Women in Poultry: Anna Styk Olszak

Learn more about Anna Styk Olszak, Technical Sales Manager at EW Nutrition
calendar icon 13 June 2023
clock icon 4 minute read

Anna Styk was born near Lublin, Poland. She started her adventure with poultry farming after her veterinary studies, as the manager of a veterinary office in a large poultry integration. There she dealt with large-scale prevention and treatment of broiler chickens, turkeys, geese and ducks, as well as vaccinations at the hatchery. Since then, the subject of poultry has been a constant joy and challenge.

Describe a typical day in your current role?

A typical day is built around interactions with customers. I usually drive out to EW Nutrition’s customers, and then I spend the whole day on the farm. Usually, that literally means being in the barn. That’s where we get a lot of the knowledge: listening, getting to know our customers’ issues and needs, and working hands-on with the birds. When I get back home, I often spend time just preparing the next day’s materials and plans. Our team is very pragmatic in our approach: we bring value through direct, hands-on work, so we need to be out there in the field all the time. And that’s what I love.

What’s unique about your role?

Doing what I love the most, which is working with poultry.

Being so hands-on brings value to customers because they can rely on me to pick up the bird and identify the issue. It also helps me find a solution to the customer's problems. If my commitment, knowledge and experience improve production and solves a customer problem, then I bring value to the customer and create trust in EW Nutrition and in myself.

Maybe it’s not unique, but it’s definitely rare and special that I can trace the whole journey from customer problem to customer satisfaction.

What are the main challenges that you face in your role?

Creating trust is maybe the biggest challenge. Customers are often sold products instead of solutions. So building trust is the work that needs to be done from scratch every time: listening to what the customers' needs are and looking for the best solutions that will work not for a month but for years.

What does the future of poultry health look like in terms of preventing and treating disease?

Referring to the poultry market in Poland, there is a noticeable dynamic change in the awareness of both poultry breeders (who often decided on antibiotic therapy on their own) and companies that are integrators or feed producers. Effective, natural solutions are sought to support the health of birds and positively impact production end results. I think that the quality of chicks, changes in genetics leading to even better production results, and thus a stronger impact on the structure of the intestinal mucosa and the entire GALT system will force us to focus on new solutions related to prophylaxis, including the introduction of new solutions in vaccinations and the habitat of birds, raising the requirements for biosecurity. PLus, we'll be looking for natural solutions in preventing the occurrence of disease entities and in supporting the production process.

Are there individuals or organizations in poultry who you’ve found particularly inspirational?

People who approach their work with passion are inspirational. Regardless of the job they do (feed company, veterinarian office, hatchery or farm), if there is passion, then there is a willingness to search for answers. Such people are my inspiration and motivation to work.

Have you encountered any challenges as a woman in your field? If yes, how have you overcome them?

The biggest challenge was not necessarily being a woman in this industry – I think the face of the industry has changed greatly in the last decade, at least in my area. For me, I think that the biggest challenge was actually when I started to work in EW Nutrition, because I had to change my position in relation to the customer, going from a veterinarian to a salesperson.

What outstanding challenge facing the poultry industry would you most like to solve?

Salmonella Enteritidis😊

What’s the most exciting innovation that you see on the horizon for the poultry industry?

From our own garden, it's definitely approaching coccidiosis with natural solutions. With coccidiostats, we already know the EU is preparing a revision of the authorized coccidiostats for use in animal feed. This might dramatically alter the future of how we treat coccidiosis. I remember the reactions of customers when I presented our approach for the first time. It’s a huge market need and I am excited that we are there to solve it.

What are you most excited about in the next 5-10 years regarding the poultry industry?

Changes in genetics, exceeding the length of production thresholds, and shortening the production cycle are what I’m excited to see. Change needs to be sustainable and profitable at the same time – but change will definitely happen.

What’s your next challenge?

Limiting the use of antibiotics and finding solutions to more customer needs using EW Nutrition’s products.

Sarah Mikesell


Sarah Mikesell grew up on a five-generation family farming operation in Ohio, USA, where her family still farms. She feels extraordinarily lucky to get to do what she loves - write about livestock and crop agriculture. You can find her on Twitter or LinkedIn.

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