Industry, academic leaders gather at Diversified meeting
Attendees participated in collaborative problem solving
Collaboration and innovation were the themes of Diversified’s 10th annual Distributor’s Meeting held Oct. 26-28 in Las Vegas. During the event, Diversified staff, nationwide distributors and university researchers discussed the existing and evolving challenges poultry producers face and how technology can aid in achieving greater performance and profitability.
The meeting kicked off with Diversified President Meir Toshav introducing the company’s new line of 55-inch exhaust fans. “We know corrosion is an issue, so we set really high standards for it,” said Toshav. “What we’re providing is a fiberglass fan that won’t corrode with an air flow ratio in the top 7%.”
Jim Donald, Auburn University, spoke of the challenges the broiler industry has had with variable speed fans, which he says “are more energy efficient during ramp up and ramp down, but people don’t know how to operate them.” Donald challenged equipment manufacturers to find methods for implementing variable speed fans that “don’t cheat the chickens.” During the panel discussion that followed, the DI Fan’s pre-programmed ventilation program was identified as a significant asset, but participants agreed that education was crucial.
Complete, anywhere access was the focus of the talk Rotem Vice President Oren Kaspi gave on the new communication solutions. The well-known house controllers and communicators can now give producers ultimate control of their houses with real-time access to feeding, watering and ventilation systems. The company released RotemNet Web, a communication package that delivers real-time farm data through a web browser or mobile app, available in the Apple store or Android-based Google Play Store.
Other meeting high points included the introduction of DI Tunnel Shutters, DI Vent, DI Free Range Doors, and the Inject-Rite peristaltic pump for greater control and more consistent delivery of water additives. “The DI Vent gives producers a solid wall when closed, and the seal keeps air from coming down the wall,” said Product Manager Ari Brandley. “And they’re extremely cost competitive.”
Donald along with Gene Simpson of Auburn University led a discussion about the potential of various types of technology to aid in producer profitability. “Our job is to listen and to help a grower not waste his money,” said Donald. The pair discussed various emerging technologies, including solar power, light intrusion, farm video monitoring and LED brood lights.
“Light makes the birds flighty,” said Simpson. “They crawl over each other, creating cuts and scratches which can lead to un-uniformity. Fan and vent shades eliminate 90% of unwanted light and we can see the difference in performance. I’ve seen a difference of 4 to 15 points of feed conversion.” With one point of feed conversion costing producer’s $1.3 million over one complex, the audience found significant merit in the potential of shades.
“Our most valuable assets are our employees,” said Toshav. “In fact, we could never have put on this great event without Nicole Brown, Holly Gonzales and Zur Fabian, Diversified VP. These meetings are a great way to help them develop and learn from industry experts and discover how together we can provide the best products and service.”
Fabian expanded on the company’s goal of the event: “We’re not here to teach, we’re here to learn and to listen to your feedback. That’s the only way we develop products to move the industry forward.”
Diversified also hosted guest speakers Dr. Suzanne Dougherty, who discussed antibiotic free production and its growing influence on the industry, and Shay Zandani, CEO of cyber security company Cytegic, who discussed the significant challenge all companies face in today’s cyber security war.