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Indian River Team More than Doubles in Two Years

by 5m Editor
10 March 2011, at 10:44am

THAILAND - Back in 2008, as they surveyed the surging demand for breeder and broiler products throughout Asia, the Middle East and Africa, executives at Aviagen realised their local Indian River team needed to grow – and fast.

Since then, the core team at Indian River, formerly known as Lohmann Indian River (LIR), has more than doubled. Today, the Aviagen unit employs five local experts on the ground. The team works one-on-one with distributors, grandparent, and parent stock customers. And its efforts are paying off: Indian River’s product placement volume increased 27 per cent from 2008 to 2010 (see related announcement).

With more than 100 years of collective experience in the poultry industry, the core Indian River team reflects Aviagen’s continued commitment to serve customers with experienced and knowledgeable personnel. Mirroring the vast region it serves, the team speaks 10 languages and features a cross-section of generations and broad diversity of experience across all areas of the poultry industry. Indian River team members have worked in labs, hatcheries, broiler farms, breeder facilities, and veterinary services. The core team includes:

  • Fred Kao, Business Manager. Born in Taiwan, Mr Kao graduated with a BS degree in Poultry Science from the University of Arkansas. He has been a valuable part of Aviagen for the last 11 years and has held various roles, including quality assurance manager, GGP hatchery manager, and technical service manager for the UK, the Middle East, Africa and Asia. Serving as business manager for the Indian River brand since 2009, Kao is based in Huntsville, Alaska, but spends most of his time in Asia.

  • Tore Mercan, International Commercial and Technical Manager for Middle East, Africa and Asia. Mr Mercan graduated from the University of Ankara in 1989 as an Agricultural Engineer. He started his poultry industry career by holding several management posts at one of the biggest poultry operations in Turkey, serving as GGP manager, GP manager, PS manager and technical service manager. Mr Mercan joined Aviagen in 1998, and was head of technical service management until 2006, when he was promoted to technical service manager for the UK and Western Europe. He joined Indian River in 2010. Mr Mercan has 22 years of experience in the poultry industry, serving on a variety of different continents. He currently lives in Edinburgh, Scotland with his family.

  • Esmi San Pedro, Technical Service Manager. Mr San Pedro earned a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from Central Luzon State University in the Philippines, and a BS degree in Animal Husbandry. He has more than 20 years of experience in the poultry industry, including work with grandparent and parent stock, and with broiler and hatchery management. Mr San Pedro previously worked in Indonesia and the Philippines in various positions, moving up from flock foreman to general manager – a progression that provided him with a true ground-up view of the company’s operations.

  • Rod Konrad, Technical Service Manager. Mr Konrad has been involved in the poultry industry for 40 years, with more than half of that time in Asia. During his extensive career, Mr Konrad has worked with four different breeding companies, holding senior positions within their technical service teams. He joined Aviagen in 2004 as technical service manager, leveraging his knowledge and experience to help customers across Asia achieve the best possible performance from their stock. Mr Konrad is a regular speaker at various industry events around the Asian region and a consistent contributor to Aviagen’s technical publications.

  • Joe Ng, Technical Service Manager. Mr Ng serves Indian River distributors and customers from his base in Malaysia. He has extensive experience in the poultry industry, having worked as a farm veterinarian for Leong Hup Broiler Breeder Farms, a leading poultry producer in Malaysia. He also served as technical manager for FFM Berhad, Malaysia’s major feed milling and poultry producer group. At FFM Berhad, he was responsible for technical services, poultry health, feed quality and performance. He joined Aviagen in 2009 and the Indian River team in 2010. Mr nary graduate of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine from the University of Putra in Malaysia.

In addition to these core team members, Indian River relies on numerous Aviagen specialists in nutrition, hatchery operations, genetics, and veterinary science. This allows Indian River to maintain a complete team in all the regions its services. Every day, these professionals engage locally with customers to provide attentive, one-on-one service.

“We’ve been fortunate to have an Indian River brand team with deep knowledge of not only Indian River Meat product and the latest advances in Aviagen poultry genetics, but also the market demands and the needs of customers from Malaysia to Jordan to Zambia,” said Bill Souther, Senior Vice President of Aviagen Asia. “The extraordinary expertise of this team is reflected in Indian River’s remarkable growth throughout a large and diverse region. And when customers work with the professionals from Indian River, they also have the reassurance that they are supported by more than 2,300 Aviagen employees locally and around the world.”

In addition to its day-to-day responsibilities, the Indian River team hosts an annual conference for distributors and grandparent customers from throughout its service region. The second annual meeting of the Indian River Technical Association (IRTA), held for three days in December, featured sessions in which Indian River and Aviagen experts shared the latest genetics improvements, tips on maintaining health and biosecurity in a revenue-driven environment, optimizing hatch performance, and other topics. Other sessions featured Indian River customers sharing their own proven best practices.

Every year, Aviagen invests millions of dollars to ensure that Aviagen products, including those offered under the Indian River brand name, continue to strike the right combination of reliable reproductive breeder performance and strong broiler performance, while delivering a bird that is easy to manage. With a balanced approach to genetic progress, Aviagen ensures that bird welfare traits – such as leg health, cardiovascular fitness and robustness – are continuously improved along with key commercial characteristics like growth rate, high FCR, and meat yield.