Fifty-three poultry professionals from throughout the world descended on northwest Arkansas this month for Cobb-Vantress’ exclusive World Technical School. Hosted at Cobb’s global headquarters in Siloam Springs, Arkansas, the two-week program covers a broad range of industry-relevant topics — from genetics to nutrition to housing. This year marked the 20th year of the program, which kicked off May 12.
Cobb’s World Technical School provides customers and key partners with an opportunity to learn and connect with Cobb’s global poultry experts. The selective, two-week program couples access to industry leaders with hands-on learning from specialists in various sectors. Attendees, who traveled from 28 different countries for the training, were also able to build relationships with poultry industry peers who will continue to help them grow in their careers.
“World Technical School is truly a unique experience for our customers,” said Cody Polley, co-director of the Cobb World Technical Support Team. “We teach them the latest techniques and technology in the poultry industry. We offer advice and answer questions – and then they go back to their companies in locations all over the world and share what they learned here.”
Polley said performance and profitability may often improve for the customers who attend and then apply the knowledge and techniques learned during the school.
Thirty-nine speakers participated in the event, starting with a company and industry overview followed by in-depth tours around northwest Arkansas and northeast Oklahoma. Highlights included a tour of a feed mill, a parent stock farm, a hatchery, a processing plant, the University of Arkansas Poultry Center of Excellence, and the Tyson Discovery Center. Participants were also encouraged to practice problem solving during the program through real-world workshops on farms and in labs to further their poultry knowledge.
While in northwest Arkansas, attendees participated in an outdoor adventure course and experienced regional activities including fishing, golfing, shopping, soccer, biking and dining at local restaurants. A weekend cooking competition featured international cuisine prepared in the style of each region represented at the school. The two-week event concluded with an awards ceremony.
The annual technical school would not be a success without Cobb’s renowned World Technical Support Team. To best meet customer needs throughout the world, the team continues to grow and evolve, including several additions in early 2019. The team recently welcomed Broiler Specialist Matthew Wilson and Hatchery Specialist Scott Jordan. Expansion continues later this spring when two technical content specialists and a data analyst are expected to join the group.
“This school gives us an opportunity to support our customers with advice on everything from genetics to microbiology, veterinary medicine to nutrition.,” said Dr. Robin Jarquin, co-director of the Cobb World Technical Support Team. “It’s a very special event that also showcases the extensive knowledge of our international breeder and broiler management experts.”
Since launching World Technical School in 1999, Cobb has welcomed over 1,000 poultry professionals from more than 80 countries to northwest Arkansas, sharing knowledge and cultures.