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.

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).
March 16, 2017 – The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has confirmed a second case of highly pathogenic H7N9 avian influenza in a commercial breeder flock in Lincoln County, Tenn. This H7N9 strain is of North American wild bird lineage and is the same strain of avian influenza that was previously confirmed in Tennessee. It is not the same as the China H7N9 virus that has impacted poultry and infected humans in Asia. The flock of 55,000 chickens is located in the Mississippi flyway, within three kilometers of the first Tennessee case. Samples from the affected flock, which displayed signs of illness and experienced increased mortality, were tested at Tennessee’s Kord Animal Health Diagnostic Laboratory and confirmed at the APHIS National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL) in Ames, Iowa. The USDA is working with the Tennessee Department of Agriculture on the joint incident response. State officials quarantined the affected premises, and depopulation has begun. Federal and state partners will conduct surveillance and testing of commercial and backyard poultry within a 10 kilometer (6.2 mile) radius of the site. The USDA will be informing the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) as well as international trading partners of this finding. The Tennessee Department of Agriculture is working directly with poultry workers at the affected facilities to ensure that they are taking the proper precautions to prevent illness and contain disease spread.
March 15, 2017, Montgomery, AL — State Veterinarian Dr. Tony Frazier, in consultation with Commissioner John McMillan, has issued a stop movement order for certain poultry in Alabama. “The health of poultry is critically important at this time,” said Dr. Frazier. “With three investigations of avian influenza in north Alabama on three separate premises we feel that the stop movement order is the most effective way to implement biosecurity for all poultry in our state.” The first two investigations were on two separate premises in north Alabama. One flock of chickens at a commercial breeder operation located in Lauderdale County, Ala. was found to be suspect for avian influenza. No significant mortality in the flock was reported. The other premise was a backyard flock in Madison County, Ala. Samples from both premises have been sent to the USDA National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL) in Ames, Iowa, and are being tested to determine presence of the virus. The most recent investigation began following routine surveillance while executing Alabama’s HPAI Preparedness and Response Plan. USDA poultry technicians collected samples at the TaCo-Bet Trade Day flea market in Scottsboro located in Jackson County, Ala. on March 12. Samples collected were suspect and those samples are on the way to the USDA lab in Ames, Iowa. USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is working closely with the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries (ADAI) on a joint incident response. This suspected strain of avian influenza does not pose a risk to the food supply. No affected poultry entered the food chain. The risk of human infection with avian influenza during poultry outbreaks is very low. “Following the 2015 avian influenza outbreak in the Midwest, planning, preparation, and extensive biosecurity efforts were escalated in Alabama. Industry, growers, state and federal agencies and other stakeholders have worked hard to maintain a level of readiness,” said Commissioner of Agriculture and Industries John McMillan. “Our staff is committed to staying actively involved in the avian influenza situation until any threats are addressed.”
March 10, 2017, Nashville, TN – The Tennessee state veterinarian confirms that a flock of chickens at a commercial poultry breeding operation has tested positive for low pathogenic avian influenza (LPAI). This chicken breeding operation is located in Giles County, Tenn. The company that operates it is different from the one associated with the recent detection of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in Lincoln County. At this time, officials do not believe one premise sickened the other. On March 6, routine screening tests at the Giles County premises indicated the presence of avian influenza in the flock. State and federal laboratories confirmed the existence of H7N9 LPAI in tested samples. “This is why we test and monitor for avian influenza,” State Veterinarian Dr. Charles Hatcher said. “When routine testing showed a problem at this facility, the operators immediately took action and notified our lab. That fast response is critical to stopping the spread of this virus.” As a precaution, the affected flock was depopulated and has been buried. The premises is under quarantine. Domesticated poultry within a 10 kilometer (6.2 mile) radius of the site are also under quarantine and are being tested and monitored for illness. To date, all additional samples have tested negative for avian influenza and no other flocks within the area have shown signs of illness. The primary difference between LPAI and HPAI is mortality rate in domesticated poultry. A slight change to the viral structure can make a virus deadly for birds. Avian influenza virus strains often occur naturally in wild migratory birds without causing illness in those birds. With LPAI, domesticated chickens and turkeys may show little or no signs of illness. However, HPAI is often fatal for domesticated poultry. The Giles County LPAI incident is similar to the Lincoln County HPAI incident in that both the low pathogenic and highly pathogenic viruses are an H7N9 strain of avian influenza. USDA’s National Veterinary Services Laboratories confirms the H7N9 virus that affected the Lincoln County premises is of North American wild bird lineage. It is not the same as the China H7N9 virus affecting Asia and is genetically distinct. The Lincoln County premises affected by HPAI remains under quarantine. To date, all additional poultry samples from the area surrounding that site have tested negative for avian influenza and no other flocks within the area have shown signs of illness. Testing and monitoring continues.
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.
June 13, 2017, Ottawa, Ont. - Chicken Farmers of Canada (CFC) found the video aired June 12 on CTV shocking and reprehensible. There is no defense for the mistreatment of birds.As part of our commitment, CFC has an established Animal Care Program that is mandatory, 3rd party audited, and enforced on every farm; it covers the time from when the birds are placed to when they are prepared for transit to the processors, and is completely aligned with the Code of Practice and international standards.If a farm is found not to be complying with the Animal Care Program standards, or is causing undue suffering to birds, the farmer is subject to penalties and the proper authorities will be contacted.It is important to convey that this kind of animal abuse is not and will not be tolerated. It is not representative of how the industry works as a whole. CFC will collaborate fully with all elements of the industry, as well as government authorities to ensure that this situation is addressed and to enforce standards that will ensure that it is never repeated.CFC strongly believes that the abuse of animals is unacceptable. While CFC's role is to promote and defend good management practices, we count on every stakeholder in the chicken value chain to be vigilant and responsible.The CFC Animal Care Program has credible, science-based foundations in that it is based on the Code of Practice developed by the National Farm Animal Care Council (NFACC). NFACC is a world leader in bringing together stakeholders with different perspectives – farmers, veterinarians, processors, transporters, animal welfare associations, and provincial/federal governments – to develop robust and sound Codes of Practice.NFACC's Code Development process begins with a full scientific review which is used to draft the Code that then undergoes a public consultation process. In this way, all Canadians have an opportunity to contribute to the final Code. The NFACC process is a standard that is internationally recognized and applauded.The program recently completed an inaugural comprehensive third-party audit. NSF International's report concluded that "The national Animal Care Program has been implemented effectively and maintained on an on-going basis. Animal care measures have been consistently applied." 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, Onondaga, Ont. - When they Josh and Melissa Groves learned about a new artisanal chicken program, Josh and Melissa Groves of Vangro Farms Country Market immediately signed up.It suited to a tee the main theme of their buy local, buy fresh meat production and retail operation."We applied as soon as it started last year and we have done well by it," Josh Groves said in an interview at Vangro farm on Highway 54.He showed freestanding stalls of chicks that are the latest addition to VanGro's lines of fresh lamb cutlets and prepared beef and pork products."We're moving into the second year having learned how to make it work for us."The artisanal chicken program launched by the Chicken Farmers of Ontario in 2016 provides opportunities for small independent farmers to meet local demands for high-quality chicken."The Chicken Farmers of Ontario is continually looking to meet the changing needs of Ontario chicken consumers and markets," the organization says on its website."The program will help farms fill local food and seasonal markets and will give Ontario consumers more choice and options in how and where they buy locally grown chicken."The CFO mainly deals with larger operations which must produce to a set quota of tens of thousands of chickens. Its artisanal program is meant to address the more modest needs of local farmers.Under the program, non-quota holding farmers who wish to grow between 600 and 3,000 chickens each year can partner with independent producers to provide artisanal chicken for select markets. READ MORE
May 31, 2017, Guelph, Ont. - Access the new Food Safety and Traceability eLearning courses online on the Agriculture and Food Education in Ontario online learning system through the University of Guelph, Ridgetown Campus.The new Traceability eLearning courses show how good practices can:• Maximize productivity, improve business efficiency, reduce costs and improve business processes• Be used to increase competitive advantage by accessing new markets• Improve supply chain managementThe new Food Safety eLearning courses will help you to:• Identify food safety hazards that can occur in your operation• Understand best practices and develop programs to control these hazards• Decrease the likelihood of food safety hazards that can lead to a foodborne illness outbreak or product recallVisit the University of Guelph website to register for a free account. Accessible versions of the courses are available. For more information, contact the University of Guelph, Ridgetown Campus at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or 519-674-1500 ext. 63295.Online course development was funded through Growing Forward 2, a federal-provincial-territorial initiative that encourages innovation, competitiveness and market development in Canada’s agri-food and agri-products sector.
May 30, 2017 - Steve Parsons has been a part of the chicken industry throughout his entire life, and his company, Greengage Lighting Ltd, is using LED systems to help poultry and swine farmers further improve the efficiency and productivity of their operations.Parsons sat down with Jamie Johansen during ONE: The Alltech Ideas Conference, where he gave a presentation on his company through his participation in the Pearse Lyons Accelerator Program.Greengage supplies an induction-powered system that makes LED lights and sensors for poultry and swine.It uses patented inductive technology, a magnetic conductive system that converts energy into LED lights on a wave spectrum that has been aligned to the requirements of a chicken. READ MORE
May 29, 2017, Kelowna, B.C. – A consumer advocate is pushing Ottawa to promote the irradiation of chicken to kill illness-causing bugs and to do a better job of getting buyers on board.Bruce Cran of the Consumers Association of Canada said the federal government has done ''an incompetent job'' informing Canadians that irradiation is safe and he worries that a lack of action could lead to a deadly outbreak.''They need to promote an understanding so Canadians can make an informed choice, and they're not doing that for whatever reason,'' Cran said. ''This is not only a safe practice, it's one that many of us would like to be able to use.''Earlier this year, the federal government approved the sale of ground beef treated with radiant energy similar to X-rays to reduce the risk of illnesses caused by E. coli and salmonella. The products must be labelled to include an international symbol on packaging – usually a green plant inside a circle.The U.S. has allowed meat to be treated for years, but that country's Food and Drug Administration has noted that consumers' acceptance has been slowed by confusion over how irradiation works and what it does. It notes some people believe it makes food radioactive.''Our members would absolutely support it,'' said Robin Horel, president of the Canadian Poultry and Egg Processors Council.''But we haven't pushed hard because ... the companies that produce chicken and turkey are concerned about what the consumer response would be.''Anna Madison, a spokeswoman for Health Canada, said in an email the federal government would not promote irradiation since it does not engage in promotional activities.The federal department last examined irradiation for poultry in the early 2000s, but it did not amend regulations to allow it because of concerns from some stakeholders.Karen Graham, who chaired a panel of Canadian dietitians in the 1980s that considered the issue, said irradiated foods lose vitamin B and fats such as healthy omega-3 are broken down. It can also kill healthy bacteria.Critics also claim irradiation produces toxins, such as benzene, and changes the taste of meat.''There aren't consumers with placards saying give us irradiation. This is very much industry driven,'' Graham said in an interview from Kelowna, B.C.Rick Holley, professor emeritus of food microbiology and food safety at University of Manitoba, said irradiation is safe and is even more important for chicken than for ground beef. Chicken causes more illness in Canada, he said.Holley said salmonella is naturally present on a lot of chicken and the gastro-intestinal bacteria campylobactor is present on all of it, regardless of whether a bird is free-range or factory.''Both of these organisms occasionally kill, but because they make more people ill who recover, then the emphasis is not placed on them to the same extent as E. coli O157 in hamburger,'' said Holley, who suggested that irradiating chicken could cut food-related illness in Canada by 25 per cent.''The political will is certainly there, but it will only move forward in this regard when consumers are made aware of the extent of the problem and the fact that irradiation is such a suitable solution.''The Health Canada review noted an unpleasant odour with doses of irradiation higher than the one that was being considered for fresh chicken, but the smell was more likely to be noticed by experienced judges than average consumers. It also said the smell disappeared after a few days or after cooking.Monique Lacroix, a researcher at the Canadian Irradiation Centre and at INRS-Institute Armand Frappier in Laval, Que., said in an interview last year that irradiation done at the low levels proposed by the meat industry, doesn't increase benzene or free radicals in an amount to be of concern. She noted that barbecuing meat produces billions of free radicals.Graham, however, said irradiation is one more added process that negatively affects food.''You still have storage. You still have refrigeration. You still have freezing. You still have all those things which are going to cause some nutrient loss – and then you're adding irradiation on top of it which also is going to create some losses.''
May 26, 2017, San Diego, Cali. - PURE Bioscience, Inc., creator of the patented non-toxic silver dihydrogen citrate antimicrobial, announced that the company has received final acknowledgement from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that its Food Contact Notification (FCN) for use of PURE Control® in raw poultry processing to reduce pathogens became effective last week.FDA approved PURE Control antimicrobial is applied directly onto raw poultry carcasses, parts and organs as a spray or dip during processing to eliminate pathogens causing foodborne illness, including Salmonella.PURE is not aware of any equally effective, lower toxicity solution to eliminate Salmonella in poultry processing – and believes PURE Control is the breakthrough solution the poultry industry has been seeking.SDC is distinguished by the fact that it is both more effective and non-toxic. Currently used poultry processing intervention chemistries, most notably Peracetic acid (or PAA), are highly toxic, irritants to users, negatively impact the environment, are corrosive to equipment, and have a negative yield impact.The FCN for PURE Control will be added to the list of effective notifications for FCNs, which is available on the FDA website: http://www.fda.gov/Food/IngredientsPackagingLabeling/PackagingFCS/Notifications/default.htm.As previously announced on April 27, 2017, the FDA had completed its review of the safety and efficacy of the proposed use of SDC in concentrations up to 160 PPM as a raw poultry processing aid, and set an effective date of May 18, 2017.PURE will be initiating an in-plant raw poultry processing trial in which SDC-based PURE Control will be spray applied to whole chicken carcasses during Online Reprocessing (OLR).The USDA has already approved PURE Control for use in pre-OLR and post chill poultry processing. This trial is now expected to be completed by early calendar Q3. PURE has just received the necessary scheduling clearances from the plant and the local FSIS inspector. The trial will be conducted following the protocol proposed by PURE and approved by the USDA-FSIS, and will be monitored by FSIS inspection personnel in the plant. Assuming a successful plant trial, and that no additional trials are required by the USDA, PURE anticipates that the USDA-FSIS will issue a “Letter of No Objection” in approximately 4-6 weeks after completion of the trial, stating that PURE Control is approved for use in OLR applications and list SDC as an approved poultry processing aid in Attachment 1 of the FSIS Directive 7120.1 Table 3. Upon receipt of the “Letter of No Objection,” PURE can immediately commercialize PURE Control for OLR applications and begin to market PURE Control as a superior raw poultry processing aid into the +$350M U.S. market.
May 25, 2017, Lexington, KY - During ONE: The Alltech Ideas Conference, 70 speakers, including the brightest international minds in science, agriculture, technology and business, highlighted technologies that have the potential to revolutionize agriculture and make the next big leap in productivity possible.Across all agricultural sectors, digital technologies and applications are emerging that are disrupting production systems and supply chains, creating radically different business models and enabling farmers and agribusiness to work with levels of precision and insight that were previously unimaginable.“Technology will change beyond belief,” said Dr. Pearse Lyons, founder and president of Alltech. “Things are changing at a rapid pace, and companies need to start thinking like startups: go and grow fast.”Sharing his perspective from more than 36 years in business, Dr. Lyons listed his five key elements for success in this ever-changing marketplace: Speed, leadership, culture, training, and a unique dynamic of “fun”.“We’re in the midst of an agri revolution — it’s happening right here, right now, and it’s exciting,” said Robert Walker, CEO of Keenan, who addressed attendees on disruptive and data-driven technologies.During his talk, Walker highlighted how Keenan, an agriculture manufacturing specialist, partners with technology companies such as Vodafone and Intel to provide farmers with instant information on their herds’ feed ration through cloud computing.Peter Diamandis, founder of the XPrize Foundation and co-founder of Singularity University, addressed attendees on disruptive innovations, highlighting that the only constant is change, and the rate of change is increasing.“To stay ahead in any industry, companies and entrepreneurs must think in an exponential way, as it’s exponential technology that will transform every industry,” he said.Diamandis was awarded the Alltech Humanitarian Award, which is bestowed annually to someone of strong character who uses their accomplishments to positively influence and inspire other people.The three-day conference also heard from George Blankenship, former executive at Tesla Motors, Apple Computer and GAP Inc., Lisa Bodell, founder and CEO of futurethink, Jack Bobo, senior vice president and chief communications officer at Intrexon, and many more.The conference will return to Lexington, Kentucky, May 20–23, 2018.
May 15, 2017, Alpharetta, GA - The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) recently approved the distribution of Selisseo®, the first pure source of organic selenium capable of meeting nutritional requirements in the Canadian market.The purity of the proprietary organoselenium-based product, which has been tested in numerous trials, has been shown to consistently deliver more selenium while increasing the availability of selenocysteine (SeCys), thus providing animals with high antioxidant capabilities.Selenium is an essential nutrient and powerful antioxidant that plays a critical role in metabolism, reproductive health and immunity by fighting oxidative stress.Organic selenium is more easily integrated into body metabolism than other currently available selenium sources such as inorganic selenium salts and selenium-enriched yeasts.For more information, visit: http://www.adisseo.com
Poultry production generates dust, ammonia and odour emissions that have the potential to impact air quality both within the barn and in the environment. The subject of emission control was addressed at EuroTier, the world’s largest trade fair for animal production, in November 2016. The fair takes place every other year in Hanover, Germany.
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
April 11, 2017, Calgary, Alta. - A mother-daughter duo from Alberta is capitalizing on the growing popularity of backyard farming by launching a rent-a-chicken business. Megan Wylie works alongside her mother on their Millarville family farm to run, The Urban Chicks, a company aimed at providing customers with everything necessary to operate a backyard chicken coop. Customers are given two chickens, a coop, organic feed, grit and oyster shells, feed dishes and cleaning supplies. In October, the chickens are picked up and returned to the Millarville farm. Wylie says this allows customers to acquire fresh eggs while avoiding caring for the chickens in the more tedious winter months. The Urban Chicks even provide their customers with a ‘laying guarantee,’ where they will replace a hen if it stops laying eggs. READ MORE
March 1, 2017, Dublin, OH – The Wendy's Company recently announced the expansion of its Supplier Code of Conduct, which now includes all U.S. and Canadian contracts managed by Quality Supply Chain Cooperative (QSCC) and suppliers that provide a significant stream of goods or services to Wendy’s on an annual basis. "We expect all of our suppliers to comply with the law and use best practices in all aspects of their operations, and to conduct business in a way that is consistent with the values of Wendy's and our franchisees,” said Todd Penegor, president and CEO of the Wendy's Company. “Further, it's important to us to reaffirm our past commitments and aspire to even greater accomplishments in the areas of environmental and social responsibility." The code focuses on topics important to the Wendy's brand and its customers, including food safety and food ingredients, farm animal health and well-being, human rights and labour practices, environmentally sustainable business practices, and business ethics and integrity. The company will now add approximately 100 additional suppliers to be covered by the code, including all U.S. and Canadian contracts managed by QSCC, and suppliers that provide a significant stream of goods or services to the Wendy's Company on an annual basis. The code will also require third party reviews related to the human rights and labour practices of certain produce suppliers. The decision to add third party reviews was due in part to the nature of agricultural work, its workforce, and an evaluation of various risk factors. The code's provisions apply to all suppliers. However certain sections may be inapplicable to certain suppliers. Wendy's Supplier Code of Conduct is accessible under the Responsibility tab in Supply Chain Practices section of its website.
February 24, 2017, Mississauga, Ont – Maple Leaf Foods Inc. recently reported net earnings of $181.7 million for the year ended December 31, 2016. This is up from $41.6 million in net earnings reported at year-end 2015. “We finished 2016 with a strong quarter sustained by solid commercial performance,” said Michael H. McCain, president and CEO of Maple Leaf Foods. “With the combination of our increasingly competitive cost structure, and commercial strategies that intersect with important consumer needs and trends, we are well positioned for future profitable growth.” The company’s Meat Products Group, which includes value-added fresh poultry products, reported a 1.2 per cent increase in sales, earning $3,316.5 million for 2016. Fourth quarter sales alone were $824.4 million, a decrease of 5.1 per cent from the previous year.   Margins in prepared meats improved due to lower operating costs across the network. Earnings in fresh poultry declined slightly as industry processor margins receded from record levels in the fourth quarter of 2015.   Prepared meats sales declined slightly in response to a price increase in the first quarter but strengthened as the year progressed. Fresh poultry sales increased due to stronger volume and an improved sales mix.
Jan. 26, 2017 - Poultry genetics company Aviagen has reported that its new hatchery in Watertown, N.Y. is now fully operational and began shipping chicks to customers in early November.Located in upstate New York just south of the Ontario border, the Watertown hatchery is strategically situated to efficiently supply Canadian customers with broiler breeding stock. “Aviagen continually makes investments that result in better service to customers,” says Kevin McDaniel, president, Aviagen North America. “The new hatchery enables us to keep up with the region’s expanding demand for our products, while at the same time promoting the success of our customers by offering them the highest quality of chicks possible.”The Watertown facility has become Aviagen’s seventh commercial breeding stock hatchery in the U.S.With a hatching capacity of up to 135,000 high-quality chicks per week (7 million per year), the new hatchery is able to effectively keep up a growing demand in the region. It is equipped with advanced technology equipment such as Jamesway Platinum incubators and hatchers, which are designed for heightened biosecurity and energy efficiency. Sophisticated environmental controls ensure consistently exceptional hatch results and provide the highest level of care available for our eggs and chicks.The new hatchery boasts a favorable strategic location. Its nearness to Aviagen customer farms translates to minimal transport times, which safeguards the safety, health and welfare of day-old chicks. And, the close proximity to JFK airport in New York makes it a logical location to safely and securely export choice broiler breeding stock.The new hatchery also contributes to the economy of the Watertown community, by employing 40 local people.
Jan. 13, 2017 – After graduating from high school, Gary Baars hung up a shingle as TNT Agri-Services, offering “relief milking and much more.” “Much more” soon started becoming a reality and on Jan. 11th, the now 33-year-old Chilliwack, B.C. dairyman, hay salesman and cattle dealer and his wife, Marie (26), became the B.C. & Yukon Outstanding Young Farmers for 2017.In 2006, TNT Agri Services turned into TNT Hay Sales as Baars started selling hay, first to local horse farms and then to local dairy farms.“We sell a lot of hay to different dairy farms,” Baars says. Not long after, the young entrepreneur expanded TNT to include cattle sales. When Farm Credit Canada offered him a large loan with “no strings attached” in early 2011, Baars used it to start his own dairy farm.“I had enough money to buy quota for 15 cows,” he recalls.Two years later, Marie’s grandmother asked if they would manage her 160-cow 80-acre dairy farm in east Abbotsford. The Baars agreed on condition they could buy it.“We amalgamated our small herd with her larger herd and have been steadily improving the facilities over the past few years,” Baars reports.His entrepreneurship did not stop there. Last year, he purchased additional hay-growing acreage in Greendale and joined up with two partners to buy a 472-acre 100-cow dairy in Manitoba.“We have already grown that farm by 20 per cent,” Baars says.He has also served as a director of both the Mainland Young Milk Producers and the B.C. Young Farmers. Baars’ entrepreneurial spirit even extends itself to his recreational activities. Gary and his father-in-law have begun holding Cornfield Races twice a year, inviting friends and neighbours to race beat-up cars on the farm.To earn the 2017 award from judges Rick Thiessen (2004 BC & Canadian Outstanding Young Farmer), Mark Sweeney (retired B.C. Ministry of Agriculture berry and horticulture specialist) and Kurt Bausenhaus (KPMG), the Baars outpointed Jeremy and Tamara Vaandrager ofVaandrager Farms in west Abbotsford.After managing several egg farms for other owners, the Vaandragers obtained a 3,000 bird quota in the 2010 B.C. Egg Marketing Board new entrant lottery. In the six years since, they have increased their quota holdings to 6,000 birds and are in the process of converting their farm from a free-run operation to an aviary.“Aviaries have become common in Europe but it is still a relatively new system in North America,” Vaandrager notes.The BCOYF program is sponsored by the BC Broiler Hatching Egg Commission, Clearbrook Grain & Milling, Farm Credit Canada and Insure Wealth. To be eligible for the award, applicants must be under 40 and derive at least two-thirds of their gross revenue from farming. They arejudged on the progress in their agricultural careers, the sustainability of their farming operations and involvement in their industry and community.Gary and Marie Baars will represent B.C. at the national OYF competition in Penticton, B.C., in November. The national competition is supported by AdFarm, Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada, Annex Business Media, Bayer Crop Science, BDO, CIBC, Farm Management Canada and John Deere.
The arduous review process is over and the award has now been bestowed. Of the various operations nominated for the 2016 Canadian Poultry Sustainability Award, Farmcrest Foods Ltd. (Farmcrest) is the winner.The enterprise was started in 1999 and is owned by Richard Bell and his brother-in-law Alan Bird, whose families both originate from Ireland and came to Canada looking for new opportunities. In addition to Richard and Alan, members of three generations of the families currently help out on the farm, including Richard’s father Cecil (a retired farmer), brother Henry and sons Henry Jr. and Jack.  The operation includes: a hatchery and poultry barns (in addition to growing their own birds Farmcrest also contracts 16 new entrant growers to supply chicken to their processing plant); feed mill; processing plant; rendering plant (renderings are not used on the farm but sold for animal feed); enclosed mechanical composting for bird mortality, and crop production (200 acres of owned land and 400 acres of leased land farmed with potatoes, sunflowers and soybeans). Farmcrest also has its own poultry retail store. In total, the operation employs 45 people. The farm itself is situated on soils ranging from clay and loamy clay to sandy loam with some peat areas in a relatively flat river bottom area near Salmon Arm, B.C. “It is also very close to Shuswap Lake,” Bell explains. “We therefore need to be very careful with the amount and type of nutrients applied to this well-drained area to prevent runoff.” Farmcrest’s regular nutrient management practices include using a concrete pad (contained to prevent runoff) for manure storage. There is also virtually no runoff of nutrients from the fields (and little odour) as manure is worked in with a disc or ploughed under immediately after application. “We only apply the manure to the fields needing it for the seed that is being planted,” Bell notes. “Our soil health has improved steadily in the last five years since these measures were put in place.” No commercial fertilizers are used.Farmcrest has an environmental farm plan and has used expert advice from a certified crop advisor since 2011. In 2013, Farmcrest also began a working relationship with Poultry Partners, a team of technicians, production specialists, veterinarians and nutritionists based in Airdrie, Alta., which offers a variety of agricultural industry services. The firm supported Farmcrest’s nomination for the sustainability award through a letter of recommendation - as did the British Columbia Chicken Marketing Board. “They’ve done an excellent job farming intensively in a very ecologically-sensitive area,” Shawn Fairbairn, Poultry Partners general manager says. “They have committed to improve soil fertility, optimize production and most importantly, reduce chemical and pesticide use and virtually eliminate synthetic fertilizer to ensure the surrounding ecosystem remains undisturbed. There is on-going monitoring and testing of the manure, soil and crops to ensure their goals are being reached. The investment in new equipment to allow for less soil disturbance and odour when poultry manure is applied is one example of their forward-thinking.”  Fairbairn also notes that farm equipment is continuously upgraded at Farmcrest so that the most precise technology is used with the most fuel-efficient engines. “By growing about 85 per cent of all the feed ingredients their chickens consume, they have dramatically reduced the carbon footprint of their operation,” he adds. Farmcrest also uses moisture and pH meters for soil testing to understand when conditions are optimal for manure application. An overall goal to achieve air quality improvement (reductions in odour, ammonia and particulate matter inside and outside the barn) has been achieved by ensuring an optimal level of nitrogen is available to the birds. Ingredient and feed sampling are conducted on a regular basis to track this, and tests to track soil nitrogen levels are also completed annually. Because of all this monitoring and adjustment (not to mention an on-farm feed mill that makes immediate changes in the ration possible), Farmcrest has seen improvements in bird growth as well as air quality and soil improvement. No irrigation is used at Farmcrest, and as much water as possible is conserved through the use of an ‘air chill’ system in the processing plant, nipple drinkers in the barns and a misting system for barn disinfection. Farmcrest has built 14 new poultry barns in the last five years, and Richard says their goal with each build is to be as energy efficient as possible. This includes the use of R60 insulation, LED lighting, high-efficiency electric motors and radiant tube heating. Product differentiationFarmcrest was the first in its region to grow grain corn and now non-GMO grain corn. This led to the operation breaking new ground on a national level by being the first poultry operation in Canada to market non-GMO chicken (verified through nongmoproject.org). Poultry Partners assisted with further development of products. “[Farmcrest] listened to their customers and have proactively responded to the demand that was there in their local market. This has been extremely good for their business and the long-term financial viability of their operation.” Fairbairn describes the Bird and Bell families as having a “tangible passion” for poultry and farming. “We love working with clients that are ‘hands-on’ and engaged,” he notes. “And the folks at Farmcrest are extremely engaged. Their work ethic and commitment to the environment and their local community is easy to grasp when you spend time with them. They are big believers in continuous learning and improvement. There is on-going reinvestment in all aspects of their operation to allow for improved welfare, safety and production efficiency for the birds, workers and the food they produce.”  Team effortThe fact that the Farmcrest owners directly work alongside their employees every day has created, in Fairbairn’s view, a culture of hard work and high standards. “It is also unique to see three generations of family all working together towards a common goal,” he notes. “The youngest generation is actively involved in working and planning and will be well prepared to continue the legacy of this agri-business. The owners are always looking for new technologies and ideas. They literally travel the world to attend trade shows, farm tours and crop production events to ensure they are on the leading edge of agriculture. As a consulting group, we are extremely fortunate to have a client like Farmcrest.” Bell says he feels honoured that Farmcrest has won the 2016 Canadian Poultry Sustainability Award. “It is very much a team effort,” he notes. “I wish to thank my staff and our team for their dedicated efforts each and every day.” Visit farmcrestfoods.ca if you would like to read in more detail about the business.
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.
June 5, 2017, Canada - Egg Farmers of Canada is holding a special call for research proposals, for submission as part of the Poultry Research Cluster. The Cluster, administered by the Canadian Poultry Research Council (CPRC), provides an opportunity for eligible projects to receive federal funding in addition to industry funding.Researchers are invited to complete and submit our full proposal funding application form during this special call for proposals. To be considered for funding, research projects must align with the outlined research priorities (see below) and the principal investigator must also work full-time in a Canadian institution or organization.Deadline for proposals is June 30, 2017. For further information and to apply, please email Elyse Germain, Program and Policy Analyst at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .Details: Full project proposals will be reviewed and funding decisions made by July 31, 2017 Projects that receive a positive funding decision will be included in the Poultry Research Cluster submission to Agriculture and Agri-Foods Canada (AAFC) in the Fall of 2017 Projects approved by AAFC will begin no earlier than April 1, 2018 Eligible projects must fall under the research priorities listed below in order to be considered Research priorities Hen welfare: Hen behaviour and health in alternative housing systems, including housing system design, management and production practices, and pullet rearing End of flock management, including catching, loading and transport, and on-farm depopulation Hen health Disease Gut health Dietary ingredients Environment and sustainability Production practices and technologies that decrease environmental impact and increase sustainability NOTE: Research should focus on alternative housing systems to align with the industry-wide transition away from conventional housing systems.
May 31, 2017 - Much is made of the growth of vegetarianism in North America, but domestic meat consumption data indicates that most people in Canada and the United States still have a taste for beef, pork and poultry.Jim Long of Genesus Genetics, a pig genetics company, often has interesting observations about the pork industry around the world.In a recent post, he noted that the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s red meat and poultry disappearance report projected that domestic meat disappearance would rise to 88.751 billion pounds, up four billion lb. from 2015.That is great news for anyone who works in the meat and livestock business, including Long.“Anyone who lives in the fantasy world that vegetarianism is taking over needs to give their head a shake. Meat lovers are ever increasing their consumption,” Long wrote.On a per person basis, red meat and poultry disappearance at the retail level is projected to rise to 217.8 lb., up 3.2 lb. from 2016 and up 6.7 from 2015. Disappearance has a specific meaning, but for our purposes it means consumption. READ MORE 
June 28, 2017, Vancouver, B.C. - With the goal of giving the poultry sector a higher profile among urbanites, the second annual B.C. Poultry Conference was moved to a venue closer to the heart of downtown Vancouver.The new location allowed for more interaction with passersby during the public outreach portion of the event.“More than 50 poultry farmers participated in the outreach,” B.C. Broiler Hatching Egg Commission executive director Stephanie Nelson said. The group handed out 500 Sunny Start breakfast sandwiches supplied by White Spot during the three-hour event held in early March.“The response was pretty good,” conference chair Dale Krahn said. “We encountered a few vegans but most people were interested in what we were doing.”While growers are not being attacked directly, Chicken Farms of Canada general manager Mike Dungate notes, “Our retail brands are being attacked.” Any reduction in retail consumption impacts production and is one reason the poultry sector is a driving force behind agriculture’s public trust steering committee.Dungate says the industry has a lot of work to do. In a recent survey, 65 per cent of people called themselves chicken “fans,” but only 40 per cent of those have a positive opinion of chicken farmers. “That number concerns me,” Dungate said.He noted building public trust “starts with everyone doing the right thing on their farm” and then communicating that to consumers. He lauded B.C.’s efforts in that regard.Last year, B.C. chicken and hatching egg producers spent almost $120,000 on two Poultry in Motion educational mini-barns. The mobile barns were taken to schools and fairs throughout the province to show consumers how chickens are raised.Two years ago, they launched a series of Chicken Squad videos to counter misconceptions about the industry. The videos have since garnered over a million views on YouTube and the board and association plan to debut a follow-up series of videos this spring.
June 27, Chilliwack, B.C. - The recent news reports of chicken catchers caught on video abusing birds at a Chilliwack broiler farm prompted disgust across the country and within the agriculture industry.The Chicken Farmers of Canada called the Mercy for Animals undercover footage “shocking and reprehensible,” and the company at the centre of the allegations said they were “sickened” by the images.But what about the good things that go on at farms across the Fraser Valley?One local farmer put out a request for the media to report on the positive side of his business. Ron Neels runs Corona Farms in Rosedale, and he sent photos of his two-year-old son Scott happily hanging out with about 17,000 content-looking broiler chickens in his barn. READ MORE
June 26, 2017, Guelph, Ont – The diverse range of projects the Agricultural Adaptation Council (AAC) funds was the focus of the organization’s summer reception and dinner held June 14 in Mississauga.To date, Ontario organizations and collaborations have completed 195 projects through Growing Forward 2 (GF2), and funding for 385 projects totaling $33.3 million has been approved by the AAC board over the past four years.The program was launched in 2013 and demand remained strong until the final application deadline this past April. GF2 officially ends March 31, 2018.“The AAC is a strategic enabler. Projects funded have played a significant role in raising the standard and profile of Ontario's agriculture, agri-food and agri-based products sector,” said Kelly Duffy, AAC chair, in her remarks to the audience. “I know that if we continue to invest in the sector, we will produce long-lasting benefits that will impact future generations.”Duffy also used the opportunity to highlight overall GF2 program successes. Funding through this federal-provincial-territorial initiative has resulted in innovative research results, increased knowledge and awareness, access to new markets, and supported the overall competitiveness of the sector.Harry Pelissero of Egg Farmers of Ontario spoke briefly about one of EFO’s latest projects involving gender detection in unhatched eggs.The non-invasive scanning technology developed at McGill University can identify the gender of day-old eggs before they are incubated. This means female eggs can be incubated for hatching and infertile or male eggs can enter the table or processing egg streams, eliminating the need to hatch male eggs.“AAC gave us the support to take this from the lab to pre-prototype and then prototype stage,” explained Pelissero. “The investment that AAC has put into this provides an economical solution to a challenge in the industry; this is an outcome that will literally go around the world.”Ontario Agri-Food Technologies is currently leading a project on open agri-food data collaboration, Ontario Precision Agri-Food (OPAF).It’s assessing where Ontario and Canada are with precision agriculture and what needs to be done to manage and enable data for future global market access and sustainability. OPAF is collaborating with an initiative called FIWare Mundus that is creating a global Future Internet (FI) ecosystem to enable easy, fast data sharing.“We’re on the cusp of an evolution; data is at its centre and it’s the new commodity in agriculture,” said OAFT president Tyler Whale. “OPAF is a facilitator that creates trusted relationships amongst value chain partners to integrate new and existing data resources.”The Ontario Produce Marketing Association is tackling the issue of food waste through a GF2 funded project, and according to lead researcher Martin Gooch of Value Chain Management International, there is a compelling business case for addressing the problem.“People outside of the industry are often staggered by the amount of waste in food. This is the first project of its kind in North America,” said Gooch.The OPMA program includes a series of workshops and a handbook with 10 easy to follow steps for identifying where waste happens in farm, processing or retail processes. According to Gooch, a soon-to-be-released case study clearly shows the opportunity of addressing food waste: a 29 per cent increase in grade-out of potatoes resulted in a 74 per cent increase in producer margin.“A big thank you to AAC for providing the funding; it’s great working with an organization that encompasses the entire chain,” Gooch added.
June 23, 2017, Ottawa, Ont. - This week, Chicken Farmers of Ontario (CFO) Chair Ed Benjamins and President and CEO Rob Dougans met with the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister of Small Business and Tourism, the Hon. Bardish Chagger at her office in Ottawa. Minister Chagger reaffirmed her Government’s support for Canada’s agricultural supply management system.CFO regularly visits the House of Commons and Queen’s Park to help educate parliamentarians and staff members on the Ontario chicken industry. These briefings include discussions on the Board’s efforts to evolve the industry’s programs and policies to both manage ongoing industry growth and to meet new and emerging consumer markets.
June 22, 2017, Wellington North Township, Ont. - Provincial police say a thief in Wellington County has flown the coop with about $800 worth of live poultry. Police began investigating on Monday after learning of the theft, which they believe took place over the weekend. Police say the birds belong to two neighbours who house and care for the animals together. They say the thief made off with about 25 chickens, 15 laying hens and seven turkeys, two of which are prize-winners with black bodies and hooked beaks. Police are urging anyone with information to come forward. 
June 16, 2017, Montreal, QC - Compensating farmers who paid for production quotas with the revenue from a temporary tax would allow the government to abolish supply management in the dairy, poultry, and egg sectors, shows a Viewpoint published by the Montreal Economic Institute (MEI).Such a measure would be positive both for farmers and for Canadian consumers. "If the government decided to compensate farmers for the value of their quotas over a period of ten years, it would have to offer them annual payments of $1.6 billion. Yet the net benefit for consumers would be from $3.9 billion to $5.1 billion each year, and up to $6.7 billion once the reimbursement period is over," explains Alexandre Moreau, Public Policy Analyst at the MEI and co-author of the publication.For example, Canadians could pay $2.31 for a two-litre carton of milk following liberalization, instead of the current price of $4.93, he adds.The accounting value of the quotas, estimated at $13 billion by the MEI, is on average equal to 38% of their current market value, which comes to a little over $34 billion. Compensation would vary from one farmer to another in order to avoid providing excessive compensation to farmers who bought their quotas at a fraction of the current price, or received them free of charge, while being fair to those who acquired quotas recently at a higher cost.If Ottawa decided to liberalize supply-managed sectors, a temporary tax should serve to finance the compensation paid to farmers. This tax would disappear once the compensation was paid in full."Such a policy was used successfully in Australia when that country eliminated its own supply management system," explains Vincent Geloso, Associate Researcher at the MEI and co-author of the publication. "The compensation offered to producers was financed by a transitory tax equal to half of the expected consumer price decline. Consumers were therefore immediately able to enjoy price reductions while farmers received payments to compensate them for their losses of revenue. The same principle could be applied here," he adds.Rules regarding the environment, health, and food quality would continue to apply to products imported from abroad once the market is liberalized."This exit plan would be positive and fair both for farmers and for consumers. Now, it's up to public decision-makers to take action and dismantle this regime that is unfair and costly for consumers, all while adequately compensating farmers," concludes Alexandre Moreau.The Viewpoint entitled "Ending Supply Management with a Quota Buyback" was prepared by Alexandre Moreau, Public Policy Analyst at the MEI, and Vincent Geloso, Associate Researcher at the MEI. 
June 15, 2017, Vancouver, B.C. - A chicken-catching company at the centre of an animal cruelty investigation in British Columbia says it will require staff to wear body cameras after an animal advocacy group released video of alleged abuse.Dwayne Dueck, president of Elite Services in Chilliwack, says it will be mandatory for one supervisor and two staff members in each barn to wear cameras on their vests, and the video will be reviewed at the end of each day.The announcement comes after the SPCA in British Columbia launched an investigation following the release of undercover video by Mercy for Animals that shows workers allegedly hitting, kicking and throwing chickens.A statement from Elite Services says six staff members have now been fired, including two who were let go prior to the video being released, three who were fired immediately after, and one more who was terminated after the company did a ''detailed forensic review'' of the video.Investigators with the SPCA are working on a report that will be forwarded to Crown counsel and SPCA spokeswoman Marcie Moriarty says the organization will recommend multiple charges of animal cruelty under both the Criminal Code and the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act.The statement from Elite Services says the company hopes the ''senseless acts of violence'' in the footage will help implement new levels of animal care across the industry.The company says it is updating its standards and procedures, undertook organization-wide retraining on Wednesday, and all employees will be asked to sign documents affirming they understand the company's care and concern procedures.''It is our intent to share the experience of our new best practices with industry regulators, and adopt other best practices from cutting edge producers,'' the statement says.
June 14, 2017, Montague, P.E.I. - The Government of Canada is working with industry to help raise awareness, understanding and appreciation of agriculture among young Canadians. The agriculture and food sector is one of Canada's key growth industries and the opportunities for youth are endless.Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister, Lawrence MacAulay, recently announced a one-year investment of up to $567,786 for Agriculture in the Classroom Canada (AITC-C) to develop and deliver educational resources about the agriculture and agri-food sector to primary and secondary students across the country, and to promote career opportunities in the sector.This federal investment is funded through Growing Forward 2's AgriCompetitiveness Program, under the Fostering Business Development stream, which supports activities that nurture entrepreneurial capacity in the agriculture sector through the development of young and established farmers, farm safety, skills, and leadership.
June 14, 2017, B.C. - Canadian Hatching Egg Producers’ (CHEP) first priority is to match the egg supply with chicken production.“We are responsible to meet the demand,” CHEP chair Jack Greydanus told the combined B.C. Broiler Hatching Egg Commission (BCBHEC)/B.C. Broiler Hatching Egg Producers (BCBHEPA) annual meeting.Now that Chicken Farmers of Canada has adopted their differential growth allocation system, he said, CHEP is reviewing and refining its allocation systems so it correctly responds to differential growth in chicken production across the country.It has been a year of transition for the BCBHEC, as the commission had to work with three chairs. Former chair Casey Langbroek completed five years as chair midway through 2016 and his successor, Greg Gauthier, resigned after just a few months in the job. At the end of December, former B.C. Farm Industry Review Board (FIRB) general manager Jim Collins was appointed to fill the vacancy.Collins was still with FIRB when the supervisory board released a ruling on an appeal by specialty hatching egg producers last summer. Most observers consider that to be the most scathing ruling FIRB has ever issued, noting it even included awarding costs to the appellants.Collins told producers he will “ensure the hatching egg commission is as accountable as it can be,” adding it is incumbent on all other stakeholders to be just as accountable. “The relationships in a small industry are critical. We have to work together.”BCBHEPA president Bryan Brandsma agreed, saying, “We have an industry based on complicated relationships. A successful industry depends on everyone understanding their role and doing it well. I am hoping to change to an era of trust instead of mistrust.”Greydanus had a similar message, telling producers, “We recognize the importance of relationships and our relationship with the hatcheries is the most important. Having no Category 1 and soon no Category 2 and 3 antibiotics will make that relationship even more important.”Greydanus said CHEP is also finalizing its new animal care program. After select farms give the program a trial run this year, producers can expect full implementation, including third-party audits, in 2018.
Last month Statistics Canada released the results of the 2016 Census of Agriculture. Like many of you, I was eager to read up on the results and discover how our industry has changed in the five years since the last survey was conducted.Some findings, such as the edging up of the average age of farm operators from 54 in 2011 to 55 in 2016, aren’t all that surprising. After all, aging is a fact of life. Other findings, however, gave me pause. For example, Statistics Canada found that even though the average age of farmers has increased, only one in 12 operations have a formal succession plan outlining how the farm will be transferred to the next generation.In other words, the vast majority of Canada’s farm operators have not taken steps to safeguard the businesses they’ve worked long and hard to build.Experts in the field agree there are many reasons farmers shy away from succession planning, including fear: fear of change, of creating conflict within the family, of losing one’s identity as a farmer, and of confronting the fact that not even the healthiest among us live forever. Then there’s the time required to craft a plan and implement it when there are still animals to feed, seeds to plant and suppliers and customers to work with, plus all the other tasks that contribute to a farm’s long-term success. Perhaps one of the most significant barriers, though, is the daunting scope of work the term “succession planning” entails.Though we can’t do that work for you, the editorial teams behind Agrobiomass, Canadian Poultry, Fruit & Vegetable, Manure Manager, Potatoes in Canada and Top Crop Manager have partnered to help ease the way with our first annual Succession Planning Week.From June 12 to 16, we’ll be delivering a daily e-newsletter straight to your inbox, packed with information and resources to help you with succession planning in your operation. Each e-newsletter will offer practical advice and suggestions you can use, whether you’re an experienced farm owner wondering if your succession plan needs some tweaking or an aspiring successor wondering how to start the succession conversation.But that’s not the only conversation we want to kick-start. Share your succession planning tips and success stories on Twitter and Facebook using the hashtag #AgSuccessionWeek. The best of the best will be published on our website (FamilyFarmSuccession.ca) and included in Friday’s e-newsletter.We hope Succession Planning Week offers valuable information to help you keep your operation growing, now and for generations to come.
June 12, 2017, Hunstville, Ala. – Aviagen, the world’s leading poultry breeding company, has added nutritionist Dr. Elisangela Glass to its Global Nutrition Team (GNT). Effective April 24, Dr. Glass joins a team of nine nutritionists on the GNT, which currently offers nutritional support to Aviagen broiler breeder customers worldwide. Dr. Glass will report directly to Alex Corzo, Aviagen’s director of Global Nutrition Services. Supporting the U.S. and Canadian markets, Dr. Glass will be located in Hunsville, Alta.Her considerable education and background will make her an invaluable nutrition resource for U.S. pedigree, great grandparent and grandparent flocks, as well as Aviagen’s U.S. and Canadian parent stock customers.Dr. Glass earned a B.S. in Animal Science from the Universidade Estadual Paulista in Sao Paulo, Brazil, as well as an M.S. and Ph.D. (2007) in Animal Science with a focus on Poultry Nutrition for the University of Missouri in the U.S.Before joining Aviagen, she worked with Cargill Animal Nutrition since 2007 in various roles such as nutrition manager for the U.S. turkey division, consulting nutritionist for global feed operations and consulting nutritionist for broiler operation in Central America.“Aviagen customers and her colleagues on the GNT will benefit from Dr. Glass’s in-depth education and experience developing nutrition strategies at a global level,” says Dr. Corzo. “I welcome Dr. Glass to the Aviagen GNT and have great confidence that she will help us continue to offer cutting-edge nutritional advice to our team and customers.”
June 9, 2017, Canada - For too long, supply management in our dairy, poultry and egg sectors has been seen as a “third rail” in Canadian politics, an untouchable sacred cow. No longer.The evidence for reform is staggering. Research and analysis conducted by a variety of experts across Canada have overwhelmingly demonstrated the inequity and inefficiency of the current system.Increasingly persuasive commentary is coming from all sides. And despite the propaganda made possible by the wealth and power of the dairy lobby, more and more politicians are seeing the public opinion tide turning.It is, after all, a non-partisan issue. Progressives who espouse social justice simply cannot defend the unnecessary costs imposed on consumers – especially low-income families with children in need of affordable essential nutrition – in favour of what is now a small group of millionaire producers. But neither can conservatives defend a regulated cartel which flies in the face of a market-based economy. And all politicians in Canada, of all stripes, know that Canada’s economy is dependent on trade. We can no longer afford to have supply management harm our leverage in our trade negotiations – particularly given what is now happening with our largest trading partner next door.It is time for our politicians to do what is right. We are past knowing “why” – now is time for “how.”How do we transition forward from supply management in a way that is fair to our dairy, poultry and egg producers, as well as to consumers and taxpayers? We know that we can. We have, after all, done this before, most notably with Canada’s wine industry – to great success. And we have other international examples from which to learn – both for what to do and what not to do.This report proposes just such a plan.More work is needed to iron out details which will require engagement by all involved. After close to 50 years, the system has become complex.The same numbers won’t apply to long-time producers as to new entrants, or to producers in different parts of the country. Some producers are ready to retire, or their farms are too small to compete – they would benefit from an appropriate buyout.For those who want to compete, grow and profit from the incredible international opportunities, additional transition assistance will be needed.The plan must address both.The only missing piece now is for our politicians to stand up, defy the power of a wealthy lobby and show the leadership Canadians expect.A big opportunity has emerged to do something that not only helps in our looming trade negotiations, but that is actually right for Canada.The future of the dairy industry is bright in Canada. Reforming supply management should not be seen as an obstacle, but rather as an opportunity to redress domestic inequities in a way that is fair to producers, grow our industry, open new markets and, most importantly – compete and win. Because we can.View PDF report: http://cwf.ca/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/CWF_SupplyManagement_Report_JUNE2017.pdf

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