When I first started my position with Canadian Poultry magazine, it didn’t take me long to realize that the University of Alberta’s Poultry Research Centre (PRC) was unique.
Not only did my colleagues and industry representatives tell me this, but I saw it first-hand in early 2006 during my first visit to the Alberta poultry industry conference. Every other year, the conference is preceded by a one-day symposium where presentations on research and issues of importance to the Alberta poultry industry are given. 2006 was one of these years, and many of these talks were given by PRC researchers and graduate students. The one thing that really struck me was the enthusiasm and passion the speakers possessed, and how easily this was conveyed to the audience.
The enthusiasm those involved with the PRC possess is infectious, and is always present at every other function held by the PRC, or featuring PRC research, that I have had the pleasure of attending in the past five years. Members have a true camaraderie, and a shared desire to instill passion for poultry research in their graduate students, and have long recognized that research results should be shared with industry and producers. The Alberta poultry industry has also played a pivotal role in the PRC’s success, from providing funding support, recognizing the value of research, and as one of the PRC founding members Dr. Frank Robinson said, “having producers who opened up their doors to students to use their farms as living labs.”
In addition to seeing the value in research, Dr. Robinson noted in a speech he gave during the PRC’s 25th anniversary celebration on June 2, “our industry partners and the four poultry boards saw the value of knowledge generation and the training of high quality people who would serve the present and future generations.”
Instilling a passion for poultry science and communicating with the public about agriculture will be Dr. Robinson’s legacy. The enthusiasm of the students who hosted elementary school children, industry partners and the general public with interactive displays at the PRC during its 25th anniversary celebration open house is clear evidence of this (to read more on the celebration, go to pages 10 and 11).
I would like to congratulate the PRC on its milestone, and I am confident that its model of teaching and bringing industry and research together – a model envied throughout Canada and in other countries – will continue for another 25 years and beyond.
Passion for the poultry industry and dedication is what always stands out for me every year as I put our annual Who’s Who of the Canadian Poultry Industry issue together, and this holds true for this year’s issue. It’s not just groups such as the PRC that are passionate and dedicated to furthering the industry, but individual producers as well.
Whether it’s lending time to the operation of the provincial marketing boards and industry associations, dealing with the challenges of succession planning, or improving production, the passion that so many producers have for the poultry industry is what will allow it to keep moving forward and adapting to new challenges.
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