Profiles

Blog number three follows what turned out to be a very busy November. I knew things were ramping up when I heard my husband Nick tell a salesman that he “wished there were two of him”.First, I think I should elaborate on why we chose to convert to an enriched colony system. We looked at free-run and free-range, but our gut is telling us that the consumer will still want to purchase the cheapest eggs available in grocery stores.Our son works at Food Basics and sees the specialty eggs passed over. Actually, they have to be shipped back as they are on the shelf to the expiry date.As a family, including our children (all of whom are in their twenties), we decided we did not want to work in an environment where our hens would greet us openly upon entering the barn.We also think an enriched system will give us more control with respect to animal care, our routine and the amount of time we spend in the barn.In addition, we would probably have to have a bigger barn for free-run or free-range. That being the case, our present building site would have been compromised by size and perhaps would have had to be moved to a different location on the farm.We decided to stay with Clark Ag Systems partly because they are only a half-hour away. Being nearby has aided in service calls for repairs to our conventional system.What’s more, the Farmer Automatic system includes many interesting add-ons. I will discuss these more when we are at the housing installation phase of the build.A busy monthIn the last month, concrete work finally began. We built the forms for the concrete walls in the cooler, packing room and front area of the barn in a few days.The first cement truck came on November 6th. This was exciting and relieved some stress for both of us, as we could see the barn build finally physically taking shape.We had to bring in loads of stone. Also, the barn floor had to be levelled and packed with a roller to make a smooth floor for the concrete that would be poured on top in the future.We used the services of Chris Best to haul in stone, move it, roll it and pack it. They also helped with excavating a new electrical line.In the week of November 20th, three contractors were working on the same day.Two were doing the concrete walls. Three were moving stone from the dump pile to a dump truck to the back of the barn site, spreading it on the floor and rolling/packing the stone to make a level floor.And three men from Jorna Construction had started the preliminary work for building the first wall.Nick is being the general contractor for the barn build project. He was overseeing all aspects, such as making sure the present water line from the deep well to our existing layer barn was buried beneath the floor, doing drawings for fan placement so the builder made the correct size of opening in the side walls and getting anything else that was needed.Building a cistern under the cooler was a last minute decision. There was such a large hole under the cooler that it made more sense to use it as a cistern, instead of filling it in with gravel.In that week, we also had the electricians come and install underground conduit for the electrical service. I think at least 10 truckloads of stone were brought in, and three loads made by the cement truck.On Wednesday, November 22, the first west framed wall was up, and the size difference of the new barn compared to the present conventionally housed barn is quite impressive.The opposite east wall was up two days later and we had the weekend to gaze upon all of the week’s efforts.Saturday, Nick called upon a former worker to help him take down more of the existing pig barn so the carpenter has more working space at the south (far) end.We are going to hold on to our hats for December, as it looks like we will need good weather to get everything enclosed before winter.Even with all of this activity, barn chores still must get done. I find myself in the barn alone more, but know it is important for Nick to be present when building work is being done.I can hear lots of extra banging, vehicles beeping, engines revving and hammering from inside the barn. I do think the chickens are getting used to this!
Since my first article, I’ve come up with my “author” name – Cindy Egg Farmerette. Like it?This time, I’ll add a little more about our present set up, task sharing and, of course, discuss what we’ve accomplished in the last month for the new site.As a reminder, this blog is all about our journey from conventional housing to building a new Farmer Automatic enriched housing facility.My husband Nick and I contribute fairly equally to the present workload for our egg business.We gather eggs by hand at the front of the barn, with the cooler right beside where we make stacks of trays of eggs and, eventually, the full skid of 60 stacks of eggs.I do probably 95 per cent of the record keeping, animal care checks and all of the bookkeeping.I absolutely refuse to do the manure – that’s Nick’s job. With the majority of our equipment being 21 years old, the manure removal apparatus has several quirks that only he knows how to operate.He monitors the amount of feed to order with the help of our salesman Neill Vroom from Masterfeeds. We’ve stayed with this feed company since the beginning.I also work one morning a week for a lawyer and “retired” last year from teaching piano one day a week at Dunnville Christian School after doing this for 25 years.Our two youngest children attend post-secondary schools and help on the weekends that they’re home. Our two oldest moved out in July to Hamilton, Ont. They have full-time jobs and will help when we need them. Digging away Digging away Solid base Solid base   View the embedded image gallery online at: https://www.canadianpoultrymag.com/index.php?option=com_k2&Itemid=73&lang=en&layout=latest&view=latest#sigProGalleria4e241156cc In the last month, Nick has had to find workers willing to clear the barn site with him. His hired man was in a motorcycle accident and could not work while he healed.He found a couple of guys to help for a few days here and there and managed to get everything cleared from the former farrow-to-finish pig barn that we’re converting.The backhoe operator he had lined up was busy. It seems everyone in the construction industry is busy as well!He was going through his contacts on his cellphone and remembered that his long-time friend Bill that we visited in the summer showed him the backhoe he had bought.He asked him if he was interested in picking up some extra work and he agreed. He is a helicopter pilot, former dairy farmer and is sometimes home for weeks at a time.We caught him when he had just gotten home for a good chunk of time. He started with digging the trench for the new driveway.Next, he broke concrete into pieces that could be put in the driveway “trench” as a base for the new driveway.Nick also moved pieces with his loader tractor, managed any helpers and split concrete pieces with a sledgehammer. He also ordered loads of crushed stone for under the concrete floor and for rodent control along foundations.And Nick hired a bobcat with a jackhammer on the front to break thick concrete into smaller pieces. Lots of this was done in the beautiful stretch of weather that we had, but when the rain came one October day, we got soaked with four inches. Everything just had to sit for a few days!The concrete contractor was supposed to be here the beginning of October, but we are still waiting for him. This is holding up the start of the actual building. The builder had called two months ago to warn us to order trusses right away, as there is a backlog.The photos I've included are of the new driveway with concrete pieces and the backhoe and tractor working at the old pig barn site.I hope you continue to follow along and see what happens in the next month.
October 24, 2017, Debert, N.S. – Vandals have destroyed a beloved, five-metre-tall sculpture of a bear, a Nova Scotia farmer's annual tradition promoting his family's poultry and pumpkin farms.Blake Jennings, who has fashioned a bear out of hay every fall for 14 years, said he awoke Tuesday to discover this year's sculpture had been burned overnight.``A ridiculous amount of people are contacting me to say how much it means to them and their children,'' he said. ``Everybody is so upset, and their kids are upset.''He posted photos to his Facebook showing the happy-looking teddy bear had been turned into a blackened, smoking ruin.Jennings' younger sister, who has special needs, is among those devastated by the vandalism.``My little sister – that's her pride and joy. She would name it every year after her favourite stuffed animal,'' he told Global News. `` She was quite upset this morning to find out someone burned it.''The bear was still sitting in its place in the middle of a field Monday night when he came home from delivering pumpkins at around 9 p.m. By 6 a.m. when he woke up, he could smell smoke.``My cousin texted me and told me, 'Someone burned your bear,''' he said. ``Because I had smelled smoke, it immediately dawned on me that I had been smelling burning hay.''Based on the tire tracks in the field, Jennings believes whoever started the fire came on a four-wheeler and attempted to leave quickly.Jennings has filed a report with police but says he knows there isn't much they can do.Meanwhile, he said he plans to keep the tradition alive next year.``I'll just keep putting it up every year, but it sucks how someone could be so disrespectful,'' he said.``There are a lot of families looking forward to taking their pictures in front of it. I've put a lot of effort in it for many years for the families coming to buy pumpkins. Last year, I left it up all through Christmas and decorated it and everything.''He was also upset at how dangerous the arson was, saying the ditches around the field are currently filled with dead grass, and conditions have been dry.
My name is Cindy Huitema and I’m a proud egg farmer from Haldimand County, Ont., situated between Dunnville and Cayuga. I grew up near Kitchener, Ont., on a mixed farm including 2,200 laying hens.
For as long as he can remember, Dan Kampen has been in poultry barns. “My mom introduced me to the barns before I was two years old,” the Abbotsford, B.C. turkey and egg farmer recalls.
As we say goodbye to 2017 this December, Baildon Hutterite Colony in Saskatchewan will begin shipping out the first organic eggs produced in the province. It will be an achievement that is the culmination of much research, discussion and planning.Baildon Colony was established in 1967 and is located just south of Moose Jaw, Sask. Colony members currently farm about 19,000 acres in a continuous rotation of wheat, barley, canola, lentils, chickpeas, peas and soybeans. “Our land is a little bit rolling, but some of it is very flat as we are near the Regina Plains,” notes layer manager Paul Wipf. “Some of our cereal crops are used for our livestock, as we have a large hog operation, dairy, layers and also some turkeys.” Feed-grade grain goes for that purpose, with additional feed grain purchased as needed, and higher quality grain is sold.Free-run transitionWhen the colony started in 1967, members built a barn for 7,000 layers and maintained that number of hens until 1983, when another Hutterite colony was established in the province. At that point, colony members bought a 20,000-layer farm and split the quota in half so, in total, each colony had about 12,000 birds.“All the hens were housed in conventional cages at the time as this was the going trend,” Wipf explains. “However, in 2009 we decided we needed to build a new pullet barn as our existing one was not big enough to produce all the pullets for our layer operation, and we decided to completely rebuild the layer barns too. The question was what kind of a layer barn do we build, as the growing concern was about whether conventional cages will be good enough in the future.”To answer this question, Wipf approached Star Egg in Saskatoon to see if they were in need of free-run eggs to fill provincial demand. The company told him there was only one small free-run producer and that, yes, free-run eggs were sometimes in short supply. After a lengthy discussion, all the colony members agreed to pursue the challenge. They also decided that they would convert the old layer barn to a free-run pullet barn, and selected Hellman Poultry for the equipment needed for this and the new layer barn.Then, in 2016, Star Egg approached Baildon to ask if the colony would be interested in turning half their free-run barn into organic production. There was no commercial organic egg producer in the province and demand was growing.“Again, after a lengthy discussion, we decided rather than convert half our barn that we would build a completely different barn, as we had some layer quota that we were having to lease out anyway,” Wipf recalls. “This January we started talking with Pro-Cert, an organic certification company out of Saskatoon, to find out what was involved to produce organic eggs and built the organic barn accordingly.”The colony again went with Hellman, and decided to situate the new organic barn close to the free-run barn. He notes that a lot of the construction of the new organic barn is made out of stainless steel, which he considers a must in free-run production.The heating system is a hot water delta tube design from Europe, which Wipf believes should be both very efficient and also easy to clean. The ventilation system is Hotraco from Holland, chosen because the colony already has this in the layer barn and it is working very well.The lighting, however, is different. Baildon went with LED lighting for the organic building because of the higher energy efficiency it provides and also because the LED fixtures are placed on the ceiling. What’s more, chickens sometimes break fixtures that hang down by flying against them.   View the embedded image gallery online at: https://www.canadianpoultrymag.com/index.php?option=com_k2&Itemid=73&lang=en&layout=latest&view=latest#sigProGalleria1eda129457 Barn design and placement aside, the colony also had to answer the question of where the organic layer feed would be sourced. The answer was considered in light of the fact that this spring, Baildon had also decided to replace its existing centralized hammer mill used to grind feed for the hogs, dairy cattle, turkeys and layers.“It had always served the colony well, but we felt it was time to change over to a disc grinder mill, as they are now more common,” Wipf explains. “The organic regulations would have allowed us to use the new mill for both organic and regular feed, but we would have had to flush the system every time we switched from one type to another, so we decided we will produce organic feed with our old hammer mill. It’s still in good-enough shape, and we’ll be making our organic layer feed with purchased organic grains.”Baildon will achieve organic certification in January 2018. The colony members had gone into the January meeting with Pro-Cert with plans to have their first organic egg layer pullets arrive in early May. However, Pro-Cert informed them of a new organic regulation that had come into effect in December 2016. The new rule requires that the free-range pasture attached to the organic layer barn be monitored for a year before certification is granted. Wipf says it was a bit disappointing to learn about this new regulation, but there is nothing that can be done to speed things up.In terms of the biggest challenge facing egg producers today, Wipf names hen housing. “The egg producers here in Canada will have to spend a lot of money in the next 15 years to change from conventional cages to enriched housing,” he notes. “However, the system has been good to us in the last 30 years, so it makes it a lot easier to accept that change.”Once organic egg production is rolling in 2018, the colony will look at its degree of success and consider expanding and growing organic feed grain in the future.
December 7, 2017, Levis, Que. - Exceldor, a poultry production cooperative, unveiled plans today to build a new distribution centre that will become the hub of a logistical chain.The new 135,000 sq. ft. facility will require a $35 million investment and employ about 60 workers. It will be strategically located in Beloeil, Que. next to the Jean-Lesage highway."The distribution centre's design will greatly increase effectiveness and optimize our processes. Destined to become a veritable logistical nerve centre, it will link our many production sites to the ultimate delivery to our customers," Exceldor's president and CEO René Proulx said in a press release.Construction will begin in spring 2018 with commissioning slated for the first quarter of 2019. The project requires prior consent from the City of Beloeil, with whom Exceldor is working closely."The vitality of the poultry market, combined with the quality and freshness of our products, makes for highly interesting business prospects. We are excited to launch this new chapter of growth with the commitment of our members and the dedication of our employees, with whom we have proudly collaborated in growing our organization," Proulx added.Exceldor will retain ownership of the new facility and will decide in the coming weeks which specialized logistics company will manage the day to day operations.
December 4, 2017, Saint-Hyacinthe, Que. – ADM Animal Nutrition, a division of Archer Daniels Midland Company, announced today that it will be introducing a new specialty feed additive for Canadian swine, poultry and dairy producers called Anco AC.Developed in partnership with Austria-based Anco Animal Nutrition Competence GmbH, it is an anti-caking agent and yeast primary used in all phases of production across multiple species.It is designed to allow animals to deal more efficiently with nutritional stressors in their feed.“The pressure for efficient animal production continues to motivate our team to find the best nutritional solutions for our customers,” said Maurice Champagne, regional business manager for ADM Animal Nutrition in Canada, in a press release.“Anco AC is one such solution, providing a cost-effective way for producers to enhance the overall well-being of their animals and maintain consistent and profitable production.”
December 4, 2017, Toronto, Ont. – Maple Leaf Foods Inc. says it's acquiring Seattle-based Field Roast Grain Meat Co. for US$120 million in a bid to further strengthen its position in the alternative proteins market.CEO Michael McCain says the deal aligns with the Toronto-based packaged meats company's vision to be a leader in sustainable protein.Field Roast has products marketed across North America that include fresh and frozen grain-based roasts and loaves, sausages and frankfurters, burgers, deli slices and appetizers, and Chao brand vegan cheese slices and entrees.The American company, which was founded in 1997, has sales of approximately US$38 million and employs approximately 200 people.Maple Leaf (TSX:MFI) says it expects to finance the purchase, plus related costs, through a combination of cash-on-hand and drawings under its existing credit facility.The deal is expected to close by the end of the year, subject to customary regulatory review and transaction conditions.Earlier this year in February, Maple Leaf bought U.S. company Lightlife Foods, another maker of plant-based protein foods, for US$140 million plus related costs.
November 24, 2017, Mississauga, Ont. – World Vision Canada and Burnbrae Farms are once again giving Canadians the opportunity to provide families with hens, roosters and eggs this holiday season.For the sixth year, Burnbrae will match every Hens and Roosters gift purchased from World Vision's Gift Catalogue (up to $10,000). According to the company, the average hen provides up to 300 eggs per year, meaning the partnership has provided families around the world with approximately one million nourishing eggs to date. What's more, it has the potential of putting another 240,000 eggs in the hands of children and families in developing countries this coming year.As with other development programs that World Vision leads around the world, families that receive livestock gifts from the Gift Catalogue receive training on how to care for the animals, keep them healthy, and create a sustainable income as part of the gift."We are thrilled to be continuing this amazing partnership with World Vision," Margaret Hudson, president, Burnbrae Farms, said in a press release. "Making a difference is a top priority of Burnbrae Farms and knowing that we've played a role in a million eggs reaching children and their families in developing countries is incredible," Margaret Hudson, president, Burnbrae Farms, said in a press release.
November 23, 2017, Ottawa, Ont. – Egg Farmers of Canada (EFC) has been named by executive search firm Waterstone Human Capital as one of Canada's Most Admired Corporate Cultures for the second year in a row. Based in Ottawa, the organization has a growing team of 58 employees."At the core of our success is a dedicated and passionate team, and a commitment to making a difference," EFC's CEO Tim Lambert said in a press release. "As a result, we strive to foster a culture of high-performance and create an environment that offers our team the tools to grow and continuously improve."This philosophy complements EFC's mission to position the egg industry as a leader in Canada's agricultural future, and its vision where everyone can enjoy an egg."At Waterstone, we believe corporate culture drives performance and that it's your organization's greatest asset," said Marty Parker, Waterstone's president and chief executive officer and chair of Canada's Most Admired Corporate Cultures."The 2017 winning organizations are to be admired for the diverse and impactful ways they make sure culture underpins all that makes them successful."In addition to being one of Canada's Most Admired Corporate Cultures, EFC has also been named a National Capital Region Top Employer for five consecutive years.
Zurich, Switzerland, November 17, 2017 – Nestle, the world’s largest packaged foods company, has committed to sourcing only eggs from cage-free hens for all its food products globally by 2025.This includes all shell eggs and egg products directly sourced as ingredients by the company.In Europe and the U.S., Nestle will make the transition by the end of 2020.For the rest of the Americas, the Middle East, Africa and Oceania it will happen by 2025, with the move in Asia to be completed in the same transition period, as conditions allow.In some parts of the world, such as in Europe, over 40 per cent of eggs Nestle uses are already from cage-free sources.In a statement, the company explained the timeline for its transition.“Switching to cage-free supplies worldwide requires time and investment.“We will manage this in a sustainable and cost effective way during the implementation period, ensuring consumers continue to access affordable high quality foods throughout.“We look forward to working with our suppliers, farmers, civil society and customers to drive progress.”Several of the company’s rivals have already made similar pledges, including Kraft Heinz, Conagra and Mondelez International.
Dr. Gregoy Bédécarrats, professor at the University of Guelph, Canada is the 2017 Novus Outstanding Teaching Award recipient. A successful academic career, innovative research and his dedication to encouraging the next generation of poultry scientists make Novus proud to honor Bédécarrats.Part of Novus’s goal to help cultivate sustainable animal agriculture is the encouragement of young people to succeed in the industry. Each year, Novus honors those who exhibit excellence in research, teaching and their contributions to poultry science at the Poultry Science Association annual meeting.“Receiving the Novus Teaching award at this year’s PSA meeting is a true honor. From being a student myself to my academic appointment, I had the opportunity to meet exceptional people who helped carve my teaching style, serve as mentors and be inspirational,” said Bédécarrats.He got his start in poultry science as a master’s student at the University of Rennes, France where he studied the effect of prolactin on incubation behavior in turkey hens. He continued his studies in poultry science pursuing his doctorate at McGill University. After three years of a postdoctoral fellowship at the Harvard Medical School, Bédécarrats joined the department of Animal Biosciences at the University of Guelph. He points to a great support system and industry partnership when reflecting on his success.“In particular, this achievement would not have been possible without the help of late Professor John Walton (University of Guelph) who made me understand the value of engagement in undergraduate teaching, and Dr. Donald McQueen Shaver who helped me connect the dots between research, education and the poultry industry. Constant engagement and exchange between these three pillars is key to success and, thanks to the support of Novus International, this is a reality for many students and industry partners,” said Bédécarrats.In addition to his research pursuits, Bédécarrats is also actively involved in undergraduate teaching and curriculum development, review and improvement. Bédécarrats works with both graduate and undergraduate students and does his best to support their interests and future endeavors. Bédécarrats encourages students, at any level, to attend at least one international science meeting per year, present their work often and get published as much as possible. “Dr. B is the best professor ever. He explains content clearly and with a sense of humor that actually helps a lot of us understand the complicated concepts and makes sure you know what’s important for your future work,” one student posted online. Most of Bédécarrats’ students have moved on to higher education and many have advanced into significant positions in the livestock industry. Bédécarrats is also the co-creator of the University of Guelph Poultry Club, which is an organization developed to expose students to the poultry studies and promote interactions within the industry.Bédécarrats is also passionate about improving reproductive efficiency in poultry and finding a better balance between production parameters, health, animal welfare and the environment. One of Dr. Bédécarrats’ biggest accomplishments has been the development of an innovative LED, known as AgriLux™, based on the discovery that different lighting sources had different effects on laying hens and that chickens find the red spectrum more favorable. This product intends to increase egg production in hens using the light without increasing their feed consumption, as a helpful tool for producers.Bédécarrats has proven to be an innovator in research and teaching and will continue to push himself and his students to make advancements in the field.“Above all, my utmost gratitude goes to my wife and children who have sacrificed countless hours of family time while I pursue my dream and goals,” said Bédécarrats.
August 2, 2017, Alberta - As a child, poultry researcher Sasha van der Klein didn’t beg her parents for a puppy, but for pet chickens. By eventually fulfilling her request, her parents put her solidly on the path that has led to a Vanier Scholarship, Canada’s most prestigious award for PhD students.Van der Klein’s award is one of 10 Vaniers earned by University of Alberta students for 2017, and the only one for the Faculty of Agricultural, Life and Environmental Sciences, where she is studying under the supervision of Martin Zuidhof, an expert in poultry precision feeding.Her thesis is investigating how day length during the rearing period of broiler breeders and controlling their body weight affects their reproductive success and nesting behaviour.“When you give them too much light, it prevents the birds from becoming sexually mature and laying eggs in the year they are hatched,” said van der Klein.Broiler breeders, the parents of the meat-type chicken, have to get short day lengths when they grow up, to mimic the winter season, just as most birds get in nature, she said.“This helps the chances of survival of the offspring—it’s essential for the offspring to be hatched in favourable conditions. In nature, the parents sexually mature in spring, and that increases the chicks’ chance to survive. The cue is day length, as winter days are shorter than summer days.”By answering such questions as how long the hens who had light controls during rearing look for a nest, how long they sit on the nest, and how many eggs they finally produce, she hopes to offer the poultry industry solutions for an array of concerns. These include the high percentage of unusable floor eggs broiler breeders are prone to lay, the poor overall productivity of broiler breeder hens, and also how producers can be most efficient with feed.Vanier Scholarships are worth $50,000 per year for three years and are difficult to attain because selection criteria includes not just a student’s academic excellence and the research potential of their project, but also the leadership the students demonstrate in their community or academic life.Although van der Klein is an international student who moved from the Netherlands to pursue her PhD at the University of Alberta, she quickly became immersed in assisting with complex student affairs on campus. For the past two years, she has been the vice-president of labour for the Graduate Students’ Association, assisting graduate students with compliance issues in their research or teaching assistant contracts. This year, she will be negotiating a new collective agreement for graduate students at the university.The Vanier Scholarship definitely relieves some of the many challenges a PhD student must cope with, and that’s especially welcome when a thesis project involves responsibility for the welfare of more than 200 chickens, said van der Klein.“I’m thankful to have a great team and many volunteers that helped me during my experiments, but even then the commitment to being a farmer at the same time as being a student is an intense responsibility,” she said.Van der klein’s research will take advantage of a new feeding system developed at the University of Alberta that minimizes variation in broiler breeder body weights, said Zuidhof“By controlling this variable, we have already had important new insights into sexual maturation that have not been possible previously,” he said. “Ultimately, commercial application of Sasha’s precision feeding research could decrease nitrogen, phosphorus and CO2 emissions by the broiler breeders by 25 per cent, which is transformational for the poultry industry.”
July 24, 2017, Lexington, KY - Connecting the farm to the lab through research is critical for agricultural innovation. Illustrating its commitment to encouraging student research, Alltech presented the 34th Alltech Student Research Manuscript Award to Matthew Aardsma of Purdue University during the 106th annual Poultry Science Association meeting, held in Orlando, Florida, July 17–20.The Alltech Student Research Manuscript Award is given to a student who is the senior author of an outstanding research manuscript in Poultry Science or The Journal of Applied Poultry Research. Aardsma’s winning paper titled, Relative metabolizable energy values for fats and oils in young broilers and adult roosters, focused on developing a bio-assay where feed-grade fats and oils were evaluated for their relative metabolizable energy content quickly and accurately. The paper showed results for several fats and oils that are commonly fed in the poultry industry, and that the results obtained for adult roosters are the same with young broiler chickens."Research is an integral part of Alltech and the poultry industry's success to date," said Dr. Ted Sefton, director of poultry for Alltech Canada. "Alltech is proud to sponsor the Alltech Student Research Manuscript Award to encourage students to publish their research in peer-reviewed journals and communicate new technologies and discoveries being made in the lab that can have a direct impact on the farm."Aardsma grew up in Central Illinois, where his parents encouraged him to explore his interests in agriculture and animal production. He received his bachelor’s degree in animal sciences from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in 2013 and his master’s degree in animal sciences with an emphasis in poultry nutrition in 2015, working with Dr. Carl Parsons. After a summer internship at Southern Illinois University working in aquaculture nutrition, he began a Ph.D. program in animal nutrition at Purdue University. Aardsma is currently studying with Jay Johnson and focusing on nutrition-based stress physiology in poultry and swine.Alltech has sponsored the Alltech Student Research Manuscript Award since 2000, recognizing young leaders in scientific innovation for their commitment to publishing and sharing their work within the poultry sector.
July 7, 2017, Saskatchewan - Most agricultural research is aimed at improving crop yields and making animals healthier. Sometimes, however, work intended to make farms more productive can have consequences that reach far beyond the home quarter.One such example is Roy Crawford, a longtime University of Saskatchewan poultry scientist whose discovery of a mutated gene that caused epileptic seizures in chickens helped guide research into the seizures suffered by many humans.Crawford is also credited with developing poultry products for consumers, which according to Saskatchewan Agriculture: Lives Past and Present increased demand for birds and returns for producers on farms across the province. READ MORE
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.

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