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By Stanley Kaye

We at Agrotop always aspire to be at the forefront of the poultry industry, providing our customers with the most up-to-date professional knowledge available. Regular participation in the best industry courses is part of Agrotop’s commitment to the continuing education of its staff.

As part of our ongoing efforts, I participated In the Short International Poultry Course at the University of Georgia (UGA).

This is the second time I have joined this course – the last was 13 years ago – and it is the sixth poultry course I have attended at UGA. The fact that a lot of the material was new to me just shows the rate of change in this dynamic and fast-developing industry.

I would recommend this course for anybody in a senior position in the industry. The great part about it is that you obtain an industry overview as each subject is taught by a leading expert in the field. For example, my personal “specialty” is broilers, ventilation and shed design. While I was, of course, more up-to-date with the material in these fields, even so there was new material. Results of an as-yet unpublished new research was announced which will change the way we grow chicks and older chickens, as well as our attitude to wind speed. I will write about this in the next two blog posts, so stay tuned.

For me, though, the main point of the course was to learn about all the aspects of the industry that I am a little less aware of. The course included some “hands-on” work utilizing the UGA demonstration slaughterhouse and processing lab. I learned a lot about breeding challenges, hatcheries, slaughterhouses, etc.

The variety of participants themselves added greatly to the experience; they represented every continent and every part of the industry, and included veterinarians, managers, breeding personnel, broiler growers, investors and people considering entering the industry. The course included breaks, and every evening dinner in different settings was a good time to mingle and network.

The staff of UGA are very special. The southern hospitality is superb, and they are available for continuous support. Whenever I have an issue, I almost always turn to them first.

Over many years, I have come to regard Mike Czarick and Dr. Brian Fairchild as my mentors. They continually publish hands-on advice in the form of “Poultry Tips” and various spreadsheets that help with shed design and operation, which can all be accessed at www.poultryventilation.com.

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The writer is a poultry and business consultant at Agrotop