Monday, June 30, 2014

NCC: Trade deals should provide access, enforcement

British pork sales decline 4 percent March-May 2014

Bacon served at US restaurants, foodservice outlets up 6 percent

Cargill introduces neonatal pig nutrition program

Friday, June 27, 2014

West Liberty Foods purchases Quantum Foods assets

Bachoco seeks acquisitions to grow US operations

2015 IPPE exceeds 435,000 square feet of exhibit space

Spain’s Uvesa adopts Pas Reform innovations for new hatchery

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Man dies at Sparboe Farms construction site

Parent stock management lessons learned at Arbor Acres school

Broiler Budushego delivers first 1.5 million Cobb chicks

A broiler’s gut microflora helps determine performance

    “The composition of the microbiota determines the long-term performance of any production system,” said Dr. Stephen Collett, associate professor, Poultry Diagnostic Research Center, University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine. He explained that sometimes research into the impact of antimicrobials on bird performance isn’t really providing data that mimics what happens in modern production systems.
    “We tend to think of our systems as all-in-all-out one-step programs,” he said. But, Collet explained to the audience at the “Optimizing the gut environment for improved performance” webinar sponsored by MSD Animal Health that with current production practices, there is carryover of intestinal microflora in the house from one flock to the next.
    In research on microbiota management with antibiotics, he explained that these trials are based on a single grow out cycle, but this isn’t how the industry raises birds. “This creates what I call the house flora effect,” he said. What is present in the house helps to create the gut flora, which creates the house flora, which ultimately carries over to the next flock. This occurs to a greater extent on built-up litter, but Collett said that it occurs in spite of any cleanout or disinfection of the house.
    Collett said that there is an interaction between the nutrients in the feed and the microflora, and also between the host organism and the microflora of the intestinal tract. He said that producers should try to accelerate the chick’s acquisition of a mature microflora, because the mature microflora gives better flock performance and provides resistance from enteric disease.
    Seed, feed and weed
    Collett expressed some reluctance in using the "seed, feed and weed" slogan to describe his recommendations for optimizing gut microflora in broilers. He said he wanted to convey the complexity of the interactions and interrelationships between the microbes in the gut and litter and the diet, house management, and other factors. He worried the slogan might not convey this. Having said that, Collett explained that the three components of his recommended plan of action are well described by seed, feed and weed.
    Seeding the chick
    Because parent stock are maintained during lay on restricted feeding programs, the gut microflora of the hens is not ideal. Microflora from the hen is vertically transmitted to the chick on the shell of the egg and in the embryo itself, according to Collett. Seeding the chicks with a competitive exclusion product or a direct fed microbial can provide the chicks with beneficial microbes and give them the chance to establish a healthy mature gut flora earlier in their lives.
    Collett called built-up litter “six inches of competitive exclusion” and said that if the previous flock had a healthy intestinal microflora, the built-up litter will help the new chicks develop a mature microflora. Collett still said that even on built-up litter, direct fed microbial products are useful parts of a gut health program.
    Feeding beneficial microbes
    Organic acids and enzymes provide two means of “feeding” gut microflora. Acidification of the water supply with weak organic acids serves to “feed” certain bacteria. He said that the acids are bacteriostatic, not bactericidal, and that they promote the growth of beneficial microbes like lactic acid bacteria.
    Collett said that the acidification of the gut will be enhanced by the beneficial microbes themselves. He said that the short chain fatty acids produced by bacterial fermentation also acidifies the gut, and in this way the beneficial microbes help create an environment where they can out-compete other microbes like clostridia that need a higher pH to thrive.
    The acid treatment can be used continuously or strategically, during the first week the birds are in the house, during times of stress or after antibiotic use. Collett prefers using organic acids in the water, versus incorporating them in the feed.
    Supplementing the diet with enzymes will help the bird digest and absorb the non-starch polysaccharides present in the ration in the small intestine. Without these enzymes, the non-starch polysaccharides can make it to the ceca where they serve as a food source for proteolytic organisms, like Clostridium perfringens, and increase the risk of necrotic enteritis.
    Weeding out bad microbes
    The weeding part of the program comes from the addition of antibiotics, essential oils or yeast cell wall products which help to eliminate the detrimental microbes and keep them from establishing themselves in high numbers in the gut. Collett described what he called the “third generation of yeast cell wall products” as Type 1 Fibrin Blockers and said that they block attachment of the detrimental bacteria to the intestinal wall.
    The feed and weed portions of the program help to prevent the microflora from regressing if it becomes disturbed, according to Collett.
    Bottom line benefits
    A successful program promoting beneficial microflora in broilers will carry over from one flock to the next. Collett said that the microflora in the house won’t change in one flock; it can take several flocks, so performance may improve incrementally from flock to flock.
    One manifestation of the better gut health will be expressed in improved bird size uniformity. More uniform flocks will lower processing costs and improve yields, according to Dr. Fernando Vargas, global technical director, MSD Animal Health. He presented data to demonstrate that managing the microflora in the bird and the broiler house can improve bottom line results all the way through the processing plant.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Sparboe Farms' egg pricing legal battle settled

    A six-year legal battle involving a group of grocery chains and food vendors accusing egg producer Sparboe Farms of taking part in a scheme to hike prices on eggs has ended. The group of vendors has dropped its claims against the egg producer, while Sparboe Farms has dropped its claims that it was subjected to unwarranted boycotts.
    U.S. District Judge Gene Pratter on June 18 signed off on the case. It is not known whether any money was exchanged between the two parties to get the litigation dropped, but both parties have agreed to pay their own legal fees and court costs.
    With the legal allegations in the past, Sparboe, through its attorney, has reaffirmed that it did nothing illegal or immoral.
    “Sparboe disagrees with the viability of plaintiffs' claims against Sparboe, denies any liability to plaintiffs and denies that it engaged in any improper or illegal conduct," Troy Hutchinson, an attorney representing Sparboe Farms, told Law360. "Sparboe is pleased to put the litigation behind it."
    Companies involved in the litigation against Sparboe Farms included Safeway, SuperValu, Kroger, Hy-Vee, Albertson's, The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co., H.E. Butt Grocery Co., Conopco., Giant Eagle Inc., Publix, Winn-Dixie, Roundy's Supermarkets, H.J. Heinz Co., C&S Wholesale Grocers, Kraft Foods Global, General Mills, Nestle USA, Kellogg Co. and Walgreen Co.

FSIS appoints Doherty international coordination executive

    Jane Doherty has been appointed to serve as international coordination executive for USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS). Doherty will serve as the overarching point of contact for all international matters including audits, equivalence, import and export coordination, inspections and strategic planning at FSIS. 
    Doherty previously served as the sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) director at the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative. She has an extensive background in international relations, food safety and public health and previously served as senior counsel for international relations at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

FAO-IEC egg seminar yields commitment to up egg production

    The second joint Food and Agriculture Organization and International Egg Commission seminar drew egg industry leaders from numerous countries with all expressing a commitment to increase egg production and consumption. 
    The second joint Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and International Egg Commission (IEC) seminar for egg producer organizations took place June 9-10 in Johannesburg, South Africa.  Members of producer organizations from Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia and Zimbabwe were joined by FAO and IEC members from Australia, Canada and South Africa for this two-day seminar, with representatives from each country presenting plans on how to increase egg production and consumption.
    Topics such as egg and human nutrition, poultry health, housing systems, the role of egg producer organizations and financing for small business were discussed with a number of experts from the FAO and the private sector.
    Building upon the success of the initial joint FAO-IEC Egg Capacity Building seminar held in Lusaka, Zambia, in September 2013, the seminar was held in conjunction with AVI Africa, the annual conference organized by the South African Poultry Association (SAPA) and the largest poultry exhibit in Africa.
    Rhodnie Sisala, recently elected as chairperson of the Poultry Association of Zambia commented: “This program should continue in order to consolidate what has been learned and continue to share experiences across the Southern African region.  Our organization is keen to implement some of the ideas presented during the past two days.”
    Dr. Vincent Guyonnet from the IEC commented: “The seminar was extremely positive, with the two-day event ending with each country presenting some plans of action to grow egg production and egg consumption in their local markets.  IEC members and FAO staff will continue to provide support to delegates and work together over the coming months to focus on fine-tuning these plans and identifying ways to finance these proposals and implement them.”
    Dr. Olaf Thieme from the FAO said: “The inclusion of all stakeholders of the poultry values chains – including small and large producers – in the formulation of national action plans will be important for achieving a sustainable development of the poultry sector that will contribute to reduction of poverty and malnutrition.”

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Ceva’s Childress named sales representative of year

    Ceva's Keith Childress has been named Sales Representative of the Year by The Poultry Federation. 
    Keith Childress of Ceva was named the 2014 Sales Representative of the Year by The Poultry Federation (TPF) during the association’s 55th Annual Poultry Festival. This award has been presented annually by The Poultry Federation since 1968 and is based on the nominee’s involvement and support of the association and the industry.
    Childress has been active in the poultry industry for over 29 years. He started out his career as a service technician for a broiler company. He then moved to the supplier side of the industry and has been a sales representative, a territory manager, a U.S. marketing manager, a global marketing manager, a western U.S. sales manager, and is currently a territory business manager for Ceva.
    Childress has been a member of The Poultry Federation since 1988 and has served as secretary, vice-chairman, and chairman of the allied industries membership group. He has been a strong and avid supporter of TPF’s Allied Industries Scholarship Program and has been the co-chair for the past four years. He has attended every TPF annual festival since 1964. His poultry customers speak highly of him because of his extensive knowledge and expertise, and his diligent efforts to assist his customers in every aspect of the grow-out process.Ce
    The Poultry Federation is a tri-state trade organization representing the poultry and egg industries in Arkansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma.

Japan establishes PEDv control measures

    Japan’s Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Ministry has established a set of measures against porcine epidemic diarrhea  (PED) virus that focus on thorough hygiene management at pig farms and the steady supply of vaccines. The ministry expects to have special manuals on the new measures printed in or around September.
    Under the planned measures, areas hit by PED virus outbreaks would be designated by prefectural governments as special communicable disease control zones, where sterilization and other measures would be taken to prevent PED virus from spreading, according to a report from the Japan News.
    Details of the special zone designation system will be worked out through discussions with industry experts. The ministry will also consider steps to help out farms hit by PED virus outbreaks.
    After a seven-year absence, PED virus returned to Japan in October 2013. Since that time, more than 220,000 pigs have died in 38 prefectures in Japan. The amount of new PED virus cases has been decreasing in recent weeks, a ministry official said, but it continues to be a problem and the new PED virus control measures are hoped to further the battle against the virus.

US ag secretary: PEDv vaccine will be effective

    U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack is confident a vaccine developed by Iowa’s Harrisvaccines will be effective in the battle against porcine epidemic diarrhea (PED) virus. The vaccine is the first one to get approval from the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) in controlling PED virus.
    Speaking June 18, Vilsack said preliminary studies of the PED virus vaccine “have been promising” in controlling the virus, Reuters reported. PED virus has killed as many as 8 million pigs since it was first detected in the U.S. in May 2013.
    "I don't want to say the virus will be eradicated but I think you will see we're on the other side of this," Vilsack said while speaking to agriculture industry members at the U.S. embassy in Paris.
    Harrisvaccines' product became the first to win U.S. Department of Agriculture conditional approval, which means it can be sold over the counter but the company must continue to test its effectiveness. The USDA announced its approval on June 16.
    "Hopefully by the end of the year we will be in a situation where we can say 'yes, folks, (the vaccine) works', start producing mass quantities of it so that farm producers around the world will not have to worry about this," Vilsack said.

BIVI: Continuing PRRS research has helped control pig virus

    Significant strides have been made in controlling porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS) virus since Ingelvac PRRS MLV vaccine was introduced in 1994, but there is still a lot of work left to be done in controlling the virus. Staff members from Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica Inc. (BIVI) discussed at World Pork Expo the advancements made in battling PRRS over the past 20 years, and how BIVI continues to be active in the fight.
    PRRS research efforts ongoing
    One of the ways BIVI has been helping control PRRS is through the funding of both collaborative and original PRRS research. The outcome of that research, BIVI officials said, has been advancements in the areas of biosecurity, disease transmission, immune management and disease monitoring.
    “BIVI has continued to support PRRS research since the release of the first MLV PRRS vaccine in 1994. Our goal is to go beyond the bottle by creating a systematic process for PRRS control,” said Dr. Edgar Diaz, senior associate director, tech marketing at BIVI.
    Developing field applicable information relevant to PRRS control has been a long term goal of BIVI. “Generating tools and processes, that when applied in a systematic approach, can mitigate the consequences of PRRS has been the primary focus of our collaborative research activities” said Dr. Reid Philips, DVM, PRRS technical manager at BIVI.
    Results of collaborative research activities, such as the annual BIVI Advancement in PRRS Research awards, has dramatically improved knowledge in the key areas of epidemiology, transmission, biosecurity, and immune management in both breeding herds and growing pigs.
    “We now know that key objectives of a successful PRRS control program include: limiting the source of new PRRSv isolates, preventing PRRSv  introduction,  reducing area spread of the virus and implementing protocols to mitigate the consequences of infection when it occurs,” Philips said.
    BIVI’s commitment to research regarding PRRS control strategies is evident; however another key area of the company’s collaborative and original research has been focused to the development of tools that allow producers to measure the success of these strategies.  “Providing producers with the tools to track the effectiveness of PRRS control strategies by measuring health and performance, transmission of the virus, and tracking PRRS outbreaks in their system is important,” said Philips.
    “By constantly evaluating the impact of interventions, we have learned that maintaining uniform immunity within a population is important,” said Philips. BIVI is currently recommending a two pronged approach of breeding herd mass vaccination and growing pig vaccination.“Vaccine can be used to achieve stability in breeding herds while minimizing the time required to reach pre-break production levels,” he said. “Additionally, growing pig vaccination impacts pig health and consequently performance, along with the shedding of wild-type virus.”
    Communication, coordination key to effective PRRS control
    The importance of communication, coordination, and collaboration, both within and between systems, has also been shown to be vital to the success of a PRRS control programs. Due to this, BIVI continues to be strong supporters of the Area Regional Control (ARC) concept and has partnered with University of California-Davis to further develop a tool, Bioportal, to help track the genetic diversity of the virus. Additionally, BIVI continues to have a PRRSolutions team who are specifically dedicated to help producers and veterinarians control PRRS.

Monday, June 23, 2014

New hatchery, poultry breeder trade group to be formed in Europe

    A new industry association representing European hatcheries and poultry breeders is expected to come into operation on January 1, 2015. 
    The Association of European Hatcheries (AEH), the Association for European Hatching Eggs (EPEXA) and the European Poultry Breeders Association (EPB) have been working to create the new and larger association, which will be known as the Association of European Hatching Eggs, One-Day Olds and Pullet Exporters in the EU Countries (ELPHA). The association members have approved the merger, and the joint association will come into being on in January 2015.
    The decision to merge was announced at the EPEXA general assembly, held in June. President Jacque de Lange highlighted several challenges facing the region’s poultry industry, and called for more cooperation among the various industry players. Among challenges could be possible competition on the home market for hatching eggs and chicks from third countries as a result of bilateral trade agreements. 
    In 2013, the European Union exported more than 920 million hatching eggs to third countries, of which 5 million were from turkeys. About 170 million one-day-olds were also exported, including 24 million layers and 14 million turkeys. 
    Trade in hatching eggs, including the 1.1 billion hatching eggs traded within the EU, is worth more than EURO560 million (US$763.2 million). 

Missouri AG sues Tyson Foods over alleged fish kill incident

    Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster has filed a lawsuit against Tyson Foods, alleging the company unlawfully dumped untreated industrial wastewater into a Southwest Missouri stream that led to the deaths of at least 100,000 fish. Koster's lawsuit includes six counts against Tyson for the alleged pollution of state waters and violations of Missouri's hazardous waste laws.
    According to Koster, beginning on May 16, the Tyson Foods facility at Monett, Missouri, discharged wastewater containing a highly acidic feed supplement into Monett's municipal sewer system. The discharge allegedly caused the city's biological wastewater treatment system to fail, and contaminated water containing a high level of ammonia flowed into Clear Creek, which Koster believes led to the fish kill.
    Tyson acknowledges incident at Monett facility
    Tyson Foods has acknowledged the incident, and issued the following statement: “We’re sorry about what happened and have started trying to make things right. Through newspaper ads, we’re publicly apologizing to the people of Monett and Pierce City, we’ve met with some community leaders and we’ve asked to meet with the Missouri Department of Natural Resources to see how we can help improve Clear Creek. We’ve also taken a hard look at how we manage environmental matters at Monett and are improving our processes because we don’t want this to ever happen again.”
    The lawsuit seeks penalties against Tyson, compensation for the damage to the stream and reimbursement for the state’s costs in investigating the incident.
    "Missouri's waterways are among our state's most important natural resources," Koster said. "Tyson's conduct threatened the vitality of Clear Creek as a resource for Southwest Missouri. Tyson Foods must be held accountable for dumping pollution into the waterways of Southwest Missouri, and this conduct must not happen again."
    Letter from Tyson apologizing for 'accidental release'
    The newspaper ads referenced in Tyson's statement contain a letter signed by Tyson employees David Young, Monett complex manager; Becky Thomas, complex environmental manager; Ronnie Wooten, Monett manager, live production; Travis Scarrow, plant manager; and Kent Adams, feed mill manager.
    The letter reads: “At Tyson Foods, we strive for excellence, but like most people, we’re not perfect and sometimes we make mistakes. And when we do make mistakes our company culture holds us accountable to do two things: do whatever we can to make it right and learn from the experience.
    “That is the situation we faced with the accidental release last month of a feed additive into Monett’s water treatment system from our Monett complex.
    “We can’t reverse what happened, so making it right has to begin now. First, we offer our sincerest apology to the citizens of Monett and Pierce City, the great State of Missouri and our own team members who also live in the communities affected.
    “Water is a critical natural resource and we work to protect it at all of our locations. We will be having a conversation with Missouri Department of Natural Resources about how we might assist with improvements of Clear Creek. In addition, we’ll be looking at opportunities to partner with non-government organizations that work on ecology projects in Missouri to address issues in the creek. As we learn more and have these discussions, we’ll then be able to better determine how we can help resolve these issues. We’re committed to making amends.
    "In the meantime, this we do know: Monett and Southwest Missouri are important to our company and to our team members who call it home. We pledge to continue to look for opportunities to invest in the communities and the people that make up this region.
    "Most importantly, we will do everything in our power to make sure this mistake will never be repeated. We have scrutinized our protocols and processes, and we are improving training efforts.
    "We have a long, proud history in Monett that has benefited its citizens and our company. It’s our hope that this can continue and together we can build a bright future.”

Tyson provides relief to Nebraska tornado victims, helpers

    Tyson Foods has sent teams to Pilger, Nebraska, to prepare meals for those affected by the devastation from twin tornadoes that hit the community on June 16. The storms destroyed more than half of the town with a population of about 350, left two people dead and hospitalized at least another 19 people.
    Teams from the Tyson Foods Fresh Meats’ operations in Madison and Dakota City, Nebraska arrived onsite the day following the destruction. Tyson’s Meals that Matter mobile relief truck was sent to Pilger from its home base in Springdale, Arkansas. The company is also sending a tractor-trailer load of bulk ice for distribution in the affected area.
    Tyson’s Meals that Matter program, originated in 2012, includes a tractor-trailer with enough refrigerated space to store up to 20,000 pounds of food products for initial response, and dry storage to transport supplies to set up a feeding site and support for Tyson cook teams. The Meals that Matter operation is capable of feeding more than 10,000 meals per day to victims of disaster, first responders and volunteers. 
    Tyson Foods will also be matching team member cash donations, up to $50,000, to Team Rubicon, a military veterans’ group that is also deployed to provide onsite assistance.

Petersime opens subsidiary office in China

    Petersime employees, from left, Liu Haibo, Sandy Qi and André van Rij commemorate the opening of a representative office in Tianjin, China. 
    Belgium-based Petersime, a global supplier of incubators and hatcheries, has opened a representative office in Tianjin, Heping District, China. The Tianjin office is Petersime’s third subsidiary, joining Petersime do Brasil and Petersime OOO in Moscow.
    The newest subsidiary is officially known as Belgium Petersime Tianjin Rep. Office. It will be led by Chief Representative Sandy Qi, who has already more than five years of experience with Petersime’s products and services. The main mission of the office will be to provide local support to customers in any type of request – pre-sales, project discussions, and after-sales service, in close cooperation with the headquarters. In the near future, the office will also have a field service engineer and an incubation expert.
    Other progress in China for Petersime
    The company Songming Machinery Industry, located in Shenzhen, Guangdong Province, has signed a distributor contract with Petersime. Led by General Manager T.J. Lim, Songming Machinery Industry has more than 20 years of experience in the poultry business and represents several international brands of poultry equipment. The company will take care of a successful execution of every hatchery project in China, including sales, installation, service, spare parts and parts repair.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

The Poultry Federation names industry leader of the year

    Dr. Michael Kidd, director, department head and professor at the Center of Excellence for Poultry Science and the Department of Poultry Science at the University of Arkansas, has been named the “2014 Industry Leader of the Year” by The Poultry Federation (TPF). The award has been presented since 1955 and recognizes the outstanding achievements of poultry and egg executives and their contributions to the industry.
    Kidd is a poultry science graduate from the University of Arkansas and was a recipient of the Arkansas Feed Mill Scholarship. He has a master’s degree from the University of Arkansas and a Ph.D. from North Carolina State University. He has been a lab technician for Hudson Foods and a research director and research manager for Nutri-Quest, has consulted in over 30 foreign countries, and has over 355 peer reviewed manuscripts. He has served as president of the Poultry Science Association and department head at the Department of Poultry Science at Mississippi State University.
    Presenting the award this year was TPF’s current board of directors and Marvin Childers, TPF president.
    “Dr. Kidd has revitalized the Poultry Science Department at the University of Arkansas by increasing the number of students and increasing their participation. He has led efforts to have the department become more engaged with the industry,” Childers said. “Dr. Kidd supports the industry with research. In doing this, he is also developing future poultry industry leaders.”
    Kidd and his wife Denise reside in Tontitown, Arkansas, and have three children.
    The Poultry Federation is a tri-state trade organization representing the poultry and egg industries in Arkansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma. 

Friday, June 20, 2014

Infrabaker International, JBT Corporation enter agency agreement

    Infrabaker International, a company specializing in infrared applications for the food industry, has entered into an agency  agreement with JBT Corporation, a leading global technology solutions provider to the food processing and air transportation industries, with offices located in Chicago. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
    The agency agreement will further expand Infrabaker International ‘s agency network bringing the Infrabaker technology closer to its U.S. customers and combining this with JBT’s knowledge and expertise in integrated food processing solutions which include portioning, coating, cooking and freezing of meat, seafood and poultry products, as well as treatment of selected baked goods, vegetables, and ready meals.
    “Infrabaker International provides a proven and patented infrared cooking system that complements and extends our integrated cooking solutions,” said Ken Jones, JBT general manager, freezing and cooking systems – North America.  “Several of our key customers rely upon Infrabaker International ovens to achieve a low total cost of ownership for selected applications. We believe this agreement expands our ability to respond to our customers’ needs for cooking innovation and improved operating efficiencies.”
    The agency agreement is effective immediately in the United States. The technology will be available for demonstration in early July at the JBT FoodTech Food Processing and Technology Center (FPTC) in Sandusky, Ohio. The JBT Technology Center has available full scale spiral ovens and freezers, linear convection and impingement ovens and freezers, contact cooking systems, as well as slicing, portioning, coating and frying systems.

Herbruck’s Poultry Ranch boosts scholarship program

    U.S. egg producer Herbruck’s Poultry Ranch has given $50,000 to the Saranac Promise Scholarship Program, a program aimed at helping graduates from the community school system in Saranac, Michigan, earn degrees from two-year and four-year colleges. The donation was presented by Terry and Greg Herbruck, both graduates of Saranac Community Schools.
    One of the goals of the Saranac Promise program is to open the doors to higher education for Saranac graduates. By easing the financial burden of students, committee members and district staff hope more students will opt to further their education after high school.
    “We want to provide all children with the opportunity to further develop their academic and/or vocational skills. We want to build a college-going culture in the community of Saranac so that every child can have the expectation and opportunity to attend college or a vocational school after high school graduation,” Saranac Community Schools Superintendent Maury Geiger told the Ionia Sentinel-Standard.
    Geiger and members of the Saranac Promise Committee hope to offer limited scholarships to all 2016 graduates. In 2016, each graduate is expected to receive as much as $1,000 to further their education.
    “Full implementation of the Saranac Promise is planned for the graduating class of 2017, with an annual scholarship of up to $4,000,” added Geiger.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Poultry genetics innovation highlighted at Ceva summit

    Dr. Eduardo Souza, program geneticist for Aviagen, discussed topics related to poultry genetics at Ceva's Hatchery Innovation Summit Asia in Bali. 
    Dr. Eduardo Souza, program geneticist for Aviagen, the world’s largest poultry breeding company, recently traveled to Bali to address attendees of the Hatchery Innovation Summit Asia. Held June 3-4, the event was sponsored by Ceva, a world leader in immune complex and vector vaccine technology.
    Souza, who helps shape product development strategies as a key member of Aviagen’s research and development (R&D) operation, explored the latest technology and techniques applied to pedigree flocks to continuously deliver balanced performance improvements in broilers and breeders.
    At the Hatchery Innovation Summit Asia, Souza drew on 23 years of experience as a poultry geneticist. He described how genetics information figures heavily in the routine selection of Aviagen’s elite lines. For instance, Aviagen’s genomics project focuses on identifying naturally occurring markers within the genome of elite birds and using those markers to help breed stronger and more productive birds through the current selective breeding program, which is a completely natural process.  Aviagen began using genomics in its commercial selection program in 2012 and became the first company to include genomic information as a critical additional source of information in the R&D breeding program.
    “Genetics is crucial to the development of high-performance broilers and breeders because different regions require different traits in birds, and selecting those traits demands extensive knowledge, constant patience, and an unfaltering adherence to best practices,” said Souza. “To ensure poultry breeders see the best possible results, while safeguarding the health and welfare of their stock, we at Aviagen keep genetics at the very heart of our R&D operation.”
    Souza joined speakers from around the world who discussed incubation, vaccination, hatchery organization and automation, and marketing. Attendees also learned about solutions for improving food safety and productivity in an era of volatile feed prices.
    Souza began his career in 1991 at Brazil’s Agroceres Ross. He joined Aviagen in 1995 to head the broiler breeding program for the United States, where Aviagen invests heavily in research focused on delivering balanced progress in both broiler and breeder traits.

Marel Stork Poultry Processing celebrates 70-year milestone

    Marel Stork Poultry Processing on June 14 observed its 70th anniversary with a celebration at the company’s Airport Parkway facility in Gainesville, Georgia. More than 350 employees, North Georgia residents, industry dignitaries and elected officials attended the celebration, which included a picnic, children’s activities, tours of the facility and live music provided by the company’s own employees.
    The day’s events were kicked off with a welcome and history highlights given by Einar Einarsson, president of Marel USA. Special guests Abit Massey of the Georgia Poultry Federation and Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle praised the company for its long history and commitment to the North Georgia community and wished Marel Stork continued growth.
    The company began when Grover S. Harben founded Gainesville Machine Company in Hall County in 1944 as a metal working job shop, specializing in welding fabrication and machining. Over the past 70 years, the company became focused on poultry processing equipment and systems design, sales, manufacturing and distribution. In 2008, the company became part of Marel, a multi-national provider of advanced equipment, systems and services to the fish, meat and poultry industries.
    From its humble beginnings as a metal working shop, the Gainesville location has risen to being Marel's hub of activities in the North American poultry industry, employing about 230 people in its state-of-the art 250,000 square foot research, design and fabrication facility.
    “Reaching a 70-year milestone underlines the company's success, growth and the competitive edge the company has achieved through the years. Through our employees' dedication, loyalty and relentless pursuit of perfection, the company has become a worldwide leader of advanced processing equipment solutions. With ever-increasing and changing challenges of the industry, Marel Stork Poultry Processing is in a unique position to take advantage of its strong market position, innovation drive and highly skilled and qualified workforce. We have a good reason to believe we will enjoy prosperous future and continue to grow for the benefit of our customers, employees and stakeholders,” said Einar Einarsson, president, Marel USA. 
    Major milestones for the company over the last 70 years include:

    • 1944 - Gainesville Machine Company is founded. The company is established as a metal working job shop, specializing in welding fabrication and machining.
    • 1952 - Southern Equipment, a sales company, is established to market the products manufactured by Gainesville Machine Company.
    • 1965 - Gainesville Machine Company is presented the Presidential Excellence in Exporting Award by U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson on March 9.
    • 1971 - Gainesville Machine Company is sold to the Chickmaster Corporation, and it's name changed to GAMCO in 1973. The same year GAMCO moves into a new 113,000 square foot building, allowing 13 departments at seven locations to move into one modern building.
    • 1975 - Stork Acquisitions Corporation purchases GAMCO, and the name is changed to Stork Gamco.
    • 1980 - The company's first computer, an IBM mainframe with MAPICS software, is installed.
    • 1997 – Ground is broken on the total renovation and expansion of the existing facility, official opening one year later.
    • 2008 – Stork Food Systems is purchased by Marel.

Poultry producer Foster Farms honored on 75th anniversary

    Poultry producer Foster Farms celebrated its 75th anniversary on June 16 while receiving special recognition from poultry industry leaders and government dignitaries. Held at the historic home of Foster Farms founders Max and Verda Foster, the event commemorated Foster Farms’ contributions to the poultry industry, consumers and to California’s Central Valley community.
    California Poultry Federation President Bill Mattos commented: "Foster Farms brings a special kind of leadership to the poultry industry not only in California but across the nation. The company has been instrumental in pursuing initiatives that benefit consumers everywhere. They have helped to bring better definition to common labeling terms, such as ‘fresh’ and ‘natural.’ In 2009, they led a major campaign that effectively ended "plumping" - the practice of adding saltwater to fresh poultry - in California. They are also the first major producer in the country to be certified by American Humane Association."
    Mattos went on to say "Foster Farms has stepped up to a leadership position in food safety. They have invested more than $75 million and developed a comprehensive farm-to-package program that attacks Salmonella at almost every possible point. ... Having worked with Foster Farms for more than two decades, I know they are the kind of company that is going to share their learnings with the rest of the industry, to create a safer food supply, even in the many areas where their products are not sold."
    Earlier in the day, Mattos hosted a brief ceremony that included resolutions honoring Foster Farms, presented by Congressmen Jim Costa and David Valadao and signed by other federal, state and local officials.
    U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., issued a video message congratulating Foster Farms on its 75th anniversary. Feinstein stated: "Whether it's removing unhealthy additives from poultry, collaborating with the USDA or pioneering the idea of locally grown, Foster Farms prioritizes consumers. I have a willing and cooperative partner in Foster Farms."