Poultry Production
April 27, 2017, Gloucester, Ont. -  The Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council (CAHRC) has developed a training program to help Canadian producers strengthen their workforces through on-the-farm training.

The program, called AgriSkills, can be customized and made available to various commodity and sector organizations to help their member producers train workers in an easy-to-use and effective manner that documents results.

Research is currently available to customize the AgriSkills program for broiler hens, as well as, aquaculture, beef, swine, sheep and goats, grains and oilseeds, potatoes, apples, mushrooms, sod, and apiculture industries.

Recently released CAHRC research indicates the gap between labour demand and the domestic workforce in agriculture has doubled from 30,000 to 59,000 in the past 10 years and projections indicate that by 2025, the Canadian agri-workforce could be short workers for 114,000 jobs. The industry is in need of effective mechanisms to address skills gaps, train farm employees and track training progress.

AgriSkills is a training program that meets this need. It is a program delivered through national and provincial commodity and farm organizations who want to offer their members meaningful workforce training support. It includes structured on-the-farm training courses and employee tracking tools to support effective performance for new and existing workers.

The AgriSkills program includes training resources for both workers and their managers. On-the-job, self-guided activities help workers learn how to do their job safely and efficiently, while e-learning and online videos offer more in-depth information on the theory behind the practice. For managers, AgriSkills provides on-the-job training guides, checklists, tracking tools and other resources to help them support and manage their worker training requirements.

 “The purpose of the AgriSkills program is to help producers train their workers in a consistent, efficient and effective manner, that documents all results,” explains Portia MacDonald-Dewhirst, Executive Director of CAHRC. “The system recognizes the importance of on-the-farm instruction, and gives employers an effective tool to ensure workers are taught how to perform their jobs successfully and safely.”

The core content of AgriSkills was developed with the help of experts, producers and small-business owners from a wide range of agriculture commodity groups. Their input enabled CAHRC to create a set of National Occupational Standards that reflects the work conducted on farms at various levels. By using training materials based on these standards, employers can ensure their workers have the skills they need to meet national standards of safety, competency and productivity – skills that reduce waste, minimize loss, and support business success.

AgriSkills is one of several tools that CAHRC offers to help modern farm operations manage their workforce. CAHRC also offers the Agri HR Toolkit– an online resource guide and templates to address the HR needs of any business; Agri Pathways – promoting careers in agriculture; and Agri Talent – a national database of learning opportunities in agriculture.  

The AgriSkills program was funded by the Government of Canada’s Sectoral Initiatives Program. For more information on these and other CAHRC offerings visit www.cahrc-ccrha.ca.
Published in Broilers
April 27, 2017, Gatineau, QC - The U.S. Federal Drug Agency (FDA) is giving Quebec-based Agrisoma Biosciences Inc. regulatory clearance to produce a new GMO-free and low carbon animal feed.

The approval gives Agrisoma agricultural license to commercialize a protein byproduct of the Carinata oilseed.

Carinata is currently grown by farmers to produce oil that makes low carbon biofuels for the aviation industry. Agrisoma has discovered a powerful, natural protein inside the Carinata seed, which can also be processed to produce a nutritious, low carbon animal feed with overall greenhouse gas emissions significantly lower than animal feed made from other common crops used as feed in the livestock industry.

"This decision places Agrisoma at the forefront of creating a planet-friendly animal feed alternative that helps reduces overall greenhouse gas emissions in livestock production, poultry, aquaculture and dairy markets," says Steve Fabijanski, President and CEO of Agrisoma. READ MORE
Published in Nutrition and Feed
April 25, 2017, Toronto, Ontario A growing Muslim community in Canada has led to swelling sales of halal food, which has some grocers, manufacturers and eateries seeking ways to profit from the boom.

''It's a huge business. It's an $80-billion business around the world. In Canada, it's about $1 billion and it's growing ... by 10 to 15 per cent a year, which is quite significant. It's much more than other categories,'' says Sylvain Charlebois, a professor in food distribution and policy at Dalhousie University in Halifax.

Halal means permissible in Arabic and refers to foods that have been prepared according to Islamic law. Animals must not suffer when they're slaughtered and must not see another animal be killed. Pork and its byproducts and alcohol are among forbidden items not allowed in the making of halal foods.

While Canadians are increasingly seeing more halal products stocked by the big supermarket chains, the complexity of the supply chain has led to concerns about mislabelled food or fraud.

Contamination and traceability were motivating factors for the formation of the Halal Monitoring Authority of Canada, says chief operating officer Imam Omar Subedar.

A presentation on malpractices in the halal industry he attended in 2004 was eye-opening.

''What we were exposed to was really, really bad. There was just no ethics, no controls, no nothing. It was very sad.''

The HMA launched in 2006 with one certified chicken product. Now there are hundreds, with 30 inspectors in Ontario, three in Alberta, two in Quebec and a representative in B.C. There are plans to start operations in Saskatchewan.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency approved guidelines for halal products just last year.

''Halal unfortunately has been heavily abused and this is why CFIA has gotten involved, which is unprecedented. The government doesn't get involved in religion, but for halal they did because of the malpractices that had been going on,'' says Subedar.

Salima Jivraj, an on-the-go mom who founded Halal Food Festival Toronto in 2012 and runs the website Halalfoodie.ca, says the mainstream availability of halal products now means she can avoid multiple stops at independent shops during her weekly shopping trip.

''I want to go to a grocery store because I'm busy,'' she says. ''Retailers are noticing now 'how can we hone in on this?'''

Sobeys Inc. launched the store Chalo FreshCo in 2015 in Brampton, Ont., with separate halal and non-halal meat counters and an assortment of rice, spices, lentils and snacks for South Asian customers.

Loblaw Companies Ltd. has launched its own halal brand, Sufra, and also sells other brands of halal chicken, beef, lamb, yogurt, turkey and gummy candies.

Jivraj suggests a lot of Muslims unknowingly eat non-halal products.

''Immigrants come to the country and they might not necessarily know that they have to look out for halal. Coming from countries that are 100 per cent halal, it might be a new concept for them,'' says Jivraj.

Reading labels doesn't always tell the entire story. Candies, yogurt, jellies, baked goods and pharmaceutical products may contain gelatin, which can be derived from pork. Animal shortening such as lard and brewer's yeast are not halal. Vanilla extract flavouring contains alcohol.

''There's going to be more and more demand being driven for things like bakeries, confectionery, dairy including cheeses because a lot of animal byproducts are found in all sorts of categories in grocery and the consumers are realizing this as well and they're being more vigilant in the products that they buy,'' says Jivraj.

Meanwhile, big fast-food chains like Pizza Pizza, KFC, Popeyes and Nandos have added halal options to their menus, while The Halal Guys, a fast-casual franchise that started as a food cart in Manhattan with huge lineups, is opening a Toronto location on May 5.

''If there is more food offered to consumers they will buy more essentially,'' says Charlebois of the rise in halal offerings.
Published in Emerging Trends
April 25, 2017, Guelph, Ont. - Ed Benjamins, Chair of Chicken Farmers of Ontario (CFO), presented a strong case for growth in the chicken sector at the 2017 Agricultural Lenders' Conference in Guelph.

Benjamins noted that the sector had increased production by over five percent in 2015 and in 2016, and that the industry is still expecting further growth in 2017. The conference is hosted by the Poultry Industry Council and attracted more than 30 agricultural lending specialists from across the major financial institutions. Other presentations at the conference included reports from poultry sector partners, the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs and suppliers to the Ontario poultry industry.

Benjamins, who farms near Moorefield, Ontario, noted that there were five key arguments for ongoing industry growth in the Ontario chicken sector. They include:
  • Chicken protein’s alignment with current and emerging consumer tastes;
  • The industry’s size and scale in the Ontario market which fosters increased market and product innovation;
  • CFOs strength in supporting strategies to expand the industry’s profit pools;
  • The recent introduction of a chicken industry digital network (CFO Connects) which will improve efficiencies and analytical capabilities;
  • Progressive supply management leadership that is focused on transparency, accountability and leadership.
The presentation also highlighted the Board’s strong sustainable production practices, effective risk management strategies, and focus on responsible corporate governance.
Published in Business & Policy
April 19, 2017, Grande Prairie, Atla. - Farmers in the Peace Region returned 19,871 kilograms of obsolete and unwanted pesticides and 450 kilograms of livestock and equine medications, including poultry medications, through CleanFARMS' obsolete collection campaign this year.

CleanFARMS, which operates the program, is a national, industry-led agricultural waste stewardship organization. Collections took place at six participating ag-retail locations throughout the region from September 21-23, 2016.


This marked the first time that a combined collection of pesticides and livestock medications has been offered in the Peace Region. CleanFARMS partnered with the Canadian Animal Health Institute (CAHI) to add the collection of livestock and equine medications to CleanFARMS' existing obsolete pesticide collection program.

The obsolete collection program is generally delivered in each province or region of the country every three years and comes at no cost to farmers. The free disposal program will be delivered again in the region in 2019. In between collections, farmers are encouraged to safely store their unwanted pesticides and livestock medications until they can properly dispose of them through the program.

The obsolete collection program is part of the plant science and animal health industry's commitment to the responsible lifecycle management of their products. READ MORE
Published in Production
April 18, 2017, Peterborough, Ont. – The government of Ontario has announced plans to grow opportunities for local poultry through the Greenbelt Fund.

The Greenbelt Fund will support 24 new projects across Ontario, totalling over $830,000 in new investments through the province's Local Food Investment Fund program.

One of the 24 projects is the Reiche Meat Products Ltd., which will see $14,550 put towards establishing a poultry processing facility in Renfrew County.

The availability of an abattoir in Renfrew County will allow existing small-scale poultry farms to scale up and meet growing demand for local poultry at farmers' markets and in stores. The project is expected to increase local food sales by $100,000 and bring 20 new farmers to market.

Since 2010, the Greenbelt Fund has seen a 13:1 return on its investment in local food projects. READ MORE

Other projects include:

Poechman Family Farms Microgreens for Pastured Eggs ($38,100)
Poechman Family Farms will invest in significant changes to its barn to improve quality of life for its hens as well as quality and flavour of its eggs, meeting consumer demand for humane eggs. The project will involve the introduction of a new perch for the hens, and specially grown greenhouse microgreens for the hens' diet. The pilot will allow Poechman Family Farms to share learnings with other egg farmers in the Organic Meadows Co-Operative and the Yorkshire Valley Farms distribution family.


National Farmers Union – Ontario Building a Network of Local Food Advocates ($32,675)
The National Farmers Union – Ontario will enhance local food literacy across the province by building a network of local food advocates across a number of sectors, including educators, healthcare providers, faith communities, artists, academics, outdoors professionals, and youth. The NFU will create tailored local food information material for the different advocates and create a directory of local food advocates.


Victorian Order of Nurses – Windsor Essex Promoting Local Food Literacy & Increasing Local Food Consumption in Southwestern Ontario Schools ($18,988)
The Victorian Order of Nurses delivers school breakfast and snack programs that feed over 100,000 students every year. This project will develop local food literacy awareness materials for students and parents, to accompany increased local food served through these programs.


Bayfield Berry Farm Increasing Processing of Ontario Fruit Juices, Cider, Preserves & Fruit Liqueurs ($37,250)
Bayfield Berry Farm will expand their on-farm processing facility to meet growing demand for fruit juices, ciders, preserves and fruit liqueurs. The expansion will allow Bayfield Berry Farm to develop packaging and labelling, including requisite nutritional information, to sell their products to wholesale and retail markets, in addition to their on-farm shop. The project is expected to increase sales by up to 50% in their first year.


Cauldron Kitchen Inc. Local Food Entrepreneurship Program ($5,000)
Cauldron Kitchen will launch a Local Food Entrepreneurship Program for 4-8 participants to build the skills to create a viable local food business. Participants will have access to business development classes, mentoring and commercial kitchen use.


Cohn Farms Processing and Distribution Hub ($72,500)
Cohn Farms will be scaling up capacity at its processing and distribution hub to meet growing demand for local food, which is outpacing supply. The project is expected to double the number of farms supplying Cohn Farms to 25-30, create over 15 full-time equivalent jobs, and increase sales of local food by over $4m per year.


Deep Roots Food Hub Grow West Carleton – Food Hub ($48,500)
Deep Roots Food Hub will increase access to local produce by investing in a new co-packing approach for its roots cellar, providing storage, distribution and marketing opportunities to area farmers. In addition, the project will expand the Good Food Box program and include an "Eat West Carleton" promotional campaign.


Earth Fresh Farms Increasing Access for Ontario's New Innovative White Potato ($42,900)
Earth Fresh Farms will work with 9 Ontario growers to grow premium Polar White potatoes and extend the season for Ontario white potatoes. The project is expected to increase the market for Polar White, Ontario potatoes significantly, with increased sales of well over $1m a year.


Ecological Farmers Association of Ontario Supporting Local Food Market Access for Ecological Growers Across Ontario ($14,475)
The Ecological Farmers Association of Ontario will increase market access for small to mid-scale ecological producers by providing specialized training through workshops and farm tours, including selling to new markets (eg. Food hubs, retail, wholesale, farmers markets), on-farm value-added opportunities, and new and emerging markets (eg. World crops, heritage grains, ecological fruit).


Farmersville Community Abattoir Farmersville Community Abattoir – Processing Equipment ($30,141)
Farmersville Community Abattoir is a new, not-for-profit initiative to establish a community-owned abattoir to meet the needs of the farming communities in Leeds and Grenville, Frontenac, Lanark and Ottawa-Carleton. By establishing a community-owned facility, Farmersville Community Abattoir will help ensure the long-term viability of the agricultural system in Eastern Ontario for 1,300 farmers in the region and increase local food sales by $240,000.


Farms at Work – Tides Canada Initiatives Expanding Impact and Sustainability of Local Food Month in Peterborough ($15,000)
Farms at Work will expand the impact and improve the sustainability of Peterborough Local Food Month, by working in partnership with Transition Town Peterborough to facilitate local food-related workshops, events and tours throughout September and culminating in the Purple Onion Festival.


Flanagan Foodservice Homegrown – Local Food Project ($42,840)
Flanagan Foodservice is Canada's largest family-owned foodservice distributor and will increase sales of Ontario foods by increasing its local food offerings, improving traceability, and investing in a promotional campaign to improve awareness of Ontario food available to its customers. The project is expected to increase local food sales by $1 million in 2017.


Greenhouses Canada Northern Ontario Mobile Growing Facility ($52,283)
Greenhouses Canada will purchase a mobile "grow truck" to serve as an indoor demonstration and training site, and allow for transportation of fresh produce to remote northern communities (including on seasonal ice roads). The project is expected to increase local food sales by $117,000.


Halton Healthcare Good For You, Locally Grown – Phase 2 ($51,500)
Halton Healthcare will build on the progress made to increase local food served in its hospitals by working with farmers, manufacturers and other industry colleagues to develop recipes using Ontario food that meet the nutritional needs of patients. The project will also establish branding to identify local food choices to patients, as well as a marketing campaign to promote the local food offerings at Halton Healthcare facilities.


Len & Patti's Butcher Block Improved Production Efficiency to Increase Ontario Raised Pork, Beef, Lamb, Elk & Goat ($46,438)
To meet growing demand for Ontario raised meats, Len & Patti's Butcher Block will invest in modernized machinery to increase production capacity. The project will include a new smoke house, tumbler, sausage stuffer, and patty machine. The increase in production capacity is expected to increase the sale of local meat by $2.5 million by the end of 2017.


Local Line Inc. Local Line Food Hub Project ($28,316)
Local Line will build custom local food hub software for Ontario food hubs, based on a market assessment of the needs of Ontario's existing food hubs. The platform will leverage existing Local Line marketplace and reporting software to create easy-to-use software for new and established local food hubs.


Munye Kitchens Increasing Local Food Outreach – Multi-Ethnic African Communities & Beyond ($23,495)
Munye Kitchens will create a local food guide for multi-ethnic African communities to increase awareness of locally-grown foods relevant to the African communities and identify where Ontario-grown produce can be purchased. The project will also educate consumers on how to use African crops like okra and callaloo, grown in Ontario and the Greenbelt.


Muskoka Foundry Market Assessment for the Development of a Local Food Hub ($30,000)
Muskoka Foundry will establish a new aggregated local food hub in Northern Ontario in Bracebridge's historic Foundry building. The space will include 10 permanent retail spots for agri-food processors, and provide mentorship opportunities for new processors and producers through an additional 10-15 temporary vendor stalls.  The project is expected to increase local food sales by $1.5m per year.


Neyaashiing Smoked Fish Increasing Access for Local Neyaashiing Smoked Fish Products ($13,250)
Neyaashiing Smoked Fish will invest in upgrades to its smoking facility to improve food preparation, food safety and production output. This will allow Neyaashiing Smoked Fish to increase access to new markets for smoked fish sourced and processed in First Nations communities, both through retail and wholesale market channels.


Select Food Products Implementation of New Cooking Line to Increase Production Capabilities and Access the Ontario Market ($75,000)
Select Food Products has made a significant investment in a new cooking and production line in order to deliver a made-in-Ontario with Ontario ingredients French's Ketchup. The project will nearly triple production capacity for Select and help French's to execute on its commitment to make and source ketchup in Canada.  


Wendy's Mobile Market Season-Extension, Value-Adding Processing and Services ($71,538)
Wendy's Mobile Market will retrofit a cow barn into a local food processing and storage facility to offer season-extending and value-added processing to local farmers. The facility will create new processed products including jams, jellies, preserves, dried fruit, and frozen entrees.


West Niagara Agricultural Society Niagara 4-H Local Food Booth ($14,463)
West Niagara Agricultural Society will partner with Niagara 4-H to purchase a road-worthy trailer for the volunteers of the 4-H club to bring to food and agricultural events throughout the region. The trailer will allow the 4-H to introduce their local food products to urban and near-urban students who might not otherwise be exposed to local food offerings.


Wickens Lake Sunshine Greenhouse Retrofit Extension – Northern Ontario ($9,942)
Wickens Lake Sunshine will invest in a retrofit and extension of its existing hydroponics greenhouse to extend the farms' growing season and increase capacity. Once the upgrades are complete, Wickens Lake Sunshine will partner with Open Roads Public School and the Cloverbelt Local Food Co-Op to supply produce for the school's salad bar program, bringing more local, nutritious food to students.
Published in Processing
April 17, 2017, Dufferin County, Ont. – On behalf of the four feather boards, the Feather Board Command Centre (FBCC) is issuing an Infectious Laryngotracheitis (ILT) Disease advisory to all poultry industry service providers operating in a 10-km zone in Dufferin County southwest of Shelburne.

FBCC has been alerted by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) that birds from a small backyard “dual purpose” chicken flock in Dufferin County have tested positive for Infectious Laryngotracheitis.

The lab submission came through the Small Flock Surveillance Project administered by OMAFRA and the University of Guelph. OMAFRA staff are providing advice to the small flock owner and his veterinarian to ensure proper biosecurity and disease control measures are implemented.

This advisory status is anticipated to last until late May. READ MORE
Published in Health
April 11, 2017, Guelph, Ont – The proposed Plant and Animal Health Strategy for Canada was drafted together by governments, industry and others who play a role in safeguarding plant and animal health.

The strategy will protect plants and animals from new and emerging risks by focusing efforts more on prevention and increasing partner collaboration and coordination.

You are invited to join the conversation this month and contribute your ideas on the draft strategy.

Read the draft strategy and provide your feedback through one of the following options:
To be successful, the strategy must be shaped by and reflect views of all partner groups. This consultation provides the opportunity for all stakeholders to have a say in the final contents of the strategy.

Please provide your comments by April 30, 2017.

Contact the Canadian Food Inspection Agency with questions about the Plant and Animal Health Strategy for Canada or to request the consultation documents in an alternative format:
  • Online
  • By email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
  • By phone: 1-800-442-2342 / 1-613-773-2342
Published in Trade
Kevin Weeden was raised on a turkey farm just outside of New Hamburg, Ont. Back in the ‘60s, he remembers seeing the Hybrid turkey crews arrive and change their boots and clothing. Eventually he became Hybrid’s vice-president of sales and marketing, a position he held until 1995. And that, he said, gives him confidence when stating Hybrid is the best in the world at biosecurity.
Published in Biosecurity
When Canadian Poultry introduces new technologies for the farm, we often leave readers wondering “where are they now?” months or years later. Well, wonder no more. We’ve tracked several seemingly groundbreaking innovations and now we’re bringing you updates on how those innovations have panned out since we first presented them in our pages.
Published in New Technology
Poultry production has been using antimicrobial agents, and more specifically, antibiotics, globally for many decades. Let’s not get confused with the terms antimicrobials and antibiotics. All antibiotics are antimicrobials but not all antimicrobials are antibiotics. Antibiotics are largely used to improve animal performance by minimizing the inflammation caused by bacterial and protozoal infections (Escherichia, Salmonella, and Coccidia, etc.) and are also called growth promoters.
Published in Nutrition and Feed

In November 2016, poultry producers from around the world gathered to hear Erik Helmink, marketing director at HatchTech, share his expertise on antibiotic-free poultry production at EuroTier, the world’s largest livestock production trade fair.

Published in Bird Management
April 4, 2017, Edmonton, Alta – The popular University of Alberta (U of A) Heritage Chicken program is here once again, offering small flock enthusiasts the chance to order heritage chicks until April 19.

“Heritage chicks are vaccinated and hatched at the U of A’s Poultry Research Centre,” says Jesse Hunter, program coordinator. “This year, we’re offering Plymouth barred rock, brown leghorn, random bred broiler 1978, light Sussex and Rhode Island red chicks. We hatch a certain number of each breed every year, so check the website to order your favorite breed before they're gone.”

Heritage chicks must be pre-ordered on the Heritage Chicken website, and will be available for pick-up at local Peavey Marts across Alberta. Up to 20 day-old chicks cost $8 each, 21-100 are $6, and 101-500 are $4.

As part of the program, two small flock workshops are being held, April 12 in Spruce Grove and April 13 in Red Deer, and run from 5:00 to 9:00 p.m. Food and refreshments will be provided.

“The workshops are an opportunity to learn about biosecurity, housing, nutrition, disease identification, behaviour, anatomy, and more,” says Hunter. “To register for one of the workshops, go to Eventbrite.”

Register for Spruce Grove

Register for Red Deer

The Heritage Chicken program was established in 2013 to conserve multiple heritage chicken breeds housed at the University of Alberta Poultry Research Centre. The program gives people the opportunity to adopt a chicken and receive a dozen farm fresh heritage eggs every two weeks.

All proceeds from the sales are donated back to the Poultry Research Centre to maintain the heritage chickens.
Published in Genetics
April 4, 2017, Ottawa, Ont – Chicken Farmers of Canada recently announced the outcome the 2017 election for its executive committee.

The elections followed the annual general meeting and the 15-member board of directors, made up of farmers and other stakeholders from the chicken industry, has chosen the following representatives:

Benoît Fontaine, chair
Hailing from Stanbridge Station, Quebec, Benoît Fontaine most recently served as the first vice-chair of the executive committee. He first joined the board of directors in 2013 as an alternate, and became the Quebec director in 2014. He farms in the Lac Champlain area and raises chicken and turkeys. A former high school Canadian history teacher, and second-generation chicken farmer, Benoît has also been heavily involved in the Union des producteurs agricoles since 1999. Benoît has also served on Chicken Farmers of Canada's policy committee and the production committee.

Derek Janzen, first vice-chair
Derek Janzen and his wife, Rhonda, have farmed in the Fraser Valley since 1998. They currently produce 1.4 million kgs of chicken annually and manage 22,000 commercial laying hens. Prior to farming, Derek worked for B.C.'s largest poultry processor for nearly nine years. He worked his way up from driving delivery truck to sales and marketing where he took the position of major accounts manager. Derek's experience in the processing industry has served him well with his board involvement. Derek has held various positions on a variety of boards including chair of the B.C. Egg Producers Association and also was appointed by the Minister of Agriculture as a member of the Farm Industry Review Board, B.C.'s supervisory board. Derek enjoys being involved in the industry and is excited to represent B.C. at the Chicken Farmers of Canada.

Nick de Graaf, second vice-chair
Nick de Graaf is a third-generation poultry farmer in the Annapolis Valley of Nova Scotia, operating the farm founded by his Dutch grandfather in the early 1960s. Today, the farm produces more than 660,000 chickens, and 67,000 turkeys per year. Nick is also part of Innovative Poultry Group (IPG). IPG farms 55,000 broiler breeders and owns Maritime Chicks, a new, state-of-the-art hatchery employing the HatchCare system. In addition to poultry, Nick grows more than 1,600 acres of wheat, corn and soybeans. He is self-sufficient in the production of corn and soybeans for his on-farm feed mill where he processes poultry feeds for his own flocks. Nick is in his eighth year as a director with Chicken Farmers of Nova Scotia. He has participated in Chicken Farmers of Canada as an alternate director and as a member of the policy committee. Nick and his wife, Trudy, have three children and two grandchildren.

Tim Klompmaker, executive member
Tim Klompmaker lives in Norwood, Ontario, and was elected to the Chicken Farmers of Canada board in 2017. Tim started farming in 1984 along with his wife, Annette, and his three sons. He is a third-generation chicken farmer with the fourth-generation already in place and running chicken farms of their own. Tim served as a district committee representative for Chicken Farmers of Ontario before being elected to the Ontario board in 2000. He served as CFC alternate representative for Ontario from 2012-2013, and has represented Ontario on the CFC production committee, the AMU working committee, and at NFACC. He has also served as first vice-chair of Chicken Farmers of Ontario.

The board looks forward to continuing its work together, ensuring that Canada's chicken industry continues to deliver on consumer expectations for excellence. With an eye to the future, Chicken Farmers of Canada will work with all its partners, ensuring clear, common goals for the future, and setting a solid path and purpose for all stakeholders, and for generations of chicken farmers to come.

Canadians want Canadian chicken, so we deliver them fresh, locally-raised food, just the way they like it. Our farmers are a stabilizing force in rural Canada, where they can – and do – reinvest with confidence in their communities, but their contribution is much wider. In sum, we are part of Canada's economic solution, and do so without subsidies, and are very proud of both.

Chicken Farmers of Canada introduced its "Raised by a Canadian Farmer" brand in 2013 to showcase the commitment of farmers to provide families with nutritious chicken raised to the highest standards of care, quality and freshness.
Published in Marketing Boards
March 30, 2017, Quebec City, Que – It’s no secret that antimicrobial use and resistance is a complex, challenging issue re-shaping the future of animal agriculture and the feed industry in Canada and beyond.

What does the feed industry need to know? What does the latest science say? How can people from across poultry, swine, beef, dairy and other production sectors maximize the power of nutritional strategies to tackle this issue?

Researchers, feed industry specialists and other industry partners can get a unique, in-depth look at the latest science, challenges and opportunities on this issue, as the Animal Nutrition Association of Canada (ANAC) hosts the inaugural Animal Nutrition Conference of Canada (ANCC), May 10 to 11 in Quebec City, Quebec. (Those wishing to attend should register right away as early bird registration ends March 31. Registration at regular rates will be available on a limited basis through early May.)

The new ANCC brings together the former Western Nutrition Conference and Eastern Nutrition Conference into one united national event, featuring top speakers, hot topics and the latest science-based knowledge and progress, along with outstanding discussion and networking opportunities. The theme of the inaugural conference is “Nutritional Strategies to Reduce Antimicrobial Usage in Animal Production,” putting a spotlight on the latest best knowledge available to drive strategies for success.

“The inaugural Animal Nutrition Conference of Canada introduces a dynamic new event and platform for feed industry professionals, featuring topics most relevant to our industry, with the objective that they come out of the conference with new ideas and insights to move us forward,” says Christian Bruneau of Cargill, industry co-chair of the ANCC organizing committee. “We wanted this first edition to be focused on reducing the use of antimicrobials in animal production, which is obviously a top priority of the feed industry in Canada and globally. The event is designed to provide an unbiased scientific overview looking at this theme from as many nutritional angles as possible, presented by experts in several diversified fields. We encourage everyone interested to attend and be a part of the learning and discussion.”

The conference program and format represents a natural evolution of the former regional conferences, yet is newly designed to capture fresh synergies and deliver enhanced value for participants.

“Bringing the industry together in a single forum is a unique opportunity to explore, understand and share best practices,” says Andy Humphreys of Verus Animal Nutrition, ANAC board member. “With a consolidated forum, leaders can come together to network, challenge and innovate in this ever-changing industry. It reflects the desire of our members to create a new world-class conference that supports the position of our animal agriculture sectors as global leaders in the production of safe, economical and nutritious food products.”

The conference comes hot on the heels of the new Veterinary Feed Directive in the U.S. and ahead of new anticipated regulations and policy changes in Canada regarding usage of antimicrobials.

“I applaud the organizing committee for choosing a theme that is extremely timely and relevant right now,” says Dr. Mary Lou Swift of Hi-Pro Feeds, chair of the ANAC nutrition committee, which is comprised of nutritionists from member companies. “Participants can look forward to getting all the pertinent current technical information, including information regarding feed ingredients, nutrition and management, with insights directly from top experts. This includes the opportunity to meet these speakers for more in-depth discussions. This is also an enjoyable social event and opportunity to catch up with old friends and colleagues, while making new ones.”

Conference speakers include a range of top scientists and researchers from Canada, the U.S. and further abroad. The pre-conference sponsor is Biomin America Inc. Full program details, ongoing sponsor opportunities, and registration information are all available at www.animalnutritionconference.ca.
Published in Nutrition and Feed
March 30, 2017, University Park, PA — Poultry and animal disease experts in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences are urging commercial poultry producers to ramp up their vigilance and biosecurity in the wake of recent outbreaks of avian influenza in several states.

In early March, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA-APHIS) announced that a commercial flock of breeder chickens in Tennessee tested positive for highly pathogenic avian flu, or HPAI. Since then, USDA-APHIS has revealed another case of the same H7N9 virus at a second Tennessee farm, and Alabama agriculture officials announced an outbreak of suspected low-pathogenic avian flu affecting three premises in that state.

In addition, low-pathogenic avian flu was reported in a Wisconsin turkey flock and a Kentucky broiler breeder flock, and routine surveillance has found the presence of low-pathogenic avian flu in wild waterfowl in various states.

The pathogenicity of a virus refers to its ability to produce disease. Some H5 or H7 viruses have the capacity to mutate into "high-path" strains under certain conditions, according to Eva Wallner-Pendleton, senior research associate and avian pathologist in Penn State's Animal Diagnostic Laboratory.

"Low-path AI viruses can go undiagnosed because they often produce very little illness or death," she said. "The time needed to mutate into high-path viruses varies considerably from weeks to months, or it can occur rapidly."

Infection with North American strains of low-pathogenic avian flu is a common natural occurrence in wild birds, such as ducks and geese, which usually show few or no symptoms, Wallner-Pendleton explained.

"But if these strains get into a poultry flock, they can mutate and become highly pathogenic, causing significant mortality," she said.

She noted that poultry flocks infected with low-pathogenic H5 or H7 avian flu subtypes often will be culled to stop the spread of the virus and to keep it from becoming more virulent.

The recent Tennessee outbreak occurred within the Mississippi flyway, which is one of four paths taken by wild birds when migrating in the spring and fall in North America. During the 2014-15 outbreak of highly pathogenic H5N2 avian flu that led to the loss of about 50 million turkeys and laying hens in the Midwest, the Atlantic flyway – which connects with the Mississippi flyway – was the only migratory flyway not affected.

"In Tennessee, one of the affected poultry houses was near a pond, which may have attracted wild waterfowl," Wallner-Pendleton said. "In cool, wet weather, bird droppings can contain viable virus for a long time, and the pathogen can be spread to poultry flocks on people's shoes or on vehicle tires and so forth. So a key biosecurity recommendation is to prevent any contact between waterfowl and domestic poultry and to take steps to ensure that the virus is not introduced into a poultry house on clothing or equipment."

Gregory Martin, a Penn State Extension poultry science educator based in Lancaster County, pointed out that state and federal agriculture officials are strongly urge producers to develop an HPAI flock plan and augment it with a comprehensive biosecurity plan.

"These plans may be required for producers to receive indemnification for any losses resulting from an avian flu outbreak," he said.

To assist producers in developing a biosecurity plan, Martin said, Penn State poultry scientists and veterinarians have developed a plan template that can be customized for various types of flocks.
Published in Broilers
They’re an ancient foe, a worthy opponent. For over 300 million years, we’ve been battling the bugs of infectious disease – but are we winning?
Published in Biosecurity
March 28, 2017, Atlanta, GA – A flock of chickens at a commercial poultry breeding operation located in Chattooga County has tested positive for H7, presumptive low pathogenic avian influenza (LPAI).

This is the first confirmation of avian influenza in domestic poultry in Georgia.

The virus was identified during routine pre-sale screening for the commercial facility and was confirmed as H7 avian influenza by the USDA National Veterinary Services Laboratory (NVSL) in Ames, Ia. As a precaution, the affected flock has been depopulated. Officials are testing and monitoring other flocks within the surveillance area and no other flocks have tested positive or experienced any clinical signs.

The announcement follows similar confirmations from Alabama, Kentucky and Tennessee in recent weeks. The Georgia case is considered a presumptive low pathogenic avian influenza because the flock did not show any signs of illness. While LPAI is different from HPAI, control measures are under way as a precautionary measure. Wild birds are the source of the virus. Avian influenza virus strains often occur naturally in wild birds, and can infect wild migratory birds without causing illness.

“Poultry is the top sector of our number one industry, agriculture, and we are committed to protecting the livelihoods of the many farm families that are dependent on it,” said Georgia Commissioner of Agriculture Gary W. Black. “In order to successfully do that, it is imperative that we continue our efforts of extensive biosecurity.”

The official order prohibiting poultry exhibitions and the assembling of poultry to be sold issued by the state veterinarian’s office on March 16, 2017, remains in effect. The order prohibits all poultry exhibitions, sales at regional and county fairs, festivals, swap meets, live bird markets, flea markets, and auctions. The order also prohibits the concentration, collection or assembly of poultry of all types, including wild waterfowl from one or more premises for purposes of sale. Shipments of eggs or baby chicks from National Poultry Improvement Plan (NPIP), Avian Influenza Clean, approved facilities are not affected by this order.
Published in Broilers
March 24, 2017, Lexington, KY – ONE: The Alltech Ideas Conference, being held May 21 to 24 in Lexington, Ky., is certain to inspire and motivate producers and agribusiness leaders, but more importantly, it will prepare them for the future.

The three-day conference will bring together industry experts from across the globe to share insights and solutions to today’s most pressing issues within agriculture.

To provide an opportunity for every corner of production agriculture to engage in disruption, ONE17 will include various tracks, including a focus session specifically dedicated to poultry production. From topics covering in ovo techniques and the use of CRISPR/Cas9 genome modification to the effects of backyard farming and consumer meat preferences, ONE17 will give poultry producers real-life solutions.

“We believe it’s important for everyone involved in agriculture to be inspired to harness disruption,” said Dr. Pearse Lyons, founder and president of Alltech. “For poultry producers, however, we understand that innovation must be practical and profitable. Our poultry focus session will facilitate open discussions about what’s ahead for the poultry industry and will drive the disruptive thinking that could determine long-term success.”

ONE17 poultry focus sessions include:
  • In Ovo: Counting your chickens before they hatch? Could in ovo techniques be the next disruption in the poultry industry, and what benefits could they deliver to the consumer?
  • Chickens by Design: What implications does CRISPR/Cas9 have for the world’s preferred protein?
  • Slow-Grown Disruption: Is the slow-growth movement a disruption? Is it sustainable?
  • Chickens and Eggs: Two growing markets have emerged: backyard farming and large-scale consolidation. What are the opportunities?
  • Disruption in Washington: What can we expect from the new leadership landscape? How could the food chain and global trade be disrupted?
  • The Biologist’s Toolbox: Precise gene editing technologies are the newest tool in the biologist’s toolbox, but are we pushing ethical limits? 
For more information on the ONE17 poultry focus session, visit one.alltech.com/poultry.
Published in Emerging Trends
March 24, 2017, Kitchener, Ont – Hybrid Turkeys recently announced plans for ongoing and future investments in the U.S. turkey industry.

In order to deliver quality products throughout the supply chain, Hybrid will invest in two new hatcheries, new egg production farms together with new contract partners, state-of-the-art transportation, and the skilled workforce needed to support these areas of operations.

“Our business is focused on creating value for customers and built on strong partnerships in the industry,” said Dave Libertini, managing director of Hybrid Turkeys. “As the demands of the modern consumer evolve, the stresses on a collaborative supply chain for the turkey industry have never been greater. A more transparent food system, with ever reducing use of antibiotics, means that the responsible production of high quality day old turkey poults is critical.”

The decision for Hendrix Genetics, parent of Hybrid Turkeys, does not come lightly. This move represents a significant investment of financial capital and human resources in a market long overdue for this type of upgrade.

“We are committed to delivering the quality poults that Hybrid customers are looking for,” said Peter Gruhl, general manager of Hybrid USA. “We explored many options and have decided that making an investment in new, state-of-the-art facilities is the only way we can satisfy our client’s demands.”

The move comes after an announcement in January 2015 in which Hybrid and Ag Forte entered into a commercial egg and poult supply agreement. In November 2016, Hybrid served notice that it would not seek to renew this arrangement beginning in January 2019. Hybrid will continue to supply breeding and commercial stock to the U.S. market and, with access to a global supply chain, expects no interruption in supply for their clients.
Published in Company News
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