Canadian Poultry Magazine

Inaugural Student Innovation Challenge produces fresh ideas for Canada’s egg sector

By Canadian Poultry magazine   

News Health Nutrition and Feed Welfare

From insect feed to cancer recovery, these Innovative student projects reshape Canada's egg sector.

OTTAWA, April 4, 2024 – The Egg Farmers of Canada proudly unveiled the winners of its first-ever Student Innovation Challenge, a platform where post-secondary students nationwide showcased their inventive research ideas and solutions aimed at shaping the future of Canada’s egg sector.

Roger Pelissero, Chair of Egg Farmers of Canada, expressed his excitement about the students’ creativity and their dedication to addressing challenges and seizing opportunities within the egg farming industry. He emphasized the importance of evidence-based research in driving innovation in the sector.

Students were tasked with submitting videos answering the question: “What is your research project that can shape the future of the egg industry in Canada?” The response was overwhelming, with numerous students sharing their fresh and inspiring ideas.


Mariève Dallaire-Lamontagne from Université Laval and Ravneet Kaur from the University of Alberta emerged as the joint winners, with Violet Hipkin from the University of Guelph securing third place. The announcement was made during a recent Egg Farmers of Canada meeting on March 27, 2024.

Drew Black, CEO of Egg Farmers of Canada, congratulated all participants for their contributions to the Student Innovation challenge, highlighting the significant role students play in positively impacting the sector’s future.

This challenge marks the newest addition to Egg Farmers of Canada’s research program, which includes various initiatives such as the Research Grant Program, a Research Chairs Network, and several research partnerships.

Project Summaries:

Mariève Dallaire-Lamontagne, Université Laval
Mariève Dallaire-Lamontagne’s project focuses on giving egg production residue a second life using insects. As a PhD candidate under Marie-Hélène Deschamps at Université Laval, she aims to optimize a process to ferment organic residue and utilize the solution as a feed source for black soldier flies. This innovative approach not only manages waste material sustainably but also creates value for farmers, supporting sustainable poultry production across Canada.

Ravneet Kaur, University of Alberta
Ravneet Kaur, a Master’s student at the University of Alberta under Dr. Vera Mazurak, explores the potential of eggs to increase protein intake in individuals recovering from cancer treatment. Her research addresses the weight loss, muscle mass depletion, and weakened strength often experienced by post-oncologic treatment patients. By promoting the inclusion of eggs in the diets of cancer patients, Kaur’s work aims to enhance nutritional outcomes and overall well-being during the recovery process.

Violet Hipkin, University of Guelph
Violet Hipkin’s project, conducted under the guidance of Dr. Tina Widowski at the University of Guelph, focuses on pecking blocks for laying hens. Her research investigates the use of pecking blocks as an edible enrichment source and foraging opportunities for hens. By studying preferences such as nutrient composition, taste, texture, and colour, Hipkin aims to enhance the welfare of poultry by providing enriching elements that support natural behaviours, ultimately improving their overall well-being.

For more information about Egg Farmers of Canada or its research program, visit

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