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Poultry Industry Council launches new online training course

PoultryPro is an interactive training tool designed for the whole industry


January 6, 2015
By By Poultry Industry Council Staff

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The PIC’s Laura Bowers says PoultryPro was developed because there was “a clear need for a basic training and education tool” that is relevant to the entire poultry industry.

 

The Poultry Industry Council’s new online production training program, PoultryPro, is ready to accept its first participants.

The practical course was developed in response to training needs that were identified by the sector.

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PoultryPro consists of four online modules that focus on Barn Management, Feed and Water Management, Breeder Management, and Disease Management.

Each module delivers a curriculum that was developed by the Poultry Industry Council (PIC) with input from industry representatives and subject matter experts and is aimed at new farmers, new farm/barn workers, new industry employees, and new graduates either working in or hoping to work in the poultry sector.

Before PoultryPro, there were no industry-wide training courses available focused on poultry production, says Laura Bowers, education and extension programs manager with PIC.  

Current post-secondary animal agriculture programs tend to focus heavily on other livestock species but often do not provide significant poultry education.

“PoultryPro is all-encompassing for the poultry sector, it is not specific to any one company or   poultry species,” explains Bowers. “There was a clear need for a basic training and education tool that is relevant to the entire industry, as well as being practical and easy to access.”

“There is lots of information out there, but PoultryPro brings it all together in an online course format that is very practical and useful at the barn level,” she says. “It provides a great foundation in poultry production for new farmers or farm workers, as well as new graduates looking to upgrade their practical knowledge of things that might not have been covered in school.”

PoultryPro isn’t meant to replace on-the-job training; rather, it will introduce those taking the program to important key poultry production concepts and make them familiar with relevant general information and aspects of the poultry industry.

A test must be completed at the end of each module, and a minimum score is required to pass and move on to the next one. A certificate will be issued upon successful completion of the entire course.

It will take participants anywhere from 10 to 25 hours to complete the four modules, says Bowers, which depends on how in-depth they choose to learn.

“Since our target audience encompasses participants with varying needs and backgrounds, the program offers flexibility when it comes to learning,” she explains. “There is critical information that everyone must know, which makes up the basis of the course. But there is also a great deal of “good to know” or “extra resource” information that participants can choose to spend more or less time on, depending on their background and training needs.”

PoultryPro is being delivered through a partnership with the Business Development Centre at the University of Guelph Ridgetown Campus.

They were chosen as they already deliver other online courses, and so have the required infrastructure and IT resources in place. Ridgetown also has a staff team experienced in online course delivery and transferring adult education materials into e-learning formats.

Course information, which includes online materials and a textbook, is provided in a variety of ways and is designed to be very interactive, according to Bowers, with participants seeing a lot of interactive learning activities, clickable “did you know” buttons, links to further information on numerous topics and extra resources throughout the modules as they move through them.

“This is a very comprehensive training course, but both the time commitment required and cost are very manageable, and together with our industry partners, we’ve worked hard to make sure PoultryPro is very relevant and useful,” says Bowers.

“This is a unique training opportunity that is aimed at the whole industry as opposed to internal or private training available within specific companies or businesses,” she adds. “For example, if you’re hired as a company rep or to work in a broiler barn, it’s also good to be familiar with other aspects of poultry production.”

The course fee is $150; more information and course registration are available on the PIC website at www.poultryindustrycouncil.ca.

The project was funded in part through Growing Forward 2 (GF2). The Agricultural Adaptation Council assists with GF2 delivery in Ontario.

PoultryPro is helping fulfill PIC’s recently updated strategic directions, which includes developing and delivering extension programs identified as priorities by the Ontario poultry industry.

PIC is always interested in receiving feedback and input from all members of the industry, particularly ideas for future projects that can help address identified needs in the sector, says Bowers.

 


Comments and suggestions can be directed to PIC via email: lbowers@poultryindustrycouncil.ca or by phone: 519-837-0284.