chickens that are resistant to avian influenza,” said Helen Sang, professor at The Roslin Institute. “We haven’t produced any birds yet and we need to check if the DNA change has any other effects on the bird cells before we can take this next step.”Avian influenza is a global threat to poultry production, accounting for the loss of millions of chickens when an outbreak occurs. Severe strains have the potential to kill entire flocks and, in rare instances, certain strains of the virus can infect people, causing serious illness. Efforts to control the spread of the disease are urgently needed.“Avian influenza resistance in broiler production is of global significance,” said Rachel Hawken, senior director of genomics and quantitative genetics at Cobb-Vantress. “This research is an important step toward that goal. It’s exciting for Cobb to be a part of exploring new technologies that could be used to advance poultry breeding in the future.”Genomic research is nothing new for Cobb, which has invested in the field for many years to select superior breeding stock using individual DNA information (not DNA alterations) and individual performance measures to calculate a measure of genetic merit. The company also participates in the investigation of many new technologies as they become available to improve their ability to produce healthy, high-performing breeding stock.“Genomics has allowed us to incorporate new programs into our research, opening new unexplored opportunities to improve our broilers for the future markets,” said Hawken. “We’re committed to serving our customers using innovative research and technology to make protein healthy and affordable to everyone.”To read the full study in eLife, visit elifesciences.org/articles/45066.
Disinfection of contaminated poultry houses following an outbreak of avian influenza is difficult and expensive. Recently, heat has been used to decontaminate facilities instead of chemical disinfectants. Researchers at the University of Delaware, led by Dr. Eric Benson, have completed a research project in which they studied the effectiveness of heat treatment under field conditions. They found that heat can be a very effective method for decontamination but has practical limitations during cold weather. As little as four inches of litter can allow viruses and bacteria to survive heat treatment when treatment is done in a commercial facility during winter.Click here to read the research summary.
Poultry Health Management School hosted its 18th year of classes on May 13-17, 2019 in Ames, Iowa. Designed as in intensive training course for on-farm poultry owners and their employees, the school teaches necropsy skills, current industry practice lectures, and applicable case studies in the areas of nutrition, housing/management, disease/diagnostics, and vaccines/medications. The 2019 theme was nutrition and the school hosted more than 200 attendees.PHMS is organized into two schools: Turkey/Broiler Health Management School and the Layer Health Management School. Since Iowa is the number one egg producing state, the PHMS steering committee decided to accommodate for increased attendance by holding two layer classes this year.“Iowa State University was pleased to host the 2019 PHMS,” said Dr. Yuko Sato, Iowa State University faculty and the 2019 PHMS host, in a press release. “This school is a tremendous opportunity for attendees to improve necropsy skills in labs taught by veterinarians, share on-farm challenges with like-minded attendees, and learn from allied industry and academic experts in poultry nutrition.”Allied industry and academic professionals donate their time and poultry expertise to further PHMS’s educational goals. In 18 years, PHMS has educated more than 2,000 attendees and reaches attendees across the country and internationally.The Poultry Health Management School executive team is comprised of six poultry academic and industry professionals: Yuko Sato, Iowa State University (2019 host); Rob Porter, University of Minnesota; R. “Mick” Fulton, Michigan State University; Darrin Karcher, Purdue University; Teresa Morishita, Western University of Health Sciences; and Ralph Stonerock, Lapama’a Farms. The school is managed by the Minnesota Turkey Growers Association.The 2020 schools will be hosted at the University of Minnesota, May 18-21.
Two Canadian research teams, one from the University of Guelph (U of G) and the other from the Universtiy of Montreal (U of M) conducted studies to evaluate the value of recommended biosecurity measures and sanitation procedures in the poultry industry.
Most of us are probably guilty of eating some raw cookie dough or licking the spoon when making a cake without much thought about the food safety implications.
Canadian companies plan to serve up chicken, beef burgers and mouse-meat cat treats in the coming years, all without the need to slaughter a single animal.Entrepreneurs see an opportunity where there's been a dearth of lab-grown meat startups that proliferated in the U.S.Cellular agriculture takes cells from animals and grows them to create milk, eggs, meat or other products. Proponents argue the method is kinder to animals and the environment.''There was an opportunity here in Canada, just because the field is still so undefined, to really create a presence here and to try to drive it forward,'' said Lejjy Gafour, co-founder of Edmonton-based Future Fields.Gafour started the company in 2017 with his friend of more than a dozen years, Matt Anderson-Baron, who holds a PhD in cell biology.They're working on creating two products: a serum that feeds the cells to help them grow, and chicken meat.Gafour estimates – conservatively – that the chicken is five to seven years away from being ready for public consumption, while the serum will be finished sooner.Future Fields wants to stock Canadian grocery shelves first, unlike many companies that eye the U.S. market for their debut. Gafour adds the caveat that the plan depends on how regulations unfold in both countries, as well as the company's relationships with American partners and other companies.Appleton Meats in Vancouver wants to create a beef burger without cows.Sid Deen started the company at the end of 2017 and it's conducting a lot of primary research that will lead to product development.''We are looking at the cell types, the ability to grow them, to expand them and to get viable meat out of it,'' said Deen, who serves as CEO.Appleton is testing different prototypes and anticipates its product will be selling within three to five years – though, depending on how the research pans out, it could be something other than a burger.He would like to see the product sold domestically, but isn't opposed to stocking U.S. stores.''I think it would be nice to have a Canadian company do this in Canada and provide it to a domestic market,'' he said.Companies aren't just focusing feeding humans.Two Torontonians started Because Animals, which is working to develop pet food using cellular agriculture, in 2016. Though it's based in Delaware, the company conducts a lot of its research in Canada, CEO Shannon Falconer said.Because Animals recently announced its first prototype for a cat treat made of field mouse meat produced using cellular agriculture.''Now we have to work on scale,'' said Falconer, as well as going through regulatory challenges in order to start selling the product, which makes it difficult to predict when it will appear on store shelves.Because Animals will debut a cultured protein dog treat, that uses nutritional yeast rather than animal cells, this May and a cultured protein dog kibble in the fourth quarter.Those products will likely launch in the U.S. first, Falconer said. That and the company's decision to headquarter in the U.S. is partly due to the country being the largest pet food market, she said, though the company is working toward selling its pet food in Canada too.It can be more difficult to find investors as a Canadian company, said Gafour, as venture capitalist money tends to be concentrated in America. There also seem to be more investors with a lot of experience in the bio-technology industry in the U.S., he said.Deen thinks people tend to underestimate the value of Canadian entrepreneurship and many companies turn to the U.S. because they believe there's more infrastructure there.Both Future Fields and Appleton are privately funded, with Future Fields looking for institutional and partner investors, and Appleton planning to start a funding round in a year or so.While Canada may not be as flashy as its southern neighbour, said Deen, the country does provide a lot of support.And, at least for Gafour, the lack of population density and other companies doing similar work in the country isn't necessarily a bad thing.''Absence of things is both an opportunity and a risk,'' he said, adding it may be easier to acclimatize a smaller population to the notion of eating lab-grown meat.''We definitely have the talent here to be able to create an industry such as this and to also own it.''
While some cereals may be the breakfast of champions, a UBC professor suggests people with Type 2 diabetes (T2D) should be reaching for something else.Associate Professor Jonathan Little, who teaches in UBC Okanagan’s School of Health and Exercise Sciences, published a study this week demonstrating that a high-fat, low-carb breakfast can help those with T2D control blood sugar levels throughout the day.“The large blood sugar spike that follows breakfast is due to the combination of pronounced insulin resistance in the morning in people with T2D and because typical Western breakfast foods—cereal, oatmeal, toast and fruit—are high in carbohydrates,” says Little.Breakfast, he says, is consistently the 'problem' meal that leads to the largest blood sugar spikes for people with T2D. His research shows that eating a low-carb and high-fat meal first thing in the morning is a simple way to prevent this large spike, improve glycemic control throughout the day, and perhaps also reduce other diabetes complications.Study participants with well-controlled T2D completed two experimental feeding days. On one day they ate an omelette for breakfast, and on another day, they ate oatmeal and some fruit. An identical lunch and dinner were provided on both days. A continuous glucose monitor—a small device that attaches to your abdomen and measures glucose every five minutes—was used to measure blood sugar spikes across the entire day. Participants also reported ratings of hunger, fullness and a desire to eat something sweet or savoury.Little’s study determined that consuming a very low-carbohydrate high-fat breakfast completely prevented the blood sugar spike after breakfast and this had enough of an effect to lower overall glucose exposure and improve the stability of glucose readings for the next 24 hours.“We expected that limiting carbohydrates to less than 10 per cent at breakfast would help prevent the spike after this meal,” he says. “But we were a bit surprised that this had enough of an effect and that the overall glucose control and stability were improved. We know that large swings in blood sugar are damaging to our blood vessels, eyes and kidneys. The inclusion of a very low-carb high-fat breakfast meal in T2D patients may be a practical and easy way to target the large morning glucose spike and reduce associated complications.”He does note that there was no difference in blood sugar levels in both groups later in the day, suggesting that the effect for reducing overall post-meal glucose spikes can be attributed to the breakfast responses -- with no evidence that a low-carb breakfast worsened glucose responses to lunch or dinner.“The results of our study suggest potential benefits of altering macronutrient distribution throughout the day so that carbohydrates are restricted at breakfast with a balanced lunch and dinner rather than consuming an even distribution and moderate amount of carbohydrates throughout the day.”As another interesting aspect of the research, participants noted that pre-meal hunger and their cravings for sweet foods later in the day tended to be lower if they ate the low-carb breakfast. Little suggests this change in diet might be a healthy step for anybody, even those who are not living with diabetes.Little’s study was published this week in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. The research is funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and a Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research Scholar Award.
Currently, European Commission (EC) directives on the protection of chickens kept for meat and egg production allow beak trimming. However, some countries, like Austria, The Netherlands, Germany and most of Scandinavia, have banned the controversial practice outright. Others, like the United Kingdom, are working towards a ban, but not without debate. Across the continent, opinions and perspectives vary.
A new study provides further understanding into the tides of public opinion around Canadian food, how it's grown, and the relationship consumers want with farmers and those that process their food.Public Opinion: a study of Canadian conversations online about food and farming led by the Canadian Centre for Food Integrity (CCFI), uncovered how food, farming and a handful of hot button issues capture national interest in millions of natural conversations online. The issues Canadians are most engaged with include climate change and the links to food production, organic foods, and discussions on genetically modified organisms (GMOs)."This groundbreaking work captured and quantified actual discussion and real sentiment of over 254,900 Canadians talking about food and how it's grown," stated Crystal Mackay, CCFI President. "This kind of research is integral to truly addressing consumer demands and questions in an open and authentic manner."Key conversations Canadians were discussing online over the two-year period included: 8 million people were discussing cannabis 2.5 million climate change as it relates to food production 2.1 million genetically modified foods (GMOs) 2 million organic food and farming Surprisingly, for the most part, millennials and baby boomers were found to be similarly aligned in their views on food issues based on their online conversations. This is not the case in CCFI's more traditional quantitative research. The study also identified opportunities for players in the Canadian food system to join the millions of conversations online around key topics such as cost of food and climate change.The topics covered farm practices and food production in general, and specifically GMOs, hormones, antibiotics, and pesticides. As found in previous CCFI research, Canadians most commonly associated farmers with all the key topics studied; more so than any other food system stakeholders.The Canadian Centre for Food Integrity (CCFI) study measured the discussions related to food and farming of 254,900 Canadians for 24 months on social media, from January 2017 to January 2019. The study assessed many social platforms including Facebook, Twitter, and Reddit using a proprietary artificial intelligence tool to analyze public social media, with no personalized data attached to the findings.View the more detailed report findings on this study and other CCFI studies related to Canadians' opinions on food and farming in French or English at www.foodintegrity.ca.
Third-generation farmer Ron Lamb remembers his father pulling six-metre-wide crop-seeding equipment around his southern Alberta grain fields in the 1990s, overlapping on each pass to make sure he covered all the ground.
This week, Canadian egg, chicken, turkey and hatching egg farmers co-hosted their annual pop-up diner in downtown Ottawa. The event is a special celebration of Canadian farming families and the system of supply management that provides year-round access to fresh, local, high-quality ingredients from coast to coast.Farmers representing Egg Farmers of Canada, Chicken Farmers of Canada, Turkey Farmers of Canada and Canadian Hatching Egg Producers teamed up again this year to showcase local ingredients and answer any questions about farming in Canada."Today's event is an exciting opportunity to celebrate made-in-Canada food," said Roger Pelissero, Chair of Egg Farmers of Canada. "Across the country, there's a hard-working farmer behind your meals, supplying Canadians with the food they can trust. This year's Downtown Diner showcases our Canadian farm families and the system of supply management that gives Canadians access to high-quality and nutritious products."The Downtown Diner is a unique opportunity for Parliamentarians and the public to meet farmers from across the country to discuss where their food comes from. Guests can expect to enjoy a fresh breakfast or lunch treat, all while learning about how the system of supply management has helped build sustainable farming for generations to come."It's important that we talk to Canadians about where their food comes from," added Benoît Fontaine, Chair of Chicken Farmers of Canada. "With more than 4,500 supply-managed farm families working together across the country, the Diner is just one way we hope to talk to Canadians and answer questions about our farms and the food on your plate."
Canada has fired the starting gun on the race to ratify the new North American free-trade pact – but the United States is setting the pace.
Global Affairs Canada has launched public consultations on how it allocates and administers tariff rate quotas for a number of supply-managed poultry and dairy products.The government is looking to hear from both individuals and organizations via an online questionnaire found on its website.A tariff rate quota (TRQ) is an import mechanism that allows a certain amount of a specific product to be imported at a low or zero duty rate, while anything above that is generally charged a much higher rate.The survey allows Canadians to choose from two dozen products to comment on, including chicken, eggs, cheese and butter.It asks questions about what the preferred method of allocation would be for TRQs, whether new entrants should face different eligibility criteria, and whether there should be a cap on how much of the quota one allocation holder can receive.Survey takers can weigh in on whether a portion of the allocation should be reserved for specific demographics or other categories, like women-owned businesses; whether transfers should be allowed; and what, if any, restrictions should be considered for auctions.
Turkey Farmers of Canada, the Canadian Poultry and Egg Processors Council and Turkey Primary Processing Sector Members have together launched the first national, bilingual campaign to boost turkey consumption since 2004.
Chicken, turkey and egg producers say a big hit is coming and the federal government needs to help them adapt.They’re facing increased imports allowed under a series of trade deals negotiated by the federal government and say a big-picture approach is needed.That was the message Chicken Farmers of Canada (CFC), Turkey Farmers of Can­ada (TFC), Egg Farmers of Canada (EFC) and Canadian Hatching Egg Producers (CHEP) had for the Senate agriculture committee inquiry into the impact of the new NAFTA and Pacific trade deals.For the full story, click here.
Canadians care that the eggs they choose are humanely raised, top quality, safe and produced in Canada. Very soon, a single Egg Quality Assurance (EQA) symbol on the carton, menu or package will give consumers the information they need to enjoy Canadian eggs with added confidence.
The Trudeau government is promising billions of dollars to compensate dairy, egg and poultry farmers hurt by Canada's recent free-trade agreements – industries concentrated in vote-rich Quebec and Ontario.The $3.65 billion the government is setting aside includes $2.15 billion to help farmers who lose income because of trade deals with Europe and countries on the Pacific Rim, both of which make it easier for foreign egg, dairy and poultry producers to enter the Canadian market.That is in addition to a $250-million, five-year fund established in 2016 to compensate dairy farmers for the European Union deal.The budget earmarks $1.5 billion for farmers who lose money when they sell their production rights in the supply-management system, which limits egg, poultry and dairy production in Canada. To gain the right to sell supply-managed products, farmers have to buy ''quota,'' often from existing producers who want to leave the industry.The system also limits foreign products by slapping steep tariffs on imports beyond a certain level, which raises their price at the grocery store and makes them less attractive to consumers. Allowing more foreign-produced food into the Canadian market will increase competition for products from Canadian farmers.''To ensure that Canada's dairy, poultry and egg farmers can continue to provide Canadians with high-quality products in a world of freer trade, we will make available an income protection program for supply-managed farmers, along with a measure to protect the value of quota investments these farmers have already made,'' Finance Minister Bill Morneau said in his prepared budget speech.The budget does not provide details on how or when the money will be distributed to farmers and producers, who have long railed against any move that would expand foreign involvement in those sectors.But the government appears to be hoping the promise of compensation will provide a salve to supply-managed farmers, many of whom are clumped in key ridings in Quebec and Ontario and angry that the deals have weakened their grip on the market.That could prove important for the Liberals, who will likely need a strong showing in the two provinces in this year's federal election to have a hope of retaining power.The budget also indicates more money could be forthcoming as the government works with industry ''to address the impacts on processing, as well as potential future impacts of the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement.''''The federal government recognizes the impact of trade agreements on our sector and is following through on its commitment to support our domestic dairy industry,'' said Pierre Lampron, president of the board of directors for the Dairy Farmers of Canada.''We also welcome the government's commitment to continue the dialogue on the future impact of CUSMA on our sector.''The North American deal, which will succeed NAFTA, has yet to be ratified and come into effect. That deal is the third free-trade agreement in which Canada agreed to open its supply-managed sectors, which emerged last year as a favourite target of U.S. President Donald Trump, particularly the dairy sector.Supply management has long been hotly debated in Canada.Proponents say the system keeps the market from getting saturated, which keeps prices stable and ensures steady incomes for farmers while protecting food safety, ensuring higher-quality products and eliminating the need for direct subsidies.Critics say it drives up the cost of dairy, eggs and chicken for consumers, which has a disproportionate impact on low-income families. The system has been a frequent target in – and barrier to – past free-trade negotiations.Successive federal governments for decades nonetheless resisted opening Canada to more tariff-free imports from other countries, in part because of the political implications.But when Stephen Harper was prime minister, the Conservatives opened the door to change when they agreed to ease restrictions on European cheese imports through the Canada-European Union trade deal, which was signed and came into force under the Trudeau Liberals.Ottawa then agreed, in the 11-country Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal, to give participants more access to Canada's dairy, egg and poultry markets.
Meat consumption in North America is changing. Product developers and policy-makers need to understand the reasons for that change. 
It’s hard for some to believe that the meal kit sector is booming. It’s strange to think that people would buy a kit with all the ingredients for a meal (or have it delivered) and cook it when they could just buy the ingredients themselves for a substantially lower price.
Small poultry flocks are growing in popularity in Ontario. Many small flock owners have launched into raising their own meat and eggs without any previous farming skills or husbandry knowledge in how to best look after the birds in their care.
NSF International, a global public health and safety organization known for food safety and quality, launched new Global Animal Wellness Standards to address the full lifecycle of all key species and establish best practices for how animals are kept, raised and responsibly managed. The standards are the first of their kind in establishing a universal approach to animal health and wellness.

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