“The secret to success is education,” advises Microsoft founder Bill Gates. The education-focused philanthropist goes on to say that “power comes not from knowledge kept but from knowledge shared.”
The sharing of information is of great importance in the poultry industry which is evolving at a lightning pace. I would go as far as to say that training is essential to our mission to help poultry growers around the world feed future generations as it develops in them vital skills to maximize the genetic potential of their birds.
Use best management and biosecurity practices
When it comes to getting the best health, welfare and performance from your poultry stock, it’s important to apply the latest knowledge in flock management. To highlight a few examples - effective management means feeding birds according to the latest nutritional recommendations and ensuring that temperature and air flow are properly controlled for their health and comfort.
Likewise, best hatchery and incubation practices can guarantee a good chick start, paving the way for healthy growth and quality, high-performing birds. Also, optimal biosecurity and hygiene practices are of paramount importance in all aspects of flock management and, in turn, are essential to secure our global supply of breeding stock.
Commit to lifelong learning
You may then ask, “How do we transfer all this knowledge to people who can make the biggest difference – the world’s poultry producers?”
The answer lies in effective and targeted education and training, and it’s the responsibility of the primary breeder and the wider poultry industry to provide knowledge and share the latest research findings and management advancements.
Schools and workshops: While one-on-one meetings are effective, in my experience, the learning method that casts the widest net is back-to-classroom formats, such as schools and practical workshops hosting multiple students from different regions of the world and sectors of the industry. This level of ongoing and up-to-date formal training results in a detailed understanding of the main drivers in the poultry meat industry by sharing best practices and developing in students professional poultry skills.
Training the trainer: Attendees to these schools or workshops in turn become trainers themselves echoing what they’ve learned to their teams at their own operations in their home countries.
Learn by doing: As early as 350 B.C, Aristotle wrote, “For the things we have to learn, before we can do them, we learn by doing them.” What was true in ancient times still holds true today; thus, it’s no surprise that the research-based method with the highest effectiveness is experiential learning. I’ve seen firsthand that engagement and retention go up when students have the opportunity to put classroom theory into practice and work through real-life challenges.
Academia, industry experts: Other great learning sources for producers are academic institutions and industry consultants who do extensive research and are always eager to share their discoveries for the good of the industry. Seminars and interactive discussions are useful forums to gather firsthand insight and exchange practical information with industry intellects.
Documentation: There are also volumes of literature in the form of performance objectives, videos, practical how-to and best-practice guides and much more that are available to help growers achieve the best health, welfare and profitability with their flocks.
Networking and sharing: We should never underestimate the power of networking. Sometimes the greatest solutions and ideas come from collaboration among industry colleagues, and this type of meeting of the minds often happens at industry events and seminars, as well as schools and other training events.