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USPOULTRY research program reaches $30m in funding

Poultry foundations jointly announce inaugural M.S. & Ph.D. Student Career Fair.

The U.S. Poultry & Egg Assn.’s (USPOULTRY) research program has passed a noteworthy milestone by funding, along with the USPOULTRY Harold E. Ford Foundation (USPOULTRY Foundation), more than $30 million in research grants to meet the challenges facing the poultry and egg industry.

Since the first $5,000 grant awarded in 1963 to Dr. Allen Edgar at Auburn University to study control measures for infectious bursal disease (Gumboro), USPOULTRY’s investment in research has been a significant factor in the growth and prosperity of the U.S. poultry industry, the association said.

The research program also continues to evolve. The Board Research Initiative was created in 2013 by the boards of both organization to address specific issues identified by the directors. It operates concurrently with the traditional research funding, referred to as the Comprehensive Research Program, in which proposals are submitted for funding consideration. Research topics for the Comprehensive Research Program are available on the USPOULTRY website at www.uspoultry.org. A third component is Emergency Research Funding, which is allocated when an exceptional need arises, such as the 2015-16 highly pathogenic avian influenza outbreak.

Currently, funding for the Comprehensive Research Program is appropriated in 19 topic areas at research institutions throughout the nation, USPOULTRY said. The research encompasses all phases of poultry and egg production and processing and is updated every two years with input from the boards and other USPOULTRY committees. The current research priorities include animal welfare, broiler/turkey breeder management, broiler management, commercial egg production, diseases, employee safety and health, environmental management, feed mill operations, food safety, further processing, genetics, hatchery management, human nutrition, live haul, poultry nutrition, poultry housing, pullet management, breeder replacement management and processing.

“The Foundation Research Advisory Committee is the cornerstone of the research program. Committee members are specialists representing a broad spectrum of scientific disciplines and additionally have had extensive industry experience with a solid grasp on overall issues affecting the industry,” said USPOULTRY chairman Jerry Moye, retired president of Cobb-Vantress. “They dedicate numerous hours to determine the relative value of competing research proposals before making recommendations to the board for funding. Their commitment and expertise make the program the most viable and extensive operational research effort in the poultry and egg industry.”

USPOULTRY president John Starkey added, “Research is one of the four key missions of USPOULTRY’s service to the industry. Our association and foundation are committed to continue growing the research program and to addressing the needs of the poultry industry. We are pleased to have achieved $30 million in research funding but even more pleased with the issues the program has addressed over the years.”

The USPOULTRY research program is under the direction of Dr. John Glisson, vice president of research. He can be reached at [email protected].

Student career fair

Additionally, the USPOULTRY Foundation and the Poultry Science Assn. (PSA) Foundation announced that they will jointly sponsor the inaugural M.S. & Ph.D. Student Career Fair, which will be held during the International Production & Processing Expo (IPPE) scheduled for Jan. 30-Feb., 1, 2018, at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, Ga.

The career fair will be held Jan. 29, in conjunction with the International Poultry Scientific Forum (IPSF). This unique program is designed to better serve USPOULTRY member companies and allied suppliers particularly involving, but not limited to, technology-driven companies such as those in genetics, health, pharmaceuticals and nutrition. The target participants are postdoctoral and early doctoral students.

USPOULTRY, through the USPOULTRY Foundation, hosts a well-established and highly successful College Student Career Program during IPPE. The integral components of this program include interview opportunities with member companies and exhibitors for summer internship employment and entry-level career positions for bachelor's and master's degree students seeking employment in the poultry production, processing and allied supplier industries.

PSA provides a career program focused primarily on academic career opportunities for graduate students, both master's and doctoral, through the PSA website. The effort is supported by the PSA Hatchery, which is PSA’s graduate student organization, and the PSA Foundation primarily through the Giesen Internship Program for aspiring graduate students in conjunction with industry partners, endowed undergraduate scholarships and master's of science and doctorate fellowships supported by foundation donors through grants or endowments.

“Utilizing the strengths and resources of PSA and the USPOULTRY Foundation, this new program will target postdoctoral and doctorate students,” said incoming USPOULTRY Foundation chairman Jerry Moye, who also serves on the PSA Foundation Board. “This is a great service our two organizations can provide to the poultry and allied industry, particularly those with needs in genetics, health, pharmaceutical and nutrition fields. Further, this opportunity is provided in one place at one time in conjunction with IPSF, conveniently benefiting these exceptional students and industry companies seeking talented employees to provide for their next generation of scientific leadership.”

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