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A group of people in yellow hard hats posing for a picture at the Extension feed mill workshop.

A group of people in yellow hard hats at the Extension feed mill workshop.Supporting the Largest Animal Industry in Alabama

Institutional Lead: 1862 Extension–AU

Project Leader: Wilmer Pacheco

Coleaders/Collaborators: Dianna Bourassa, Dennis Brothers, Brigid McCrea, Kent Stanford, Rishi Prasad

Project Objectives: Increase the competitiveness of the poultry industry by training the workforce in person and online.

Background/Situation/Issue: Although the poultry industry has made improvements in genetic selection and nutrition, feed costs represent between 60 and 70 percent of the total production cost.

A group of people in yellow hard hats at the Extension feed mill workshop.Outputs: Participated in the Down to Earth campaign, and more than 20,000 people watched the video. More than 40,000 participated in webinars: How Feed Mills Contribute to Better Poultry Production, Particle Size Requirements of Broilers, and Pellet Quality and Its Benefits. Three videos were recorded to train the feed industry in key quality control operations: “Evaluation of Particle Size,” “Mixer Uniformity,” and “Pellet Quality.” These videos are available on YouTube and are used to train professionals working in the feed industry around the world. Individual consultations helped feed mills reduce moisture during cooling. The poultry team also created a feed mill workshop with lectures and hands-on activities.

Audience Diversity: The feed mill workshop was attended by 13 percent women and 67 percent men (56 total participants) from eight states: Alabama, Georgia, Arkansas, North Carolina, Mississippi, Indiana, Kansas, and Washington State.

Value Statement/Synopsis: A trained workforce will help increase the sustainability of Alabama’s poultry and feed industry.

Revenue Generation: In general, a 10 percent improvement in pellet quality can lead to 1-point improvement in feed conversion ratio (FCR) and roughly $2 in savings per ton of feed produced.

Testimonials: “I wanted to tell you that I learned more about making feed in 2 days at the feed mill workshop at Auburn University than what I have learned the entire time I have worked in my feed mill.”

Commercial Poultry BasicsA group of people posing for a picture at the Extension commercial poultry basics workshop.

Institutional Lead: 1862 Extension–AU

Project Leader: Wilmer Pacheco

Coleaders/Collaborators: Dianna Bourassa, Dennis Brothers, Brigid McCrea, Kent Stanford, Rishi Prasad

Project Objectives: Provide training for new poultry industry professionals on the range of factors involved in producing poultry products from farm to fork.

Background/Situation/Issue: Many poultry industry professionals lack the background training and knowledge of the multiple areas of expertise needed for the production of poultry products.

A group of people in yellow hard hats at the Extension commercial poultry basics workshop.Outputs: Participants in the Commercial Poultry Basics training learned about the poultry industry’s history and structure, animal welfare, biosecurity, bird health, poultry genetics, breeder management, hatchery management, broiler management, layer management, turkey management, nutrition, processing, and working
with people.

Audience Diversity: The 2023 Commercial Poultry Basics training served 19 attendees (52 percent male and 48 percent female) from seven different companies that do business in the state of Alabama.

Evaluation Techniques: Online surveys were distributed post-training.

Value Statement/Synopsis: The poultry industry is facing an employee shortage. This workshop can help employees with a minimal poultry background to have a successful career regardless of their primary area of production—live production (broiler, breeders, layers), processing, or further processing.

HACCP Roundtable

Institutional Lead: 1862 Extension–AU

Project Leader: Dianna Bourassa

Project Objectives: The Poultry Processors Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) Roundtable discussion is a forum for processing and food safety personnel to discuss the industry’s current food safety and regulatory issues. Participants have the opportunity to address current concerns and assemble a list of food safety and regulatory questions. In the afternoon session, those questions are presented to USDA-FSIS personnel by the moderator.

Background/Situation/Issue: Poultry processing is subject to extensive regulations to ensure the production of safe and high-quality poultry meat for consumption by both the people of the United States and worldwide. Establishing respectful relationships between processors and regulators is crucial for efficient product production and for effectively addressing potential challenges.

Outputs: HACCP Roundtable meetings are conducted four times per year. Following each meeting, a summary of the questions and responses are distributed to all participants.

Evaluation Techniques: Each quarter, participants are verbally surveyed regarding what they do and don’t like about the meetings and how future meetings can best serve their needs.

Value Statement/Synopsis: The HACCP Roundtable promotes effective communication among poultry processors and government regulators that will ultimately result in the production of safer food products for consumers.

Alabama Poultry Processor Meeting

Institutional Lead: 1862 Extension–AU

Project Leader: Dianna Bourassa

Project Objectives: Provide training for Alabama poultry processing professionals on regulatory compliance, troubleshooting common processing issues, and new methods for improving animal welfare, food safety, and meat quality during processing.

Background/Situation/Issue: Eighteen Alabama commercial poultry facilities process more than one billion chickens every year. Improvements in animal welfare, processing procedures, and food safety have significant impacts on the animals that are processed, the people employed in these facilities, and consumers of chicken products.

Outputs: The first Alabama Poultry Processor Meeting was held in 2023 with great success. The six invited speakers presented multiple topics ranging from USDA- FSIS inspection decisions to primary processing factors impacting yields to facility sanitation.

Audience Diversity: The 2023 Alabama Poultry Processor Meeting served 27 attendees from 10 companies that do business in Alabama.

Evaluation Techniques: Online surveys were distributed post-training

Value Statement/Synopsis: The Alabama Poultry Processor Meeting provides continuing education for poultry processing personnel for the improvement in efficiency and safety of poultry meat.

WOGS–Worthwhile Operational Guidelines and Suggestions Newsletter

Institutional Lead: 1862 Extension–AU

Project Leader: Dianna Bourassa

Project Objectives: Provide timely information to commercial poultry processors on topics including harvest, bird welfare, meat quality, and system operations.

Outputs: Newsletters are distributed to subscribers involved in the commercial poultry processing industry. To date, 220 newsletters have been delivered on a diverse range of poultry processing topics.

Background/Situation/Issue: This program provides Beef Quality Assurance and Pork Quality Assurance training and certification for beef and pork producers to facilitate sustainable meat animal production.

Audience Diversity: The WOGS newsletter is distributed to more than 300 contacts from more than 20 countries around the globe.

Value Statement/Synopsis: The WOGS newsletters provide both timely information and a repository of information that can be accessed as needed for training, education, and research.

Small Flock Poultry Phone Calls

Institutional Lead: 1862 Extension–AU

Project Leader: Brigid McCrea

Project Objectives: Answer specific questions posed by small flock owners.

Background/Situation/Issue: There was no one to help this high-risk, underserved poultry audience with their questions.

Outputs: All phone calls that previously had gone to the Auburn University Poultry Science Department and other poultry specialists were diverted to Brigid McCrea from May to the end of 2022.

Audience Diversity: Nineteen phone calls were answered from May to the end of 2022.

Evaluation: Evaluations were not done on phone calls.

Value Statement/Synopsis: Small flock owners benefit from the direct nature of the questions and answers. Through the phone calls, assessments of other underlying problems can be made to further help small flock owners.

 


Peer Review markAlabama Cooperative Extension System Poultry Team

New September 2023, Poultry Team Outcomes & Impact Report 2022, ANR-3018

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