Talking emission control at EuroTier

Talking emission control at EuroTier

Poultry production generates dust, ammonia and odour emissions that have the potential to impact air quality

Aviagen demonstrates commitment to Canadian poultry industry with new hatchery

Aviagen demonstrates commitment to Canadian poultry industry with new hatchery

The opening of a new broiler breeding stock hatchery by industry powerhouse Aviagen

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

Dutch poultry stakeholders design new broiler production model

Dutch poultry stakeholders design new broiler production model

With public pressure on the Dutch agricultural sector

Why is biosecurity so difficult?

Why is biosecurity so difficult?

They’re an ancient foe, a worthy opponent.

July 11, 2017 - Significant economic losses are attributed to immunosuppression in the poultry industry worldwide.Exposure to stressors in the poultry production environment, along with infectious diseases (viral or bacterial) that impair immunity, contribute to an overall reduction in flock health, causing a decrease in productivity.Among the different viral diseases, infectious bursal disease (IBD), Marek’s and chicken infectious anemia (CIA), are the mainly recognized and implicated viruses, causing direct negative effects on the immune system, thereby increasing susceptibility to other diseases and interfering with vaccinal immunity.In immunosuppressed birds, vaccine take can be decreased or post-vaccine reactions can be excessive, allowing secondary bacterial infections, like E. coli, to enter and manifest, thus requiring antibiotic treatment.It is therefore imperative, to reduce immunosuppression to enhance the immune system, and to establish barriers to the most common routes of infection by avian pathogens. And this can only be done by building a good and solid immune foundation.How to establish a good foundation? A solid immune foundation not only enhances the immune system, but also prevents entry of other pathogens by establishing barriers. This can be done by passively protecting the progeny through breeder vaccination programs and by protecting growing chickens against immunosuppressive diseases, and their economic consequences.Many of the vaccinations performed in the field are being moved to the hatchery, which can be done either in ovo, as early as 18 days of embryonation, and at day-old of newly hatched birds. READ MORE
July 7, 2017, Langley, B.C. – Approximately 2,000 wildfires occur each year in British Columbia. The effect of wildfires on the province’s agriculture community can be devastating and costly.More than half of the wildfires in 2016 were caused by humans.With the wildfire season upon on us in B.C., there are measures that ranchers, farmers, growers, and others who make their living in agriculture can do to protect their workers and their property. Addressing potential fire hazards will significantly reduce the chances of a large-scale fire affecting your operation.Controlling the environment is important. Clear vegetation and wood debris to at least 10 metres from fences and structures; collect and remove generated wastes whether it is solid, semi-solid, or liquid; and reduce the timber fuel load elsewhere on your property and Crown or lease land to help mitigate the risk.In the case that you have to address fire on your property, have a well-rehearsed Emergency Response Plan (ERP) in place. The ERP should also include an Evacuation Plan for workers and livestock.“Having a map of your property, including Crown and lease lands, and a list of all of your workers and their locations is extremely helpful for evacuation and useful for first responders,” says Wendy Bennett, Executive Director of AgSafe. A list of materials and a safety data sheet of all liquid and spray chemicals and their locations should also be made available to attending firefighters.Bennett suggests checking the Government of BC Wildfire Status website regularly to report or monitor the status of fires in your area.For over twenty years AgSafe has been the expert on safety in the workplace for British Columbia’s agriculture industry and is committed to reducing the number of agriculture-related workplace deaths and injuries by offering health and safety programs, training, evaluation and consultation services.For more information about agriculture workplace safety or AgSafe services call 1-877-533-1789 or visit www.AgSafeBC.ca
July 4, 2017, Athens, GA - Avian infectious bronchitis virus (IBV) is a highly contagious coronavirus found in chickens worldwide that costs the U.S. poultry industry millions of dollars annually. Although it’s largely a respiratory disease, some strains of the virus can also cause kidney lesions resulting in nephritis, and in hens, the virus can replicate in the reproductive tract causing egg quality and production losses.IBV exists in the field as many different types, defined as serotypes or genetic types. In addition, the term “variant” is often used to describe a newly identified but not yet characterized type of the virus.Currently, the best strategy for managing the disease is the use of modified live IBV vaccines. However, because different serotypes or genetic types of IBV don’t cross-protect, the disease is very difficult to control. Selection of appropriate vaccines requires knowledge about the virus type that’s causing disease in the field. READ MORE
June 26, 2017, Ontario - Infectious bronchitis infections continued to increase this year in the Ontario broiler, broiler breeder and layer sectors. Infectious bronchitis virus (IBV) can be spread by aerosol, ingestion of contaminated feed and water, and contact with contaminated equipment or clothing. The IB virus is not transmitted directly from the hen to the embryo in the egg. Variant virus strains, very different to the commercial vaccine virus strains, continue to be isolated. Clinical signs can include: increased mortality with or without respiratory signs, stall in growth rate, decrease in egg production in laying birds, and increased condemnations. The virus is fragile, easy to kill if exposed to warmer temperatures or disinfectants, but it will survive longer if protected in organic material. Properly implemented biosecurity is the poultry producer’s first line of defence against IBV. Your farm biosecurity protocols should be well thought out, stringently implemented and continuously followed. The following is a list of suggested biosecurity measures for Ontario poultry farms: Each farmer, employee and every person entering any poultry barn must put on clean footwear, protective clothing and follow all biosecurity protocols. Minimize visits to other poultry production sites and avoid any commingling of birds. Avoid exchanging equipment with other poultry production sites. Ensure all vehicles/farm equipment that access the barn vicinity are clean and that the laneway is restricted/secured. If possible, have a pressure washer or a hose available to wash tires and equipment, and make this available to all service vehicles and visitors. If possible, “heat treat” the barn/litter after cleanout and introduction of new bedding, and in advance of bird placement (to 32˚C or 90° F for a minimum of 2-3 days). Note the floor under the bedding must reach 32° C for this technique to be effective. The temperature should be measured with an appropriate thermometer (consider an infrared thermometer) at multiple locations along the inside perimeter of the barn at least three times a day. Although commercial IBV vaccines are not directly protective against variant strains, they may provide some local immunity; therefore, it is recommended to use a robust vaccination program in accordance with your veterinarian’s recommendations. Industry is investigating regulatory requirements to import vaccine to protect against the new strain that has been isolated. Should you suspect any health concerns in your flock, talk to your veterinarian to determine best health management measures. Additional information on IBV is available at: http://oahn.ca/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/Dec-2016-OAHN-special-report-on-IBV-FINAL.pdf http://oahn.ca/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/OAHN-Producer-Report-Q1-2017-FINAL.pdf
June 8, 2017, Quebec, QB - Extensive planning was required when poultry companies like Pilgrim’s Pride and Tyson Foods announced they were going antibiotic free in their operations.“Removing antibiotics completely is still a challenge,” said Shivaram Rao of Pilgrims Pride.It is essential to have treatment options available when early signs of increased deaths are observed, he said at the animal nutrition conference of Canada held in Quebec City May 10 to 11.In 2013, less than five percent of chicken produced in the United States was antibiotic free but by 2018 about 55 percent is expected to be raised that way, said Rao.Many companies remove antibiotics from chickens at 35 days of age and have adopted new health practices that start at the hatchery. READ MORE
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).
Smart agriculture is one of several terms used to refer to the expansion of precision agriculture. Poultry producers have adopted some precision agriculture tools, particularly as they relate to the in-barn environment and monitoring barn conditions.Smart agriculture is the combination of precision agriculture and big data to provide livestock producers with online, continuous and automatic monitoring of animals and their environment to support optimal management. It uses a broad range of components – big data, robotics, drones, sensors, etc. – that have to be harmonized to provide real-time measurement or estimation. This allows farm managers to immediately react to data and information. Livestock processing and input sectors are also adopting smart management features in their businesses. However, the poultry sector has been slower than other livestock industries to adopt them. Part of this delay is because very little research and innovation needed to develop poultry sector-specific technologies has been conducted in Canada. Also, poultry producers may not fully recognize how these tools could enable their sector to generate higher efficiency and productivity. Applying smart agriculture tools to a cow or sow is easier to understand than how they might apply to a chicken or turkey. It is easier to apply monitoring and decision-making systems to large animals that have significant value and that can be fitted with individual monitoring devices.Yet, there are a few Canadian universities conducting research on smart agriculture applications for poultry. Dr. Martin Zuidhof of the University of Alberta is developing a precision feeder system for broiler breeders to ensure more consistency in bird condition when egg laying begins in order to improve flock production. What’s more, the University of Guelph’s Dr. Suresh Neethirajan is developing rapid diagnostic tools for use at the point of care, such as within the poultry barn, to identify disease outbreaks without the delay required for laboratory analysis.  The Canadian Poultry Research Centre (CPRC) recently added smart agriculture tools to the list of categories for its annual call for Letters of Intent (LOI). It is also investigating methods to identify potential industry issues that might be addressed using this comprehensive approach to management information and decision-making systems.CPRC 2017 Board of DirectorsCPRC’s full board returned for 2017 and has been busy working on the 2017 call for LOIs. It has also been hard at work preparing for the expected Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s call for proposals for a new Science Cluster program under the 2018 to 2023 Agricultural Policy Framework and issues that arise from the ongoing administration of the 38 active research projects. CPRC is grateful to its member organizations for their continued support of its operations and its appointees to the board of directors. Board members include: Tim Keet, chair and Chicken Farmers of Canada representative; Helen Anne Hudson, vice-chair and Egg Farmers of Canada representative; Erica Charlton, representing Canadian Poultry and Egg Processors Council and the third member of CPRC’s executive committee; Murray Klassen, representing Canadian Hatching Egg Producers; and Brian Ricker, who represents Turkey Farmers of Canada. CPRC also appreciates the ongoing support and input from staff appointed by member organizations to support their representatives on the board of directors.CPRC, its board of directors and member organizations are committed to supporting and enhancing Canada’s poultry sector through research and related activities.  For more details on these or any other CPRC activities, please contact The Canadian Poultry Research Council, 350 Sparks Street, Suite 1007, Ottawa, Ontario, K1R 7S8, phone: (613) 566-5916, fax: (613) 241-5999, email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , or visit www.cp-rc.ca.The membership of the CPRC consists of Chicken Farmers of Canada, Canadian Hatching Egg Producers, Turkey Farmers of Canada, Egg Farmers of Canada and the Canadian Poultry and Egg Processors’ Council. CPRC’s mission is to address its members’ needs through dynamic leadership in the creation and implementation of programs for poultry research in Canada, which may also include societal concerns.
July 18, 2017, Ottawa, Ont. - Following the successful elimination of Category I antibiotics for disease prevention in Canadian chicken production, Chicken Farmers of Canada has established timelines to further its strategy to eliminate the preventive use of antimicrobials of human importance.The antimicrobial use (AMU) strategy eliminates the preventive use of Category II antimicrobials by the end of 2018, and sets a goal to eliminate the preventive use of Category III antibiotics by the end of 2020.Chicken Farmers of Canada's policy will maintain the use of ionophores (those antimicrobials not used in human medicine) along with antibiotics for therapeutic purposes to maintain the health and welfare of birds."Chicken Farmers of Canada has been a leader in antimicrobial stewardship, and this strategy provides continued confidence to consumers, customers, and to governments," said Benoît Fontaine, Chair of Chicken Farmers of Canada. "This strategy provides a sustainable means of meeting consumer expectations, while maintaining the ability for farmers to protect the health and wellbeing of their birds."Consumers can be assured that Canadian chicken is free of antibiotic residues, and has been for decades. Canada has strict regulations with respect to antibiotic use and withdrawal times to ensure that chicken reaching the marketplace does not contain residues, which is monitored by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.This decision builds on the objective of eliminating the preventative use of antibiotics of human importance, guided by a comprehensive strategy that involves reduction, surveillance, education, and research.The AMU strategy is consistent with the Canadian government's Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance and Use.Chicken Farmers of Canada is responsible for ensuring that our 2,800 farmers produce the right amount of fresh, safe, high-quality chicken and that our farmer's views are taken into account when important agriculture and policy decisions are made.
July 17, 2017, Developing and implementing biosecurity protocols for feed mills can be challenging. People and trucks from different farms consistently come and go, and equipment is difficult to clean.Pathogens that enter a feed mill can be disseminated to other locations, creating the potential for an animal-health issue.Enforcing a biosecurity plan is necessary to minimize adulterants and produce feed that is safe to distribute. For tips on evaluating a feed mill biosecurity plan. READ MORE
July 12, 2017 - Biosecurity needs to be approached as a comprehensive process, not as a series of segregated actions, according to Jean Sander, DVM, senior technical services veterinarian for Zoetis.For example, people about to enter a poultry house will put on their boots, coveralls, hair nets, but then remember they need a piece of equipment that’s in another house. They quickly retrieve it and bring it into another building without cleaning it first.That’s a breach of biosecurity, Sander told Poultry Health Today.The intent is to try and do the right thing, but too often biosecurity isn’t viewed holistically, continued the veterinarian, who primarily works with layer producers. READ MORE 
July 10, 2017, Hunsville, Ala. – Aviagen®, the world’s leading poultry breeding company, has added a new How-To series for broilers to its existing literature library. The Broiler How-Tos are now available on the Aviagen website for the Ross® brand.How-To on-farm tools now cover all areas of the production process with documents on topics of hatchery management and broiler and broiler breeder management, as well as ventilation.The newly published broiler series has been designed to give customers practical, hands-on, step-by-step instructions on key management practices. They can be used as training documents or as everyday support for farmers showing what to do and how to do it, as well as providing help with any troubleshooting. Topics include: How to set up a spot brooding circle How to set up whole house brooding How to monitor temperature and relative humidity How to assess crop fill How to bulk weigh broilers between 0 and 21 days How to individually weigh broilers from 21-28 days onwards “Our customer feedback tells us that broiler management is a significant area of focus because it has a direct influence on production costs and profitability,” explains Michael Longley from Aviagen’s global technical transfer team. “The Broiler How-Tos are therefore a valuable addition to our literature resources.”
July 10, 2017, Langham, Sask. - Farmers who want to check out the newest technology, explore unique crop test plots or improve their dairy and cattle know-how will find all that and more at the Ag in Motion Western Canada's outdoor farm expo July 18 to 20.Located 15 minutes northwest of Saskatoon, along Highway 16 near Langham, Ag in Motion features more than 350 exhibitors, 100 acres of test crops and the newest technological advances in farm equipment.Ag in Motion is one of the only shows in Western Canada that allows farmers to watch equipment in action on the field, says Show Director Rob O'Connor."Farmers conduct their business outside in the field. Here's an opportunity to see equipment working, see it outdoors, see the crops growing. Decisions are made in the field and that's really what farmers do," says O'Connor.Ag in Motion visitors will be among the first to see Dot Technology Corp.'s autonomous DOT Power Platform, which is expected to change farming as we know it."I don't think there's been anything that has the potential to change how we practise agriculture more since the GPS was introduced to farming," says O'Connor. "I really think that 20 years from now, how a farmer actually farms will be changed because of this technology."Among the innovations on display at Ag in Motion are improvements in tires for high horsepower tractors, grain bin fall protection and increased fertilizer absorption.Test crops by 25 companies will feature many varieties and highlight the effects of combinations of inputs.Daily seminars in the Agri-Trend Knowledge Tent will feature financial and succession planning and precision ag.Livestock Central will offer sessions on cattle handling, livestock and forage, a dairy day and fencing demonstrations.Among the speakers at the expo are Glacier FarmMedia's Director of Markets and Weather Information Bruce Burnett, who will update farmers daily on the latest news, and Jolene Brown, presented by RBC, who will address mistakes that break up family businesses.Now in its third year, Ag in Motion doubled in size last year and has expanded this year by over 50 new exhibitors. And new this year, onsite internet and cellphone service lets visitors and exhibitors stay connected.
July 7, 2017 - Given the high value of chicken breast meat in many markets, poultry processors need to ensure that any factors that may reduce product quality are thoroughly addressed.Issues affecting breast meat quality can arise pre-slaughter and during processing, and there are several key areas that need to be properly functioning if losses are to be minimized. Extreme temperatures during transport and while waiting at the plant pre-slaughter can result in dehydration and other metabolic conditions, affecting the health and survival rate of birds, and also meat quality. READ MORE 
July 6, 2017, Guelph, Ont. - Chicken hatcheries around the world will soon have access to a unique, new, made-in-Canada technology that holds the potential to revolutionize the business.The non-invasive scanning technology – that will identify the gender of day-old eggs before they are incubated – is set to streamline the hatchery process, create new tech-sector jobs and redirect resources previously used to raise male chicks.Research funded by the Egg Farmers of Ontario through the Agricultural Adaptation Council was conducted at McGill University to bring the concept of gender identification of unhatched eggs to full-scale commercialization. The project is in its second phase. That’s work to fine-tune the scanning system in preparation for a commercial application that would be available for sale to hatcheries in Canada and around the world.“This is a very sophisticated technology that includes state-of-the-art visioning,” says Tim Nelson, CEO of Livestock Research Innovation Corporation, the group partnering with Egg Farmers of Ontario to bring the technology to market. “There is a tremendous amount of design work that goes into creating this new system that, at full capacity, could scan and identify male and female, and fertile and non-fertile eggs at 50,000 eggs per hour.”The knowledge that comes from being able to identify the gender of day-old eggs will give hatcheries new information. Female eggs can be incubated for hatching and infertile or male eggs can join the table or processing stream.“This new technology will offer tremendous new opportunities to Ontario’s hatchery industry,” says Harry Pelissero, general manager of Egg Farmers of Ontario. “Redirecting day-old male eggs opens new market opportunities, and focuses hatchery resources of energy, water and other resources to hatching female eggs. It’s really going to be a game-changer.”Commercialization of the technology will involve working with established hatchery automation companies, as the new technology requires custom-fitting to each hatchery, and is expected to create up to 30 jobs in Ontario, including visioning system technicians.“We’ve already had interest and requests from hatcheries around the world that are very excited about the potential of this new technology,” says Pellisero. “We are now moving into testing prototypes in Ontario hatcheries to be sure the accuracy and speed we have in the lab can be achieved at the commercial level. We expect to go to market in 2018 with the first commercial hatchery application.”This project was funded in part through Growing Forward 2 (GF2), a federal-provincial-territorial initiative. The Agricultural Adaptation Council assists in the delivery of GF2 in Ontario.
June 30, 2017, Shoreview, MN – Do you remember the glory days of seventh grade? For many people, they were filled with braces, high-water pants and new experiences. Our teenage years are pivotal, helping shape the rest of our lives. This “teenage stage” is also important for backyard chickens – playing a key role in a bird’s future.Many families are enjoying teenage chickens this summer after purchasing baby chicks at spring Purina®Chick Days events. In a matter of a few weeks, chicks go from cute cotton balls to pin-feathered chickens adjusting to their long legs and new feathers.“Backyard chickens are considered teenagers from 4 to 17 weeks of age,” says Patrick Biggs, flock nutritionist for Purina Animal Nutrition. “The teenage stage isn’t talked about much in the backyard chicken world, but it’s a very important growth phase. These weeks are a lot of fun; they’re filled with quick growth, defined personalities and backyard exploration.”Since exciting changes can be seen during this phase, there are often many questions. Here are three of the most common questions received by Purina this spring about teenage chickens:Is my chicken a boy or a girl?As birds develop, their gender becomes much more obvious. New primary feathers develop along with new names. Pullet is the term for a teenage female, while a young male chicken is called a cockerel.“Between 5-7 weeks, you should be able to begin visually distinguishing males from females,” Biggs explains. “Compared to pullets, the combs and wattles of cockerels often develop earlier and are usually larger. Females are typically smaller in size than males. A female’s primary flight feathers on her wings are generally longer, but the developing tail feathers of males are bigger. If you are still uncertain of gender, you’ll be sure who the males are when you hear them attempting to crow.”When can chicks go to the coop?“Keep chicks in the brooder until week 6,” Biggs recommends. “As chicks grow in the brooder, keep birds comfortable by providing one to two square feet per bird. The temperature should be between 70 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit to help them get ready to move outside. Your chicks require less heat because they are now larger and can better regulate their body temperature.”Biggs recommends the following tips for transitioning birds from brooder to coop between weeks 6 and 8:1. Remove supplemental heat.2. Move brooder into the coop.3. Release chicks into the coop with the brooder still available for an option.4. Supervise chicks outside of the coop in small increments.5. Keep young chicks separate from older birds until they reach the same size.What do teenage birds eat?Many new flock raisers this spring wonder about switching feeds as birds grow. Biggs advises keeping the feeding program similar from day 1 through week 18.“Continue feeding a complete starter-grower feed through 18 weeks of age,” he says. “Starter-grower feeds are higher in protein and lower in calcium than layer feeds. Look for a starter-grower feed with 18 percent protein and no more than 1.25 percent calcium for laying breeds. Meat birds and mixed flocks should be fed a diet containing at least 20 percent protein.”Too much calcium can have a detrimental effect on growth, but a complete starter-grower feed has just the right balance for growing birds. The building blocks birds receive from their feed are put into growing feathers, muscle and bone. Prebiotic and probiotics support immune and digestive health, while added marigold extract promotes brightly colored beaks and leg shanks.“Ideally, wait until birds are 18 weeks old before introducing treats and scratch,” says Biggs. “It is important that birds receive proper nutrition in early development. If you can’t wait to spoil your birds, then wait until the flock is at least 12 weeks old. Keep the treats and scratch to a minimum – no more than 10 percent of total daily intake from treats to maintain nutritional balance.Biggs emphasizes that feeding growing birds is simple.“After moving birds to the coop, continue feeding a complete starter-grower feed and complement with scratch for a treat,” he says. “Then, watch your pullets and cockerels grow and change each day.”
June 23, 2017, Indiana - The cage-free revolution has been driven by consumers, many of whom think the change is better for chickens (though many also may believe eggs from uncaged hens are better quality). Animal protection groups argue it definitely is: Birds that are not confined to small wire cages can at least spread their wings and engage in natural behaviors like dust-bathing and perching, even if they never see the light of day.But egg producers and researchers caution that the switch is not as simple as just opening those cage doors — and that mobility brings with it a new set of concerns for chickens’ welfare that most farmers have never confronted. A major 2015 study of three different hen-housing systems found that mortality was highest among birds in cage-free aviaries and that they also had more keel bone problems. READ MORE 
June 22, U.S. – Tyson Foods Inc. will test a new way to render chickens unconscious before slaughter, the company said, in the latest sign that heightened concerns about animal welfare are affecting U.S. meat processors.Within the next year, Tyson, the biggest U.S. chicken company, will launch a pilot program at two processing plants to use gas instead of electricity to stun birds before they are killed.Poultry companies render birds unconscious prior to slaughter so they do not feel pain and have increasingly explored gas as a potentially more humane option. Consumers and some restaurants have also called for more humane practices.Tyson's program "is a very significant step forward for us in understanding if this is scalable," Justin Whitmore, chief sustainability officer, said in an interview.The project is part of a broader shift in production practices in the U.S. poultry industry, in which companies have also backed away from antibiotics due to health concerns. Such changes generally increase production costs.Tyson also announced a new video monitoring system to ensure live chickens are handled properly, after saying last year that it had not done enough to stop the mistreatment of animals.Whitmore declined to discuss costs of Tyson's gas stunning project.In January, U.S. chicken processor Pilgrim's Pride Corp touted GNP Company's use of gas stunning when it paid $350 million to buy the smaller rival.In GNP's system, birds were lowered into a sealed tunnel in specially designed modules where the amount of carbon dioxide gradually rose to 70 percent from 5 percent, according to the company. In minutes, the birds passed out as carbon dioxide displaced oxygen in the air.With gas stunning, chickens are unconscious when they are shackled for slaughter. Some companies view this as more humane than stunning them afterward with electricity.Perdue Farms, another rival, is retrofitting a Delaware plant to stun chickens with gas, instead of electricity, and expects it to be operational by year's end, spokeswoman Andrea Staub said. The company has a goal to eventually use the method at all processing facilities.Panera Bread Co, food service company Sodexo and Hormel Foods Corp's Applegate brand have each said they want to buy chicken from U.S. birds rendered unconscious by a multi-step gas stunning process by 2024.McDonald's Corp is evaluating the method, spokeswoman Becca Hary said, after failing in 2009 to find conclusive evidence that it was better for birds.
June 16, Elmhurst, Ont. - Ongoing research at the University of Saskatchewan is examining how light cycles can affect a bird’s natural rhythm, health and growth rate.“Turning the lights off can have a dramatic effect on how birds move around in their environment,” Dr. Karen Schwean-Lardner, assistant professor in the department of animal and poultry science at the University of Saskatchewan, said.Schwean-Lardner recently discussed her research study at New-Life Mills’ Turkey Producers Academy held in Elmhurst, Ont., on June 1. The research project initially examined how light cycles affect broilers and is now performing the same research study on turkeys.“It is really important that we look at turkey data for turkey producers, not just take assumptions from broiler data,” Schwean-Lardner said.Research results are suggesting the ideal amount of light per 24 hours for turkeys to be at least four hours of darkness.“One of the primary differences between turkeys and broilers is that turkeys benefit greatly from four hours of darkness – and few differences are noted with the addition of more darkness. The exceptions might be in body weight, and if a producer has an issue with mortality or lameness, that will also be impacted,” she added.It is also noted it is ideal to establish distinct day and night times and to implement increases and decreases gradually.“If flocks have mortality issues, periods of darkness can certainly help that. If you are considering making a change to your lighting program be sure to do make your adjustments in the evening, before the period of darkness, to avoid interrupting the bird’s feeding cycle,” Schwean-Lardner said.The New-Life Mills event also featured William Alexander, technical representative from Hybrid Turkeys. Alexander discussed factors that contribute to consistent quality poult starts and Lisa Hodgins, monogastric nutritionist from New-Life Mills, spoke on the evolution of feeding programs.
July 19, 2017, Swaziland - The Project Canaan egg farm in Swaziland has been up and running for more than a year and a half, providing a high-quality protein to children and supplying eggs to the local community, but that does not mean its supporters’ work is done.The initiative continues to grow and expand, supplying eggs and expertise to an ever-wider area, transferring skills to allow people in need to help themselves, and setting its sights on expanding horizons.The farm itself was the first step of the project, said Julian Madeley, managing director of the International Egg Foundation (IEF), which is supporting lead partners Heart for Africa and Egg Farmers of Canada.Capacity at the farm has doubled through construction of a second house, and this means that, in addition to supplying the orphanage, 4,000 children can now be supplied with an egg, which is done via 31 church feeding stations. READ MORE
July 17, 2017, Trenton, Ont. - When retired master corporal William Hawley met Prince Charles on Friday, it was a chance to say thank you — and to talk a little turkey.Hawley is a graduate of the Prince's Operation Entrepreneur program, one of Charles's charities in Canada that helps veterans transition to civilian life. In Hawley's case, that transition has led him from the battlefield to the farmer's field — his own organic poultry and vegetable operation.Hawley and his wife, Carolyn Guy, were among the beneficiaries of the program who met the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall in Trenton, Ont., during the royal couple's three-day tour of Canada. READ MORE 
July 14, 2017, Ottawa, Ont. - The Canadian Federation of Human Societies (CFHS) held its 60th anniversary event at the Westin Hotel in Ottawa this past April.The CFHS was attended by nearly 200 individuals, mainly those associated with animal shelters across Canada, as well as members of various animal welfare and animal rights groups (CFHS, SPCA, US Humane Societies, International Fund for Animal Welfare, Mercy for Animals).Morgan Ellis, farm animal care co-ordinator with Farm & Food Care Ontario, attended. On the first evening of the conference, there was a 60th Anniversary Awards Gala with guest of honour David Suzuki.The two-day conference was extremely worthwhile. A sincere thank you to the Canada Mink Breeders Association for giving Morgan the opportunity to attend. It was a reminder of how extreme some animal rights activists can be and what the differences are between animals rights and animal welfare.Sentiments from Catherine Moores of CMBA who also attended the conference summed it up best when she stated, “I realized that even though they may not always have the loudest voice, there are other animal welfare advocates around the table with views that are not that different than ours. The majority are likely somewhere in the middle”. Reducing the “us-vs-them” notion is important to find common ground with like-minded organizations as agriculture continues to strive to promote animal welfare.
July 7, 2017, Saskatchewan - Most agricultural research is aimed at improving crop yields and making animals healthier. Sometimes, however, work intended to make farms more productive can have consequences that reach far beyond the home quarter.One such example is Roy Crawford, a longtime University of Saskatchewan poultry scientist whose discovery of a mutated gene that caused epileptic seizures in chickens helped guide research into the seizures suffered by many humans.Crawford is also credited with developing poultry products for consumers, which according to Saskatchewan Agriculture: Lives Past and Present increased demand for birds and returns for producers on farms across the province. READ MORE
June 29, 2017 - When we think about school subjects, the usual suspects come to mind: math, English, science, and perhaps art, among the others. And while curriculums vary from province to province, there is one fundamentally important subject that is too often conspicuously absent: agriculture.Our partner, Agriculture in the Classroom Canada, is looking to change that. This national organization is working hard to enhance young people’s understanding and appreciation of the sector. And thanks to a new partnership between Egg Farmers of Canada and Agriculture in the Classroom Canada, more Canadian children will learn about eggs and egg farming.I had an opportunity to sit down and chat with the organization’s executive director, Johanne Ross, about why it’s an exciting time for young people to get involved in agriculture and egg farming. Now that the organization is reaching over one million students across the country, it might be time for even more students and teachers to sit up and take notice.How did Agriculture in the Classroom get its start?It’s evolved out of many years of provincial organizations working together.Before Agriculture in the Classroom Canada was formalized, there were 8 functioning provincial Agriculture in the Classroom organizations. We would get together to share best practices, teaching tools, and programs, so we had a really great network going.Within the last five years, we started to realize that a national voice was something that would be very useful for bringing our work to the forefront. There’s been a real shift with the general public—this includes schools—in that people really want to understand where their food comes from and how it gets to their plate.There are a lot of groups that may not be as close to our sector that would love to tell the Canadian agriculture story for us, but it’s our story to tell, to ensure we are having a conversation that is genuine, true and accurate. We’re very proud of the national structure we’ve developed. Part of the magic of it is that the provincial organizations stayed intact and are able to keep their uniqueness, participate in national initiatives, and work together to create one voice when we are speaking about agriculture education in Canada. The national Board now consists of nine provincial Agriculture in the Classroom organizations.What are the central goals of Agriculture in the Classroom?Of course, we have our number on goal, which is to engage with schools—teachers and students. What we’re trying to do is to really open their eyes to what the agriculture industry is.We want to engage them in inquiry-based learning, and for them to understand where their food comes from and how it gets to their plate; to have the knowledge and appreciation of that so they can make informed decisions.But then we take that further because we have a role to play within the industry: to be the voice of agriculture. So we try to inspire our industry partners and stakeholders, and this includes private industry and beyond, everyone to participate! Academics, universities, government—everybody needs to find their voice and join the conversation about agriculture and food.What are the benefits of Agriculture in the Classroom becoming involved with Egg Farmers of Canada?Egg Farmers of Canada and their provincial and territorial partners across the country are already doing great work and developing great materials, and our role is to become a vehicle for those materials.Agriculture in the Classroom can help Egg Farmers of Canada enhance their materials even more. We’re talking to teachers all the time about what they need, and what they want to bring to their classrooms—we can communicate that back to partners and help them to develop the right teaching tools that will be useable in a classroom.We can also help give their farmers a voice. Obviously we’re not the experts in everything, so we love bringing the people we work with into the classroom to help them tell their personal story and share their passion for what they do.How are students reacting to these resources?There are a lot of a-ha moments!We’re taking them beyond their supper plate or the grocery store, so they can understand what this sector is all about. For younger kids, it’s exciting for them just to understand what food comes from what crops and animals. As you get into the older age groups, you can take them through all the careers and discuss how dynamic the industry really is. There’s so much beyond the farm gate—not that the farm gate isn’t important; that’s where it all begins.This knowledge really opens up student minds to what could be available for them—they can work outside, in downtown Toronto, or wherever. We have so much to offer, and this industry is going to continue to need bright young people to take an interest in the agriculture and food sector as a career choice because we will always have the need to feed more, and to produce food sustainably.There are jobs coming up for young people that we don’t even know about yet—that’s how quickly it’s moving. Agriculture is just exploding with opportunities for young people.What do your future plans for Agriculture in the Classroom look like?We’ve just had some exciting news in that the federal government is going to be extending funding to AITC Canada over the next year, and so we’re ramping up our educational offerings.Among other initiatives such as a national Agriculture Careers Program, the funding will be going towards the development of something that we’re calling the Canadian Educator Matrix, an online tool for teachers. For example, let’s say I am a teacher in Toronto—I can go on the matrix and say that I’m a grade 10 teacher in Toronto, teaching science, and I want to know what’s available and related to my specific provincial curriculum. After customizing my search with filters and themes, all related agriculture resources will appear for me to investigate.It will be a one-stop online shop for teachers to find out what agriculture and food resources and opportunities are available to them.
June 29, 2017, Toronto, Ont. - Yorkshire Valley Farms is pleased to launch its organic pasture-raised egg program for the 2017 season.In addition to following organic practices, farmers in the pasture-raised program provide an enhanced pasture area for hens to forage outdoors. As with all Yorkshire Valley Farms laying hens, the pasture birds enjoy organic non-GMO feed and a cage-free environment in which to lay their eggs.Since ‘pasture-raised’ is not a defined labelling term in Canada, Yorkshire Valley Farms set about to create a set of standards to which all participating pasture farmers must adhere.These pasture-raised criteria incorporate the organic standards, while also requiring that hens spend a minimum of 6 hours outdoors per day, weather permitting, in an organically-managed pasture that offers at least 20 ft2 (1.85m2) per hen.The realities of the Ontario climate mean that this enhanced pasture access can only be ensured for a limited period each year. The pasture program generally runs from late May to October and the eggs are offered as a special seasonal offering.When consumers buy a Yorkshire Valley Farms product labelled ‘pasture’, they are getting a product that comes from animals that have truly spent time outdoors, foraging on pasture.In 2016, CBC Marketplace conducted nutritional analysis of a range of eggs and found that eggs from hens that spend time on pasture have higher concentrations of fat-soluble vitamins and omega-3 fatty acids. In particular, eggs from Yorkshire Valley Farms growers had more than double the amount of vitamin D, 3.5 times more vitamin E, and were the lowest in saturated fat compared to other eggs included in the sample set.
May 29, 2017, Toronto, ON – The CBC says it gave Subway plenty of opportunity to refute the findings of an investigation into the sandwich chain's chicken products before airing reports that prompted a defamation lawsuit from the company.In a statement of defence filed earlier this month, the broadcaster says it diligently conducted a ''fair and thorough'' investigation into several fast-food chicken products, including Subway's oven-roasted chicken and chicken strip items.The CBC says it confirmed with food scientists that DNA testing was an appropriate method of analysing the products' contents, and it had laboratory staff interpret the results.The broadcaster says it also turned over the results and the interpretation to Subway representatives and gave them several weeks to respond on or off camera before going to air.CBC ''Marketplace'' reported in February that DNA test results showed high levels of soy DNA in Subway's chicken products, suggesting potentially high levels of soy content in Subway's chicken products. The TV report was followed by an online story and several tweets that included similar content.Subway alleges in its lawsuit that the CBC acted ''recklessly and maliciously'' in airing a report that suggested some chicken products served by the chain could contain only 50 per cent chicken or less. The sandwich chain further alleges the tests ''lacked scientific rigour.''The sandwich chain is seeking $210 million in damages, saying its reputation and brand have taken a hit as a result of the CBC reports. It is also seeking recovery of out-of-pocket expenses it says were incurred as part of efforts to mitigate its losses.The lawsuit also targets a reporter and two producers who worked on the program.The CBC says it took steps to verify the facts included in the reports, including sharing the results with independent experts, who ''confirmed they were reasonable or probable.''''Despite being provided by the CBC defendants with numerous opportunities to do so, the plaintiffs provided no independent scientific evidence that would undermine or refute the results of the tests,'' the statement of defence says.The broadcaster says the statements that Subway objects to are ''substantially true'' and were made ''in good faith and without malice on matters of public interest.''''They relate to matters of public interest, including the fact that Subway restaurants market and represent to the public that their oven roasted product and chicken strip product are 'chicken.'''The CBC also questions Subway's claim that its revenue and reputation have suffered, and says any damage the chain has experienced is unrelated to the report.
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
July 20, 2017, Toronto, Ont. - A new poll conducted by NRG Research Group shows nine out of 10 Canadians want food companies to commit to greatly reducing the suffering of chickens in their supply chains, even if it results in higher prices.To view the poll results, visit bit.ly/CanadaChickenSurvey.The poll surveyed consumers on improving each step of a broiler chicken's life, from genetic selection to slaughter. Key findings include the following: 90% oppose using chickens bred to grow so fast they often become crippled under their own weight and support switching to breeds with higher welfare outcomes 88% support ending live-shackle slaughter in favor of less cruel systems that eliminate the suffering caused by shackling, shocking, and slitting the throats of conscious animals 88% oppose extreme crowding by which each chicken is provided with less than a square foot of floor space 86% support banning these conditions even if per-pound cost of chicken meat increases Respondents also strongly support measures such as keeping chicken litter clean enough to prevent eye sores, flesh burns, and respiratory distress; providing environmental enrichment, such as straw bales and pecking objects, so chickens can engage in natural behaviors; improving lighting standards, including at least six hours of darkness each day to avoid further accelerating the chickens' growth; and implementing third-party auditing programs to ensure laws and commitments are not violated.The poll was conducted just days after the release of an undercover investigation exposing sadistic animal abuse at more than a dozen Lilydale chicken supplier farms. The investigation revealed workers ripping chickens' legs off, hitting and kicking chickens, and performing crude sex acts with the birds.Many leading food companies, including Burger King, Tim Hortons, and Boston Pizza, have already adopted meaningful welfare standards to address these issues. But the nation's largest restaurant conglomerate, Cara Foods, which operates brands such as Harvey's, Milestones, and Kelsey's, has yet to commit to a comprehensive broiler welfare policy like its competitors.The online survey of 500 Canadian consumers was commissioned by Mercy For Animals and conducted by NRG Research Group June 15–20, 2017.
July 11, 2017 - Proponents of the slower-growing broiler movement claim that the meat product from those chickens has a superior flavor. However, Dr. Eilir Jones, CEO of Poultry Nutrition Limited, questions the validity of those claims.Why is chicken flavor often masked? Jones, who spoke at the recent Alltech Ideas Conference in Lexington, Kentucky, wondered about how important flavor really is to chicken consumers.He stated that about 50 percent of all chicken meat sold is either further processed or part of packaged meals. Those products include sauces, gravies, spices and vegetables that “mask the flavor of chicken.”He even quipped that the night before, he ate some chicken wings that were covered in a sauce so strong, “he was still tasting it today,” and he didn’t think he even could taste the chicken when he was eating it. READ MORE
June, 28, 2017, Ottawa, Ont. - Results from the newest Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS) report Canadians are consuming more of their calories from protein than they did over a decade ago. Fat consumption amongst adults increased slightly and there was a small decline in carbohydrates consumption.According to Dr. David Ma, PhD, Department of Human Health and Nutritional Sciences at the University of Guelph: "While there are some differences in consumption since the last survey in 2004, the data shows Canadians are generally consuming carbohydrates, fats and protein within recommended ranges. We need to eat these in the right proportions of total energy to reduce risk of chronic disease and to provide enough essential nutrients."The report notes that for children and teenagers, the percentage of daily energy intake from protein increased one per cent (from 14.6 per cent in 2004 to 15.6 per cent in 2015). For adults, it edged up from 16.5 per cent to 17.0 per cent. This still lingers at the lower end of the acceptable range of 10 to 35 per cent of calories set by the Institute of Medicine."The data is encouraging as the previous national survey showed Canadians were consuming protein at the lower end of the acceptable distribution range," said Dr. Stuart Phillips, PhD, Director of the Physical Activity Centre of Excellence (PACE) and McMaster Centre for Nutrition, Exercise, and Health Research. "Protein is essential for all tissues in the body, providing amino acids that are important for growth and development. Protein is particularly important for older people to help slow muscle loss.""Based on my research, consuming even more than the recommended amount of high quality protein, from nutrient-rich sources such as pork, beef, lamb, dairy products and eggs throughout the day, combined with regular exercise, helps prevent the loss of muscle tissue as we age," he adds.Many Canadians consume an abundance of foods, but many do not obtain the nutrients they require for good health. Meat, for example, is a compact source of many nutrients that are essential for good health and life. These include: protein, phosphorus, zinc, iron, selenium, magnesium, potassium, vitamin B12, thiamin, vitamin D, niacin, and riboflavin."Research shows that diets with increased protein and reduced carbohydrates may help prevent type 2 diabetes by facilitating weight loss through increased satiety, increased thermogenesis, and muscle retention," said Mary Ann Binnie of the International Meat Secretariat Nutrition Committee and a Canadian Meat Council spokesperson. "This is especially important given the number of Canadians diagnosed with diabetes has tripled in the past 20 years."
June 23, 2017, Toronto, Ont. - According to a recent Ipsos poll on food insecurity, health, and poverty in Canada commissioned by Community Food Centres Canada, a national nonprofit that increases access to healthy food in low-income communities and promotes food skills and civic engagement.According to the poll, 91 per cent of Canadians think food insecurity is a persistent problem in our country, a problem that 41 per cent believe has worsened in the last decade. And Canadians want to see solutions: 74 per cent believe that government has a responsibility to take action to ensure everyone has access to healthy, affordable food."Canadians are telling us loud and clear that we need to do better," said Nick Saul, President and CEO of Community Food Centres Canada. "We know that the best way to reduce food insecurity is to increase people's incomes. We currently have National Food Policy and National Poverty Reduction Strategy processes unfolding in parallel at the federal level, and we need to make sure that they both speak to this issue – and to each other."According to the PROOF Food Insecurity Policy Research project, four million Canadians are food insecure. Food insecurity negatively affects physical and mental health, and costs our health-care system significantly. Lack of household income is the most important predictor of food insecurity.Increasing access to affordable food is one of the four focus areas of the National Food Policy. The others are improving health and food safety, growing more high-quality food, and conserving our soil, water, and air. The public consultation phase of the National Poverty Reduction Strategy, which is being led by Employment and Social Development Canada, is wrapping up at the end of June. The timing for the development of a strategy and implementation plan has not yet been announced."We need to ensure that reducing food insecurity and improving the lives of vulnerable Canadians stays at the forefront of both of these important conversations," says Saul. "At the same time, with so many ministries involved in the National Food Policy, there is an important opportunity to surface new solutions that can break down silos and address the complex issues affecting different parts of our food system – solutions that could include community responses to food insecurity, a national school lunch program, and support for small farmers."The Ipsos poll also asked Canadians about areas where this type of multi-sectoral approach could be useful -- for example, addressing Canadians' declining levels of food literacy and finding innovative approaches to promoting healthier diets and reducing chronic disease. It showed that Canadians are interested in new approaches, including solutions that would put more affordable fruits and vegetables on the plates of low-income individuals. 91 per cent of Canadians said they would support a government subsidy program that would provide fruit and vegetable vouchers to people living on low incomes as a way to address diet-related illness.These are some of the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted between March 29 and April 3, 2017, on behalf of Community Food Centres Canada. For this survey, a sample of 1,002 Canadians aged 18+ was interviewed online via Ipsos' online panel. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. The poll is accurate to within ±3.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, of what the results would be had all Canadians been polled.
June 22, 2017, China – Scientists have identified three mutations that, if they occurred at the same time in nature, could turn a strain of bird flu now circulating in China into a potential pandemic virus that could spread among people.The flu strain, known as H7N9, now mostly infects birds but it has infected at least 779 people in outbreaks in and around China, mainly related to poultry markets.The World Health Organization said earlier this year that all bird flu viruses need constant monitoring, warning that their constantly changing nature makes them "a persistent and significant threat to public health".At the moment, the H7N9 virus does not have the capability to spread sustainably from person to person. But scientists are worried it could at any time mutate into a form that does.To assess this risk, researchers led by James Paulson of the Scripps Research Institute in California looked at mutations that could potentially take place in the H7N9 virus's genome.They focused on the H7 hemagglutanin, a protein on the flu virus surface that allows it to latch onto host cells.The team's findings, published in the journal PLoS Pathogens, showed that in laboratory tests, mutations in three amino acids made the virus more able to bind to human cells - suggesting these changes are key to making the virus more dangerous to people.Scientists not directly involved in this study said its findings were important, but should not cause immediate alarm."This study will help us to monitor the risk posed by bird flu in a more informed way, and increasing our knowledge of which changes in bird flu viruses could be potentially dangerous will be very useful in surveillance," said Fiona Culley, an expert in respiratory immunology at Imperial College London.She noted that while "some of the individual mutations have been seen naturally, ... these combinations of mutations have not", and added: "The chances of all three occurring together is relatively low."Wendy Barclay, a virologist and flu specialist also at Imperial, said the study's findings were important in showing why H7N9 bird flu should be kept under intense surveillance."These studies keep H7N9 virus high on the list of viruses we should be concerned about," she said. "The more people infected, the higher the chance that the lethal combination of mutations could occur."
June 15, 2017, Austin TX - Global Animal Partnership (GAP), creator of North America’s most comprehensive farm animal welfare standards, has provided a grant-in-aid of research to the University of Guelph, Ontario for a two-year research project that will determine and evaluate the parameters necessary for assessing the animal welfare needs of different genetic strains of chicken breeds.In 2016, GAP announced its intention to replace 100 percent of chicken breeds that result in poor welfare outcomes by 2024 with breeds meeting specified welfare outcomes within its 5-Step®Rating Program. The Guelph research project will help determine which genetic strains are best suited for commercial production under the new standards GAP is creating. GAP will provide public updates throughout the duration of the project.University of Guelph researchers Dr. Tina Widowski and Dr. Stephanie Torrey are leading the project. They will begin by running pilot studies over the summer, and the formal research study is due to begin this fall (Fall 2017), and will take approximately two years to complete (Fall 2019). All results will be published upon completion of the study.“The research team is excited about the scale and scope of this research grant,” said Dr. Widowski. “GAP’s commitment to developing a scientific and robust methodology for assessing chicken breeds will allow us to explore in a comprehensive way, a large number of factors important to both the bird and producers.”Dr. Widowski, a researcher and faculty member in the Department of Animal Biosciences, is the University Chair in Animal Welfare and director of the internationally recognized Campbell Centre for the Study of Animal Welfare (CCSAW), which has a reputation of hosting the largest animal welfare graduate program in North America. She is also the research chair of Poultry Welfare for the Egg Farmers of Canada.Dr. Torrey is a senior research scientist in Applied Animal Behavior and Welfare, with an expertise in applied animal welfare. Her team of graduate and undergraduate students focuses on fundamental and applied research with broiler and broiler breeder chickens and turkeys.Currently, fast-growing chicken breeds resulting in poor welfare outcomes represent 98 percent of all commercially available chicken meat in North America. Modern chickens have been genetically selected for their fast, efficient growth and higher yield of breast meat. However, this has had detrimental impacts on the welfare of broiler chickens, including immune and musculoskeletal problems, resulting in limitations to the birds’ ability to express natural behaviors like perching, flying, and even walking.This study will help create a way to objectively evaluate different genetic strains using a comprehensive list of parameters related to behavior, growth, health and production with the end goal of improving chicken welfare and specifically address the many issues resulting from fast-growing breeds.More than 600 chicken farms currently use the GAP standard, affecting the lives of 277 million chickens annually and making it the most significant higher welfare farm animal standard in the country. Retailers, foodservice companies and restaurants have committed to adopting GAP’s new chicken standard and moving away from breeds of chickens that result in poor welfare outcomes by 2024, including Whole Foods Market, Compass Group, Quiznos, and Boston Market.The Global Animal Partnership is a global leader in farm animal welfare that has established a comprehensive step-by-step program for raising animals that requires audits of every single farm. GAP makes it easy for consumers to find meat products that reflect their values. A nonprofit founded in 2008, GAP brings together farmers, scientists, ranchers, retailers, and animal advocates with the common goal of improving the welfare of animals in agriculture. So far, the 5-Step program includes more than 3,200 farms and ranches that range from Step 1 to Step 5+ and now raise more than 290 million animals annually.
June 13, 2017 - A new international cooperation has been created to develop and establish guidance concerning new animal feed ingredients and new uses for existing feed ingredients.The International Cooperation for Convergence of Technical Requirements for the Assessment of Feed Ingredients (ICCF) was launched by animal feed and feed ingredient associations from Canada, the European Union and the United States including the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), the European Commission (DG SANTE), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the American Feed Industry Association (AFIA), the Animal Nutrition Association of Canada (ANAC), the EU Association of Specialty Feed Ingredients and their Mixtures (FEFANA) and the International Feed Industry Federation (IFIF).“The ICCF is the result of a concerted effort to bring together feed regulators and industry feed associations to work together to develop common guidance documents for technical requirements needed in the assessment of feed ingredients,” said ICCF Chair Melissa Dumont.The ICCF Steering Committee will define the priorities and activities of the project. ICCF expert working groups will develop specific technical guidance documents. READ MORE
June 12, 2017, St. John’s - Parliamentary Secretary to the Honourable Jane Philpott, Minister of Health, Joël Lightbound, announced that Health Canada is launching a public consultation on restricting the marketing of unhealthy foods and beverages to children. The proposed approach aims to protect children from marketing tactics that encourage them to eat unhealthy foods, and support families in making healthier food choices.In addition, Health Canada is launching a public consultation on the revision of Canada's Food Guide, which will be used to develop new consumer messages, tools and resources. This follows broad consultation on the Food Guide in 2016, which resulted in nearly 20,000 submissions during the first consultation in fall 2016 on the revision of Canada's Food Guide, and are summarized in a What We Heard Report.The announcement was made at the Dietitians of Canada national conference in St. John's, Newfoundland. Both consultations run from June 10 to July 25, 2017.These initiatives are part of the Government's Healthy Eating Strategy. In addition, the Healthy Eating Strategy outlines how Health Canada will achieve the Government's commitments on sodium, trans fats, sugars and food colours.The Healthy Eating Strategy is a component of the Vision for a Healthy Canada, which focuses on healthy eating, healthy living and a healthy mind. I‎t is complementary to A Food Policy for Canada, which, as one of its four themes, seeks to increase Canadians' ability to make healthy and safe food choices.‎
June 9, 2017, Vancouver, B.C. - A&W Canada has announced that it will support the University of Saskatchewan to expand an important research project that will examine lighting enhancements and related health and welfare outcomes for broiler chickens.The project's broader research focus is to determine lighting effects on the mobility, behavior and physiological welfare of poultry by measuring the impact of the various wavelengths of barn lighting.A&W is providing $45,000 in funding to the University of Saskatchewan's Dr. Karen Schwean-Lardner to expand the data collection on the impacts of energy efficient LED lighting on broiler chicken welfare and production this fall. They will examine the differences LED lights make on poultry behavior, welfare and health outcomes. Incandescent lighting has been phased out and much less is known about the welfare and behavioral impacts of LED lighting."Through our research, we are always looking for ways to improve food quality and production while maintaining high animal care and welfare standards. Partnerships in research like this allow us to find the sustainable caring solutions we need to feed a growing world," says Mary Buhr, dean of the College of Agriculture and Bioresources.Dr. Karen Schwean-Lardner is a global leader in poultry barn lighting. Her work is internationally cited and has helped to establish international standards of practice for lighting. She served as the Chair of the Scientific Committee for the Canadian Poultry Code of Practice, as well as being a member of the Poultry Code Development Committee through the National Farm Animal Care Council (NFACC). NFACC's Code of Practice development process ensures credibility through scientific rigor, stakeholder collaboration and a consistent approach."At A&W we are constantly impressed with the leadership work Karen Schwean-Lardner and the University of Saskatchewan are doing in poultry welfare. We are proud to make a financial contribution to this research to allow the research team to further their understanding of LED barn lighting," says Trish Sahlstrom, Senior Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer, A&W Canada.Dr. Schwean-Lardner says, "The University of Saskatchewan is committed to research that will continue to reinforce Canada's leadership in poultry welfare. Partners like A&W share a commitment to new research that can contribute to the development of new best practices."
June 5, 2017, Ottawa, Ont. - Canadians each consumed 32.5 kg (per capita) of chicken in 2016 resulting in the highest level of chicken consumption in Canada ever.This confirms that chicken is the favourite of Canadian grocery shoppers and continues to be an important part of the nutritious meals they feed to their families. Chicken has been the first choice of Canadians for over a decade, when chicken per capita (per person) consumption passed beef for first place, and it has remained in first place ever since."Chicken is number one for Canadians who want a healthy and nutritious choice for themselves and their families," said Benoît Fontaine, Chair of Chicken Farmers of Canada. "Our farmers are proud to raise high-quality, nutritious chicken for Canadians. We have been doing this for generations and it's good to know that our hard work is recognized."2016 was one of the most successful years ever for the chicken industry, with production increasing by 4 per cent to a total of 1.148 billion kg of fresh, nutritious Canadian chicken for consumers.Trust is a big reason behind the ongoing success of the Canadian chicken industry.In a recent survey, 93 per cent of Canadians said they prefer to feed their families food raised by Canadian farmers—that support is behind the new "Raised by a Canadian Farmer" brand logo. Now Canadians can have confidence in knowing where their food comes from by looking for the brand—and trust that it was raised safely by a Canadian farmer."We have a responsibility to our consumers, to keep their food safe, to protect them, and to humanely and carefully raise the animals we grow," added Fontaine. "Canadian chicken farms are run by hardworking men and women and the birds are being raised to the highest standards for food safety and animal care."Canadian chicken farmers work hard each day to provide the best possible care for their birds, and to ensure their health and welfare. Canadian consumers have high expectations of their farmers, from the assurance of a steady supply to ensuring excellence and best practices in animal care and food safety. Canada's chicken farmers are proud to deliver on these expectations, with every flock.Chicken Farmers of Canada is responsible for ensuring that our 2,800 farmers produce the right amount of fresh, safe, high-quality chicken and that our farmer's views are taken into account when important agriculture and policy decisions are made.
June 5, 2017, Guelph, Ont. - Research and innovation are key to finding alternatives to antibiotic and antimicrobial use.Researchers at the Ontario Veterinary College are studying probiotics as an alternative to traditional antimicrobials to combat pathogens including Salmonella, Campylobacter jejuni, and Clostridium perfringens in poultry.Over the last decade, Dr. Shayan Sharif’s lab at the University of Guelph has been involved in developing probiotic formulations against Salmonella. “We’ve clearly shown by using combinations of different lactobacilli or lactic acid producing bacteria we can reduce colonization or burden of salmonella in poultry quite significantly,” says Sharif, an immunologist at OVC and leader of the Poultry Health Research Network.He is now turning his attention to Campylobacter jejuni, the main notifiable bacterial cause of human enteritis or foodborne illness reported to the Public Health Agency of Canada.Chickens can carry Campylobacter in their intestine. While they don’t show any clinical signs of the disease they can carry it throughout their lifetime.It’s not necessarily a huge concern to the poultry industry because chickens are asymptomatic but a huge concern to human health, as the bacteria can be transferred to humans through undercooked poultry, adds Sharif.Few control measures, including vaccination, biosecurity or antibiotics, deter the bacteria. Of added concern, both Campylobacter jejeuni and Salmonella can harbor and transfer antimicrobial resistance genes.Next up for Sharif’s lab will be work on Clostridium perfringens which can cause Necrotic Enteritis, essentially inflammation of the intestine in poultry.Necrotic Enteritis can be caused by Clostridium perfringens, but usually works with another microorganism called Eimera or coccidia. The two usually go hand-in-hand and coccidia usually predisposes the animal to the pathogenic effects of Clostridium perfringens, notes Sharif. Coccidia is usually controlled by antimicrobials but without treatment there could be a surge in coccidiosis and Necrotic Enteritis, both of which would lead to major drop in production and increased mortality.While there are vaccines available to combat coccidiosis, this isn’t the case for Necrotic Enteritis.Sharif’s research includes examining the effect of probiotics on the overall health, welfare and production of poultry. “We want to know if animals as a whole are healthier, if they produce more, if there is better weight gain and if their feed conversion ratio would be better compared to chickens receiving conventional diets.”Studies will also determine if immune status is improved in birds who receive probiotics.“At the end of the day if you’re not able to make a probiotic formulation that is safe, that is efficacious, and also able to provide equal production parameters it is not going to be an economically sound investment for producers,” says Sharif.This research is funded by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, Canadian Poultry Research Council, Poultry Industry Council and Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada.
June 5, 2017, Toronto, Ont. - Food matters. Canadians make choices every day about food that directly impacts their health, environment, and communities. The Government of Canada is committed to helping put more affordable, safe, healthy, food on tables across the country, while protecting the environment.Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister, Lawrence MacAulay, announced today that the Government of Canada is launching consultations to support the development of A Food Policy for Canada. An online survey is now open at www.canada.ca/food-policy and Canadians are encouraged to share their input to help shape a food policy that will cover the entire food system, from farm to fork. Canadians can share their views on four major themes Increasing access to affordable food; Improving health and food safety; Conserving our soil, water, and air; and Growing more high-quality food. A Food Policy for Canada will be the first-of-its-kind for the Government of Canada, and is a new step in the government’s mandate to taking a collaborative and broad-based approach to addressing food-related issues in Canada.The online consultation is the first of a number of engagement activities planned with a wide range of participants to inform the development of a food policy.Feedback from the consultations will provide the federal government with a better understanding of Canadians’ priorities when it comes to food-related issues. The results will help inform key elements of a food policy, including a long-term vision and identifying actions to take in the near term.
July 20, 2017, Vittoria, Ont. - Norfolk’s hamlets soon may be known for their omelettes.In a piece of after-the-fact fine-tuning this week, Norfolk council modified its position on urban chickens in the county.Keeping chickens and other livestock within the boundaries of Norfolk’s urban centres continues to be forbidden. However – as of this week -- anyone who wants to keep a half-dozen chickens in their backyard can do so in any of the county’s 23 hamlet areas.Norfolk council made the adjustment after learning many Mennonite families in hamlet areas of west Norfolk already have a coop in the backyard. There seems to be no problem with this arrangement and council wants to leave well-enough alone. READ MORE 
July 19, Listowel, Ont. – This year’s second Breakfast on the Farm event will be hosted by the Johnston Family of Listowel. The event will be the eighth Breakfast on the Farm organized by Farm & Food Care Ontario since 2013.To date, approximately 15,000 people have been fed, entertained and engaged at the events. Organizers are expecting between 1,500 and 2,000 people to attend.Breakfast on the Farm provides a unique opportunity for farmers and non‐farming Ontarians to have a conversation about food and farming. It gives visitors the chance to visit a real, working farm, provides a showcase for agriculture and gives non-farmers the opportunity to have their questions answered by real farmers.The event will take place at Maplevue farm – a family business owned by brothers Doug and Dave Johnston. Along with their seven children, the brothers’ family has been farming on the same land for 125 years, and currently have 60 cows and 1,500 acres of crops.Technology is Doug and Dave’s main focus, and they regularly learn about and incorporate new ideas into the farm.“Modern agriculture has a lot to show people,” says Doug. “These kinds of events are important. We encourage everybody to come out and see family farming at its best.”After being treated to an all-Ontario breakfast featuring eggs, pancakes, fruit, sausage and more, visitors will be able to tour the farm. Interactive stops around the farm will include many displays, activities and exhibits that showcase other types of farms in Ontario.There will also be more than 100 Ontario farmers on hand to answer guests’ questions about food and farming.This event will run from 9:00 am until 1:00 pm, with breakfast being served until 11:30 a.m. Farm tours wrap up by 1:00 p.m. The event is free, though preregistration is required. The first 2,000 visitors are guaranteed breakfast.Farm & Food Care Ontario is again looking for those willing to share their time and passion for local food. Approximately 120 volunteers are needed on the day of the event.The event is supported by many national, provincial and regional farm organizations and agri-businesses. Breakfast tickets can be obtained by visiting www.FarmFoodCareON.org.Event Details: Date: September 16, 2017; 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.Cost: FREE; Complimentary breakfast tickets must be reserved online at www.FarmFoodCareON.org.Location: 7761 Road 147, Listowel, ON Parking: Available at the farm.Other notes: The farm is wheelchair accessible.Pets (excluding service dogs) are not allowed on the farm.
July 18, 2017, Ottawa, Ont. - A significant volume of dairy, poultry, eggs and beef was imported into Canada without a permit or paying the appropriate customs duties, hurting both the federal treasury and farmers, says Auditor General Michael Ferguson in his spring report to Parliament.Analyzing figures from Global Affairs Canada and the Canadian Border Services Agency found “authorizations, certificates, and permits for those items that were on the Import Control List... did not match the volumes authorized for importing annually with the volumes that importers declared to the agency as eligible for a lower rate of duty,” Ferguson said.The report estimates that $168 million in duties were not collected on $131 million worth of chicken, turkey, beef, eggs, and dairy products, meaning that seven to eight per cent were therefore imported without the appropriate permits.Dairy had the biggest hit with $81 million in unassessed customs duties and $32 million of product entering the country without permits. Chicken was next with $50 million in unassessed duties and $20 million in products without permits. For turkey the figures $15 million and $9 million, beef $11 million and $41 million and eggs $11 million and $29 million. READ MORE
July 14, 2017, Huron County, Ont. – Lukas Schilder is a chicken farmer in Huron County with centuries of farming in his bloodline. Like others in the agriculture sector, he is keenly aware of the advantages that adopting new technology brings to his business. Looking to invest in a new chicken barn, Schilder and his family recognize an opportunity to connect their farm operations with the expectations of consumers and grow their brand.Guided by a sector-wide commitment to animal welfare, Schilder is planning to equip a new free-range facility with cutting-edge technology designed to monitor and broadcast information about the state of his flock to stakeholders. Some of the technology being considered involves a live 24/7 public video feed to demonstrate the care and treatment his chickens receive.“We stay engaged with industry best-practices both in North America and Europe and operations all over the world are adopting new technology to meet marketplace demands, which include consumer information about the realities of growing food,” said Schilder. “Our farm needs access to high-speed internet to be competitive.”In April, Huron County Council partnered with Comcentric – a co-operative of local internet service providers – to submit a funding proposal to the Government of Canada’s Connect to Innovate program. The project proposes to connect 98 per cent of Huron County’s population, including the Schilder farm, with high-speed fibre within three years. Expected to cost $31.5 million, the project requires a partnership with the Government of Canada to proceed. To leverage an investment by the federal government, Huron County Council has committed $7 million over seven years. READ MORE 
July 13, 2017, Toronto, Ont. - Some Toronto residents with a hankering for their own fresh eggs could soon be in luck if city council approves a pilot project that would lift a ban on backyard hens.Four Toronto wards would be part of the project and comes as part of a motion to review the city's list of prohibited animals, which currently includes chickens.A survey included in a city staff report filed in May suggested that lifting the ban on chickens could be a popular move.''There's a lot of benefits, for sure,'' said Coun. Justin Di Ciano, whose west-end ward will be part of the pilot project. Home-raised chickens are a healthier alternative to store-bought eggs, he said, and they keep away pests.He also characterized them as a ''cruelty-free'' alternative to factory-farmed eggs.Toronto resident Andrew Patel, who has raised hens in his backyard since 2011 despite the ban, said he's pleased at news.''I think a pilot project is probably the best way to pass a safe and effective bylaw,'' Patel said, adding that such a bylaw wouldn't be difficult to implement.''We're talking about a couple of people raising a few hens, for non-commercial purposes on private property,'' he said.Meanwhile, several municipalities in Ontario, including Kingston, Brampton, Niagara Falls and Caledon, all allow residents to keep chickens in backyard coops.In Brampton, for example, current bylaws surrounding chickens state that coops must be no less than eight metres from any dwelling, store or adjacent property, and at least two metres from the side boundary of the property where it's kept. Bramptonians also can't keep chickens inside their home, and must keep any chicken waste in airtight containers ''in a manner that will not create a public nuisance or health hazard.''But chickens in Toronto could attract, and be at the mercy of, other critters known to haunt Toronto, a local expert said.Dan Frankian, a bird and animal control specialist, said that leaving chickens to roam free in a backyard during the day could attract the attention of scavengers.''Once the chickens are running around, the food is, too,'' Frankian said, which could attract raccoons and coyotes.Raccoons in particular love eggs, he said, and can break into locked boxes or cages with ease.''Standard chicken wire is not strong enough to hold those guys,'' Frankian said.But Patel said he has never had a problem with urban wildlife.''Raccoons aren't brain surgeons, they can't pick a lock or open a hackproof door,'' he said. ''So I don't think it's an issue that can't be navigated.''He said his six hens are stored in a coop protected by hardwire, which has smaller holes than a chicken-wire coop.A survey from a recent city staff report says chickens are among the most complained-about animals on Toronto's prohibited list, alongside sheep, snakes and birds. Objections range from noise to smell.But Patel said when hens are cared for properly and their bedding is changed, there is not smell. And he added that roosters, not hens, crow.The pilot project was originally supposed to have been proposed at City Hall on Friday, but was deferred after news came of deputy mayor Pam McConnell's death.It will be re-introduced at council's next meeting in October.
July 13, 2017, Guelph, Ont. - Kelly Daynard has been hired as executive director of Farm & Food Care Ontario (FFCO), a coalition representing Ontario's farm families, agribusinesses, food processors, food companies and more.The Board of Directors began an open and extensive hiring process in April of 2017, interviewing several candidates before making its decision.Daynard first joined FFCO's predecessor organization, the Ontario Farm Animal Council, in 2005. She has been employed as communications manager of FFCO since 2012 and has been serving in the role of interim executive director since January of 2017.Prior to joining FFCO, she worked first as a journalist and then as communications manager for the Ontario Cattlemen's Association (now Beef Farmers of Ontario). Raised on her family's grain farm near Guelph, Daynard is a graduate of Wilfrid Laurier University and the Advanced Agricultural Leadership Program. Outside of her work with FFCO, she is involved with several agricultural organizations including the Canadian Farm Writers Federation and the Ontario Agricultural Hall of Fame Association."The board of directors is unanimous in its decision to hire Kelly to lead Farm & Food Care Ontario. She has a strong knowledge of the agricultural industry and is well-known and well respected by members, staff and industry stakeholders. Over the years, she has consistently demonstrated her commitment to this organization and its mandate and has led the development of many of our award winning initiatives," said Brian Gilroy, chair of the board of directors."I'm honoured by the confidence shown by the board of directors in hiring me to this position," said Daynard. "It has been a privilege to work for this organization for so many years. Farm & Food Care Ontario plays such a critical role in this industry, helping to connect consumers with their food. I look forward to being part of the work that we'll continue to do to earn public trust in food and farming."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.
July 12, 2017 - Meat-importing countries from North America to Europe and Asia have tightened inspection standards for shipments from Brazil in a bid to protect consumers, following a probe into possible corruption involving inspectors.The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) said that the tighter inspection standards it enacted in April have resulted in checks on nearly every shipment from Brazil."The new Canadian protocols involve full inspection - including tests for pathogens and chemical residues - of all Brazilian meat imports on five consecutive shipments from each approved plant and for each product category," CFIA spokeswoman Maria Kubacki said.Previously, CFIA conducted one full inspection randomly out of 10 consecutive shipments from each Brazilian plant.The tougher reviews highlight concerns about the safety of Brazilian meat even among countries that still accept its products. The United States last week banned imports of fresh Brazilian beef after a high percentage of shipments failed safety checks.Brazilian police raided the premises of global meatpacking companies JBS SA (JBSS3.SA) and BRF SA (BRFS3.SA) in March, as well as dozens of smaller rivals, over suspected bribery of health officials.Since then, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has re-inspected shipments of raw beef and ready-to-eat food products from Brazil and tested them for pathogens. All beef trimmings are now tested for salmonella and E. coli.The checks have uncovered problems in fresh beef, including abscesses, blood clots, bones and lymphoid tissue, according to the USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service Re-inspections at U.S. ports are directed by a centralized computer database that stores past inspection results from each foreign establishment. Better-performing foreign plants are subject to less frequent re-inspections, according to the USDA.To meet the stiffer inspection requirements from importers, Brazil has raised its own standards for meat exported from the country."Meat-processing plants in Brazil are now blocked from shipping the front part of a cow as a whole piece, and must instead process it into cuts, a step that makes it easier to detect defects but adds cost for packers," Luis Rangel, Brazil's plant and animal health secretary, said in an interview.“We had to raise the bar because of the United States, and ... you do not raise the bar for only one export market, you raise it for all of them," Rangel said. "Processing costs will rise, but that is necessary to preserve the markets."Enforcing the higher standards is complicated, however, by a shortage of inspectors in Brazil.In Europe, authorities now conduct physical checks of all animal-related shipments from Brazil, and perform laboratory tests on 20 percent of them, at the importers' cost, according to a document issued by the Council of the European Union on June 9.The EU requires Brazil to conduct microbiological checks on poultry and other meats before they are shipped.Hong Kong has since March boosted surveillance on Brazil's meat and poultry, including sampling for meat deterioration and other food safety concerns, a spokesman for Hong Kong's Center for Food Safety said. As of June 23, a total of 369 samples were tested and all were satisfactory, he said.
July 6, 2017, Ottawa, Ont. - The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is launching a new web-based consultation tool to gather feedback from stakeholders on current Canada-United States Regulatory Cooperation Council (RCC) work plans and to provide input on future opportunities.The RCC is a joint initiative between Canada and the United States that facilitates regulatory co-operation between the two countries and aims to enhance economic competitiveness while protecting the health, safety and environment of both countries.Since 2012, the CFIA, in co-operation with the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), has developed annual joint work plans in the areas of animal health, food safety, meat inspection and certification, and plant health.Stakeholder consultation is key to the development of work plans under the RCC. The new web-based consultation tool will provide a consistent structure for stakeholders to provide feedback on the RCC initiatives that matter to them, and input on future opportunities.Stakeholders are invited to provide feedback on the work plans that impact them, and to provide input on future opportunities until October 31, 2017.Information gathered in this consultation period will be used to help develop the next iteration of RCC work plans for food safety, meat inspection and certification, animal health, and plant health.
July 5, 2017, Nutreco is pleased to announce that it has completed the acquisition of Hi-Pro Feeds, after satisfying all closing conditions and having received regulatory approvals.As part of the integration, Nutreco’s combined animal nutrition businesses in North America, consisting of Shur-Gain, Landmark and Hi-Pro Feeds, will now trade under the name Trouw Nutrition.Hi-Pro Feeds is a leading manufacturer and distributor of high performance animal feed in North America. The company network comprises of 15 individual feed mills with operations spanning three states in Southwest U.S. and western Canada serving over 5,000 customers.Nutreco’s global animal nutrition activities trade under the company brand Trouw Nutrition, with the exception of North America where its innovative nutritional solutions have been brought to the market under a variety of company brands including Shur-Gain and Landmark.“The completion of the acquisition is a good moment to unite our combined businesses of Shur-Gain, Landmark and Hi-Pro Feeds under Trouw Nutrition,” says Jacques Leclerc, Managing Director of Trouw Nutrition Canada. “This rebranding will link our value proposition to our customers more directly with Trouw Nutrition’s portfolio of products, animal production models and services as well as its global R&D resource.”The Trouw Nutrition global R&D network consists of five research centres – including Trouw Nutrition Agresearch in Burford, Ontario – and over fifty collaborations with universities and research institutes around the world.The strength of the global innovations of Trouw Nutrition, together with the combined global and local expertise to turn the science-base into practical, applicable nutrition solutions will provide additional benefits to customers throughout North America.In Canada, Shur-Gain will become the key product brand that will be used for all premixes, farm minerals, concentrates and complete feed. The Shur-Gain dealer network will also retain its existing branding.In the U.S., both Hi-Pro Feeds and Shur-Gain will be retained as product brands under Trouw Nutrition.“We are excited about the opportunities this acquisition brings to our customers and employees in Canada and the USA. As a global animal nutrition company, Trouw Nutrition has the resources and network available to create additional value for our customers through an expanded offering of proprietary nutritional products, animal production models, and services,” said Daren Kennett, founder of Hi-Pro Feeds.During the integration phase of Hi-Pro Feeds into the Trouw Nutrition organisation, Daren Kennett will lead the Western Region (Manitoba, Alberta, British Columbia) as well as the Hi-Pro Feeds operations in the U.S., reporting to Jacques Leclerc.
July 5, 2017, Shedden, Ont. - Farm & Food Care Ontario's latest Breakfast on the Farm event, held at Donkers' Family Farm in Shedden on June 24, was another enormous success.With 200 volunteers, 40 sponsors, 35 exhibitors and 2,500 farm visitors, it was by far the largest event to date.Overall, 180 kilograms of buttermilk pancake mix, 5,800 slices of bacon, 1,512 cartons of milk, 200 litres of apple cider, 9,120 eggs and 24 litres of maple syrup were consumed. Leftover foodstuffs were donated to the St. Thomas-Elgin Food Bank.
July 4, 2017, Netherlands - The insect supply industry reached a significant milestone with Netherlands-based Protix, closing 45M€ in funding - delivered by Aqua-Spark, Rabobank, BOM and various private investors.Protix breeds insects for animal feed, as insects offer a low-impact protein alternative that can be cultivated on a variety of food scraps. This is important as global populations continue to grow and the demand for meat, fish and dairy surges. Food production is increasingly under pressure, with added challenges of deforestation and overfishing.Protix has turned insect production into a commercial success by serving the animal feed industry, while also developing food applications for consumers. Their products are used in over 12 countries to date - in feed applications ranging from pig and poultry to pet food specialties.The driver behind Aqua-Spark's interest is Protix promising uses for aquaculture. Fish raised using sustainable aquaculture methods offer a solution to the global food crisis because they have the least environmental impact of any animal protein. Protix has the potential to further elevate aquaculture, while solving feed challenges across multiple industries.
June 30, 2017, Beresford, SD - Hendrix Genetics is pleased to announce another step in its commitment to the US Turkey Industry: to directly distribute quality Hybrid commercial poults to growers.The investment plan includes new hatcheries, egg production facilities, a modern transportation fleet, and the skilled workforce needed to support these areas of operations. This follows previous investments in grandparent facilities in Kansas and Nebraska.The proposed turkey hatchery in Beresford, SD represents an investment of approximately $25 million and will have capacity for 35 million hatching eggs.This new hatchery will be used in addition to Hybrid’s aligned network of hatcheries throughout the U.S. and Canada. The new hatchery, plus the capacity within the aligned partners, offers the capability of hatching 60 million eggs for the commercial market.The facility will be outfitted with cutting-edge equipment, featuring Petersime incubators, to ensure the highest biosecurity and poult quality.Beresford is located approximately 35 miles south of Sioux Falls, SD and is well connected to the interstate system to transport day-old poults to the USA market.Access to a skilled workforce and the support of the local community were elements of the decision process for Hendrix Genetics.With this newest hatchery announcement, as well as upcoming plans for future investments, Hendrix Genetics aims to strengthen their global supply chain and network of owned and aligned distribution.The Beresford hatchery will join their network of owned, aligned, and contracted hatchery capacity set up to supply the strong demand for Hybrid genetics in the USA.What began just over a year ago with the announcement of a parent stock hatchery in Beatrice, NE has grown into a full-fledged investment in a US supply chain. Construction is scheduled to begin in August 2017.

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