Dairy to poultry, peppers to cannabis, sales to farm management and law school – and back to sales. This is only part of the diverse career path of Jack and Christine Greydanus of Greyda Plains Poultry near Sarnia, Ont.
Alberta egg farmer Paul Wurz has been working with his longest standing client for nearly 50 years, which is as long as he’s been a producer. In a highly competitive market where a business’ bottom line is often its top priority, keeping a client that long says a lot about Wurz.
Siemens Farms is an egg farming operation based in Manitoba.
If there were an award for operational diversity, Fraser Valley Specialty Poultry (FVSP) near Chilliwack, B.C., would be a top contender – if not the winner.
It is a path with bumps and twists, but at each milestone along his career, David Coburn saw the need and opportunity to invent – and pioneer change.
Two egg producers from B.C. recently became the first in the province to have a Farmer Automatic Loggia aviary system. Canadian Poultry was there for the grand opening.
Kevin Alger has been promoted to Sales Manager for Chore-Time for the United States and Canada, according to Jeff Miller, Vice President and General Manager for the CTB, Inc. business unit. In his new role, Alger will be responsible for leading Chore-Time’s sales and technical service teams that are dedicated to the poultry and egg industries. He will also support and direct the ongoing development of Chore-Time’s independent distributor network in the region.Prior to joining Chore-Time, Alger worked in sales support and sales management for Shenandoah Manufacturing, Harrisonburg, Virginia. He joined Chore-Time as a District Sales Manager in 2002 when CTB acquired Shenandoah. Most recently, Alger was a Regional Sales Manager for Chore-Time, serving customers in the Midwest, Mid-Atlantic states and Canada. He has been recognized with Chore-Time’s “Salesman of the Year” award twice.Alger earned his bachelor’s degree from Ferrum College in Ferrum, Virginia. Prior to entering the poultry industry, Alger was a professional baseball player in the Philadelphia Phillies organization. A native of Harrisonburg, Alger resides in Staunton, Virginia.
April Sexsmith has served as general manager at Egg Farmers of New Brunswick for close to 30 years. Before that, she worked on several other marketing boards in a mix of supply managed industries and non-supply managed sectors.
Tim Hortons is testing a fake omelette — made with mung bean protein isolate — in two regions in southern Ontario.If it's a hit, the product will join the Beyond Meat plant-based burger and breakfast sausage already on the menu at Tim Hortons and A&Ws across Canada.The fast food chains are meeting a growing demand for plant-based proteins from Canadians who've cut out or cut back their meat consumption, often for health reasons.But it's questionable what nutritional value customers will get from plant-based meals prepared at a fast food chain.For the full story, click here.
Egg Farmers of Canada (EFC) announced a new partnership with McDonald’s Canada today.It begins with the launch of the Egg Quality Assurance (EQA) certification mark on McDonald’s advertisements this summer for the freshly-cracked Canada Grade A large egg in their limited-time Egg BLT McMuffin sandwich.The McDonald’s advertisements will be the first time that most Canadians see the new EQA certification mark, with it appearing on television, print and digital channels from today until the beginning of September.“The EQA program is the culmination of decades of work building world-class standards in the Canadian egg industry,” says Roger Pelissero, third generation egg farmer and EFC's chair. “Those standards are upheld through our national programs that include inspections and third-party audits. We are pleased that McDonald’s Canada is displaying our EQA mark on their McMuffin sandwiches, showcasing their pride in Canadian eggs and the farmers that produce them.”“We are committed to industry leading certification, and working with other leaders is at the core of our sourcing strategy,” says Rob Dick, supply chain officer, McDonald’s Canada. “Our goal is to benefit Canadian consumers and food producers, and working with the Egg Farmers of Canada accomplishes exactly that.”All EQA certified eggs have met the highest standards of Egg Farmers of Canada’s national Start Clean-Stay Clean and Animal Care Programs.
Hy-Line International recently celebrated the completion of its newest research farm today surrounded by federal, state and local dignitaries at a ribbon cutting ceremony.Named after the company's founder, Henry A. Wallace, the state-of-the-art facility is located stateside in central Iowa.“We have a substantial responsibility in the effort to feed a growing global population with an inexpensive and nutritious source of protein – the egg,” says Jonathan Cade, president of Hy-Line International.“The addition of the Dr. Henry A. Wallace Farm allows us continued innovation and genetic progress in Hy-Line layer genetics to accomplish this.”“We are making significant strategic changes in the Hy-Line breeding program to accelerate the rate of genetic progress,” adds Danny Lubritz, director of research and development for Hy-Line International.“Egg production and eggshell quality show higher genetic variation at older ages. The pedigree birds housed on the Dr. Henry A. Wallace Farm will be evaluated for these traits, among others, to help ensure continued genetic progress in persistency and shell strength.”The addition of the new research farm increases the population of research birds from which to identify the top performing individuals to populate the next generation.As a result of improved selection intensity, Hy-Line varieties are gaining increased egg numbers, persistency, shell strength, egg weight and feed efficiency.
Long-time livestock industry leader Mike McMorris will be the new CEO of Livestock Research Innovation Corporation (LRIC). McMorris, most recently General Manager of AgSights, assumes the position on September 1.“Mike’s background in agricultural research, extension, and management has allowed him to build a solid understanding of agriculture, as well as develop a vast network of working relationships,” says LRIC chair Oliver Haan. “He’s had a keen interest in LRIC since its inception and the lifelong passion that he has for this industry will help our organization both ensure value for our members and drive innovation through the value chain.”McMorris began his career in extension and management with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) before joining Ontario Cattlemen’s Association (now Beef Farmers of Ontario) as Executive Director.He subsequently served as Director of Operations with Agricorp, and became General Manager of BIO (now AgSights), a producer cooperative dedicated to bringing information management to livestock industries in Canada and internationally, in 2008. He holds a Masters’ degree in Animal Science, Breeding and Genetics from the University of Guelph.LRIC was established in 2012 under the leadership of outgoing CEO Tim Nelson with support from Ontario’s beef, pork, dairy and poultry commodity organizations and OMAFRA to provide leadership in research priority setting, coordination and process. The next years will see LRIC continue that work, as well as a greater focus on fostering innovation, and getting research results into practice on Ontario farms.“The board thanks Tim for his leadership in building LRIC into the successful organization that it is today. Tim’s vision, passion and ability to make positive working relationships have been instrumental to LRIC’s success to date and we wish him all the best as he continues to create his future,” adds Haan.
It’s hard to know where to begin to describe a man like Scott Gillingham. His co-worker at Aviagen for 18 years, Frank Dougherty, puts it best. “If I named all the qualities Scott brings to the table I would have writers’ cramp.”
Sacit “Sarge” Bilgili, interim department head of Auburn University’s Department of Poultry Science, was recently recognized with the 2019 Poultry Science Association Distinguished Poultry Industry Career Award, sponsored by U.S. Poultry & Egg Association (USPOULTRY). The award was presented during the annual Poultry Science Association meeting in Montréal, Canada, by Larry Brown, retired USPOULTRY vice president of education.The Distinguished Career Award recognizes distinctive, outstanding contributions by an industry leader. In addition to sponsoring the award, USPOULTRY also makes an annual contribution to the Poultry Science Association Foundation on behalf of the award recipient.“USPOULTRY is pleased to honor industry leaders exemplified by Dr. Sarge Bilgili. He is widely recognized for his many years of work and contribution to poultry welfare within the industry, with his scholarly work uniquely bridging the live production and processing phases of the broiler industry,” said John Starkey, president of USPOULTRY.“Dr. Bilgili has also been personally involved with USPOULTRY,” Starkey continued. “For many years he was advisor to our Poultry Processor Committee and was often a speaker on the Poultry Processor Workshop program. We have also recognized him for his outstanding research work. It is this service and dedication that has helped make the poultry industry one of the most proficient and productive segments of modern animal agriculture.”Bilgili received his DVM from Ankara University in Turkey, his MS from Oregon State University and Ph.D. from Auburn University. He joined the Department of Poultry Science at Auburn University in 1985 as an assistant professor and extension poultry processing specialist, later attaining the ranks of associate professor (1991) and professor (1996). Bilgili retired as professor emeritus in 2015 and recently came out of retirement to serve as interim department head of Auburn University’s Department of Poultry Science.Bilgili is widely known in the poultry industry for past leadership roles, including serving as vice president of the World’s Poultry Science Association and president of the Poultry Science Association. He was named a fellow of the Poultry Science Association in 2011 and was presented with the U.S. Poultry & Egg Association Charles Beard Research Excellence Award in 2015.
Dr. Henry (Hank) Classen recently retired after a long and distinguished career as one of Canada’s foremost poultry scientists. We asked him five questions.What is your most significant career achievement and why?It’s hard to say what that is. I’ve worked in many areas, and one of my strengths is to recognize where research is needed and put together teams to try and solve the industry problem. I was involved in some of the early work with feed enzymes, and was part of the licencing of the first feed enzyme in Canada with Leigh Campbell and Yan Grotwassink. I’ve also, through most of my career, looked at lighting programs in turkeys and broilers – how they can be best be used by primary breeders to slow down early growth and so on.What are your main milestones?I obtained my B.Sc.Agr. from the University of Saskatchewan in 1971 and then my masters in 1973 from the University of Massachusetts. After that I was an assistant professor for a while at Pennsylvania State University and then obtained my Ph.D. from the University of Massachusetts in 1977. That same year I became an assistant professor in the Department of Animal and Poultry Science at the University of Saskatchewan, where I’d stay for the rest of my career. I later became a full professor, and then head of the department followed by a distinguished professor. In 2013, I was named Industrial Research Chair in Poultry Nutrition with the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC). Finally, this year I became Professor Emeritus.How should the industry evolve?Primary breeders now have tremendous ability to select more accurately, and with molecular genetics, that will increase. We need to counteract some of the traits that have been issues in industry. I’d also like to see a more balanced viewpoint of some practices related to animal welfare and in the use of antibiotics. I feel strongly about animal welfare. However, sometimes changes are made in agriculture around the world due to perception of a practice and the science is ignored.Tell us a little bit about your personal life.We have a close family. My wife Lynn and I have three married daughters, Michelle, Tara and Stephanie, and five grandchildren. We all go a family vacation every year and we really love canoeing. I like to be outdoors. I like to garden. I don’t run fast but I like running and like to stay in shape. Lynn and I also take ballroom dancing.What are your future plans?I’m will continue as Professor Emeritus for the next 18 months, and after that, I may work on some review articles that I haven’t gotten around to. Lynn and I like to travel, so we plan to do lots of that in the future and we’ll also try different physical activities.
If you’ve been paying attention to energy efficiency developments in Canada’s poultry industry, you’ll know the name Bill Revington. Indeed, he’s had a long career as an energy efficiency innovator. As he was preparing for his April retirement from his role as general manager of farm operations at New Life Mills in Hanover, Ont., he sat down with Canadian Poultry to reflect on his achievements, share his best tips and predictions for the future.
The Barred Plymouth Rock is Teryn Girard’s favourite kind of chicken.
Over the past year, I’ve been documenting my family’s journey converting from conventional housing to an enriched system on canadianpoultrymag.com. Thankfully, the new barn is up and running.
Since last September, Cindy Huitema, egg producer from Haldimand County, Ont., has been documenting her family’s journey transitioning to a new layer housing system with her blog, Cindy Egg Farmerette. In the final installment of her blog, Cindy discusses the process of placing her initial flock and how everyone on the farm is adapting to the new enriched barn and its added technology.
May We Ever Be Finished? Come What May!!!Since I last wrote, we were deeply entrenched in the construction of the Farmer Automatic Enriched Colony Housing for our next flock of pullets that will arrive later this month.All of the kids helped with the housing at some point, but my son John put in the most hours. He has an eye for quality and spots if something was put together incorrectly. This can be anything from a missing perch cap to misaligned waterlines.The feed trough clips, troughing sections, feed chain and feed pans at the ends all had to be assembled in a systematic order.In addition to the various local neighbourhood young people we had working for us, we decided to take the advice of Clark Ag Systems and get a work crew of men from London to accelerate the building process. These fellows are experienced in putting hen housing together and had worked with the lead, Dennis before.Nicole, Charlotte and I worked as a team putting the housing doors together, and then installing them on the top two levels.We made this an enjoyable task by taking turns with who got to be on the scaffold installing them, and the person on the floor fetching doors and pushing the two on the scaffold. View the embedded image gallery online at: https://www.canadianpoultrymag.com/index.php?option=com_k2&Itemid=73&lang=en&layout=latest&view=latest#sigProGalleria5243f7b419 Our barn has three rows of the enriched colony housing and is four levels high. We have space to put in one more row in the future.Each side of each row must be “levelled” by adjusting the legs under each housing door. Ben worked on getting one side levelled, and Philip has had to do a lot of the rest of the rows.This job is one of the more undesirable things to do. You have to be on your knees a lot and working just under the housing with an impact drill with a torque bit, wrenches and crowbar. A laser level is a great aid in doing this task.The wire sections to cover up the top rows had to be installed and fastened securely with plastic zip ties.More work on the manure ends, manure belts and egg elevators and conveyor was done as well.The manure belts took 40 minutes to pull with the aid someone guiding them through by pulling a rope to the front and then mechanically pulled to the back with a motor.Nick worked on making the opening for the conveyor that bring eggs into the pack room and a window for us to have a good view for monitoring the progression of the eggs when they advance into the packing room.He enjoyed the company of anyone who would assist him (let’s be real, the guy likes having someone fetch things for him---right Charlotte and John!).Preliminary work on the encasement for the scissor lift and was completed, and we expect to have in-floor heating installed this week and concrete floors poured in the ante room and egg packing room.During most of April and May, the electricians have been doing the many electrical tasks to make the barn functional and safe. Our last build was many years ago and the rules, rates and safety measures needed to comply for electricians are many and inflated since that time.I have never watched the weather so closely as I did this past winter and spring. The cold temperatures, snowfall, rain and wind all affect the particular task you are doing in or outside of the barn.As spring seems to have finally arrived, getting on the land adds to the pressure to get the barn completed.As a family, we have always wanted to have an open house to egg-ucate people about the direction that egg farming is going.By 2035, conventional housing has been banned and all egg farmers must have progressed to another form of housing...be it the colony enriched, free run or free range.We look forward to hosting the Open House together with Clark Ag Systems on Friday May 11. If my time permits and interest is expressed, Egg Farmerette might be persuaded to write another blog posting after our hens are settled, laying and happily clucking in their new habitat.CLICK HERE to read more about Cindy's experience transitioning from a conventional to an enriched layer barn.
At end of February, we had just surpassed what proved to be a big stumbling block and holdup for us...the big pour of the concrete floor.After letting the concrete floor cure for almost a week, the pads were poured.We decided to put cement pads under each row of hen housing and these were one-and-a-half inches in depth on the edges and two inches in the middle. This is to make it easier when the barn is cleaned each year so that the water runs away from under the housing. Also, floor drains were put in place on the far end of the barn.A few days of curing occurred for the pads, and we were eager to get the construction of the Farmer Automatic Enriched Housing started.We had a couple different work stations—constructing frames, assembling plastic housing doors, and all of the webbing inside the frames was put together.We have lead man, Dennis and another employee, Josh from Clark Ag Systems.Nick has been the general contractor for the building of the barn and has good knowledge of the conventional housing that is in our present barn. He has been an asset with his experience. We also have the rest of the family to help when available and some other workers.The construction of the housing is a huge job and there are many layers to the process. Frames are constructed and assembled with vertical braces that end up being the skeleton of the row. The dividers between each colony are put place and the floor clips and perch holders.The wires for the cage doors, middle divider, and thicker cage floor support wire are fitted out next. Our nephew Jason was wired for these tasks. We decided to use stainless steel wire instead of the galvanized that was supplied, as Nick found that this was a weak area in our present conventional housing.The cage floors, white PVC perches, white PVC waterlines, water cups, re-plastic scratch pads, and nesting boxes with curtains are installed a systematic order. I nicknamed our daughter Stephanie, “Scratch Pad Steffy” as she efficiently put in all the red plastic scratch pads in the first and second levels of rows one and two.Farmerette can proudly say that she put all the perches in for the first and second levels, with some help from daughter Stephanie and Jake, and glued the joints and caps for the ends. I prefer to leave the third and fourth level work to others!We were able to get lots of work done on the Saturday and Easter Monday with it being a school holiday.I hung red nest curtains around the next boxes. There are four nest boxes back-to-back as the nest areas have no lights. The hens prefer to lay their eggs in a dark, sheltered area. View the embedded image gallery online at: https://www.canadianpoultrymag.com/index.php?option=com_k2&Itemid=73&lang=en&layout=latest&view=latest#sigProGalleria28185ca18e Manure ends are of course extremely important as the removal of manure keeps the air quality good for the hens and ourselves, keeps the eggs clean, and provides a good environment for the hens. The Clark guys handle these areas.Another area that is a little more complicated is the egg elevators that will take the eggs from the egg belts and transfer them to a conveyor that will go into the egg packing room.There were still a few skids of equipment outside and these would have to be brought in the barn when needed. Also, there is room in the barn for a fourth row of housing, but this is not being done now, and is there for any future growth of the egg business. This area has actually turned out to be very beneficial for storage and assembly of parts before they are installed on the housing.Construction of parts also occurs as many of these parts come in pieces that need to be put together. For example, the cage doors have a white plastic centre, then a red left and red right hinge that must be hammered in with a mallet. We need approximately 1,800 of these. Our daughters Nicole and Charlotte did many of these. I also put together the 24 egg belt rollers that go at the far end of the barn.We took black plastic waterline connectors to the house and put a clamp on each end in the evening with the TV to break up the monotony of the job. The warmth of the house made the plastic more pliable when putting the clamps on.March turned out to be a very busy month. We were relieved and happy to see the construction team finish off a back area beyond the main barn that is manure storage as they were here since November. Yippee!!!We have made it to Easter with the hen housing well underway and will hop into April being able to see the finish line for this stage of the process.CLICK HERE to read more about Cindy's experience transitioning from a conventional to an enriched layer barn.
February turned out to begin very cold, more snow and windy. Any work that could be done inside the new barn building was done when temperatures were not frigid. Some days were too cold to get any work done.Electrical lines for lights got installed on the ceiling and the baffle on the west side. Any work that had to be done on the ceiling or high areas had to be done before the scissor lift got picked up.The arrangement with the scissor lift was that you pay a weekly rate, and when you have it for three weeks, you get the fourth week free. This is what worked for us.From February 4 - 6, the insulation got put in the attic. The first day was very mild with the snow melting on the roof causing a steady stream of dripping off the steel roof. This job had two fellows who were experienced in insulating attics completing the work.We had two overhead doors to be installed – one for the cooler for Burnbrae Farms to do their weekly pick-up of eggs, and the other as a big entrance to the main barn when the birds arrive and then depart after 51 weeks.Timing for this had to be when the interior was completed so that the doors could be fastened to completed walls and ceiling.Again, working in a freezing temperature environment had to be avoided.Both doors got installed February 11 and finishing these up occurred the next weekend.For the entire month, we were anticipating getting the concrete for the floor poured. View the embedded image gallery online at: https://www.canadianpoultrymag.com/index.php?option=com_k2&Itemid=73&lang=en&layout=latest&view=latest#sigProGalleria2000b1d26d I have never watched the weather forecast so diligently, and part of frustrating February was that we wanted the concrete floor to get poured.Nick chose a warmer stretch of weather later in the month to start using propane to run the heater to begin thawing the ground.Preparation work to level the floor for concrete took place on February 23 and continued early in the next week. The weather forecast had sun and mild temperatures for that week.Once again, loads of stone were brought in, a bobcat brought stone inside, and a roller flattened out the floor to make it level with the help of laser level that was set up on a tripod in the corner of the barn.February 28 brought a 13-degree day, and the concrete floor was finally poured.There were a dozen guys doing the pour, running the concrete pumping truck, and spreading and levelling the concrete.The first concrete truck came by 8:00 A.M. and the last truck load was done by 12-noon. A truck came every half hour. All of this activity brought curious neighbors to sneak a peek at all the action going on.The next couple days were filled with finishing the concrete with power trowels to give it a smooth finish.March came in like a lion on the 1st with a snowstorm in Haldimand County, about 15 centimeters of snow, and the first snow day for school kids.... so, we were glad that this big job was done.Cindy Egg FarmeretteCLICK HEREto read more about Cindy's experience transitioning from a conventional to an enriched layer barn.
My fifth blog starts off at the New Year.Christmas gives those of us in agriculture time to enjoy faith, family, friends and farm. As holiday festivities took over between Christmas and New Year’s, we had minimal time to make any progress.Many businesses have limited holiday hours, and employees take time away from their jobs, including our construction crew. It ended up being too cold to work anyway.But we continued to care for our hens 24/7. Our kids, Charlotte and John, returned home for the holidays and they helped out as well.Back to our new enriched housing project.Last April, we met with Harold Meadows of Clark Ag Systems. Together, we decided to go with the Farmer Automatic Enriched Colony Housing system for our new layer barn.At that time, you must decide on a date to have the equipment arrive at your farm.It comes from Laer, Germany packed in Maersk containers, travels by ship to Montreal, by rail car to Brampton, Ont. and then goes through customs. Finally, it arrives at your farm via transport truck.We had originally (optimistically and probably naively!) picked a delivery date in December, but later changed that to January 2nd.In November, we realized that we would not need the layer housing equipment until perhaps February and wanted to postpone the date.This was impossible. The company in Germany is very organized in filling the order and the container had already been loaded and was en route on the high seas.Rarely are they wrong about timing, unless Mother Nature interferes!We received one day’s grace and the first container arrived January 3rd.Of course, this turned out to be one of the deep freeze weeks, with temperatures plummeting below -18°C.Our loader tractor was first used to take each box, which sits on a pallet, to flatbed trailers that Nick had arranged to temporarily put the various packages on.The loader tractor was having trouble working, and we started using the “Gradall” machine that B. Jorna Construction had on site to move lumber, etc. for the construction tasks.The second container arrived in the late afternoon. View the embedded image gallery online at: https://www.canadianpoultrymag.com/index.php?option=com_k2&Itemid=73&lang=en&layout=latest&view=latest#sigProGalleriacd5774338b Between loads, the Masterfeeds truck brought feed and Nick came in for a break. I told him he was talking funny and asked him what was the matter. He said, “My face is frozen!” A hot chocolate helped to warm him up so he could smile again.Charlotte and John cleared out what will be the new cooler in order to make a temporary holding place for all of the parts. This also gave the equipment a place to be protected from winter weather.The various skids then got moved on January 4th to the cooler area.The week of January 8th brought many visual advances: the Tile Red steel getting put on the east and west sides; insulation and white plastic was put on pack room walls; the scissor lift arrived to be used for high jobs; a vapour barrier was put on the barn ceiling below trusses and walls; and hurricane clips installed (did you know that each clip can withstand 1,100 pounds of uplift pressure?).Our daughter Nicole helped install them – at least eight nails each on the base of the barn, lots of squats and no blue fingers when she was done.During the rest of the month, insulation was placed on all walls, white vinyl planking was installed everywhere except the cooler and three to five lighting rows were installed.As I write this blog, the facia, soffit and some electrical are in the works.With insulation and walls of the large main barn almost completed, we moved all of the skids and boxes of housing equipment from the cooler to the back of said barn.This was done on a warm, sunny day before snow returned near the end of January. The cooler still needs to be insulated, and its walls finished.I repeat a previous comment that the animal care and egg gathering must still be carried out in the old barn.Additionally, yearend arrived and this brings extra bookwork. I got a good start on the last quarter at the beginning of December, but then had to finish in January. I also am keeping track of the new barn costs separately for our own records.I finished this on January 22nd and filed my HST rebate at 2:50 pm. This filing included the many barn build expenses thus far and was, of course, more work for me in a quarter than ever before. Our rebate was $17,000-plus higher than our usual filing with Revenue Canada.We were having afternoon break and at 3:20 a Canada Revenue HST office employee called to inquire about the large jump in our rebate filing.I explained what we were doing, and I believe initially he would have wanted me to forward some proof to him of our venture.However, I also told him about the coming changes in the egg industry with respect to the deletion of conventional housing by 2035.I told him he could read about what we were doing in my blog! He was very interested and was going to check it out. No further documentation was required of me. Yippee!So, with Jack Frost nipping at our noses, we hope February sees less of Old Man Winter – not holding my chilly breath!CLICK HERE to read more about Cindy's experience transitioning from a conventional to an enriched layer barn.
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