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Back to School: Optimising Performance and Economic Returns at Heart of Latest Aviagen Breeder Module

15 September 2015

UK - Just as the new school term began in many parts of the UK, the 4th annual Breeder Module of the AviagenĀ® Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) production management school took place in Edinburgh between 30th August and 5th September.

Entitled ‘Optimising PS Performance and Economic Returns’, the school was a diverse affair with 33 participants attending from 24 different countries, including representatives from as far afield as New Zealand and Madagascar.

The students who participated in the module also had varying levels of experience; from those who have worked in different roles within the industry for over 25 years to those just having completed their formal qualifications.

The week had a focus on practical problem solving, identifying problems and opportunities, discussing options and agreeing as a team on the best solution. Everything the students learned during the week is directly applicable to the workplace.

The students took part in traditional lectures as well as enjoying tutorials in small groups, each led by a number of Aviagen and external specialists in the areas of ventilation, flock health, nutrition, data analysis, rearing and laying management.

The classes were highly interactive with students split into teams to assess a number of issues faced by a fictional company called Gallus Alba Kft. Each attendee was responsible for this company and looked at how they could improve the company’s broiler production and financial situation.

The week also saw a number of industry specialists provide in-depth management experience to allow the students to investigate the production issues while developing their improvement strategy for their company.

Away from the challenging work environment, the Aviagen EMEA school’s interactive and participative approach aims to help attendees develop new relationships and to share experiences with peers in an informal environment with students also attending a number of extra-curricular events together.

Nick Spenceley, School Director, said: “Broiler breeding is at the start of the human food chain for chicken meat production with consumption per capita increasing year on year and is an important contribution to feeding families worldwide. The consumer is becoming increasingly more aware of production, health and welfare issues while expecting quality meal solutions from the retailers at least cost.”

“The breeder module is part of Aviagen's global best practice information strategy focussed on ensuring poultry specialists receive the best training available. The industry as a whole has a responsibility to help train this and the next generation of industry leaders who are prepared to meet the challenges involved in producing a highly valued family protein source as efficiently as possible with the highest regard to welfare,” continued Nick.

“We have adapted the course format slightly based on student feedback and also added greater focus on the profit drivers in the different parts of the value chain i.e. hatching eggs, chicks, broilers and meat.”

Olivier Fanchette, General Manager, Agrival, Agrifarm and Mabel Madagascar, commented: “The training objectives were clearly explained and achieved; the course was very relevant to my job and will help me in most aspects of my work. I also gained a greater knowledge of problem solving and data management and its correct use.”

Diarmaid Kirby, Agricultural Manager, Western Brand Poultry, Ireland, said: “The school was fantastic - the knowledge imparted by the tutors was invaluable and delivered in an original progressive manner. The learning did not stop there, 30 other students with many years of combined knowledge allowed discussion of problems within my own operation along with many possible solutions. The introduction to Pivot tables and the ability to use data in such a powerful way will be of great benefit going forward.”

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