Over 130 poultry nutritionists and industry professionals gathered in Dunboyne, Ireland, to attend Alltech's Poultry Epigenetics Seminar. The seminar focused on epigenetics, the future of the poultry industry and the question of feeding 9 billion people by 2050.
“Food security is in danger and it is paramount that agricultural policy changes to recognise the perfect storm brewing on the horizon. There is a tremendous gap between genetic potential and what we are achieving in the field. Nutrition must use new approaches to bridge the gap,” said Aidan Connolly, Vice President, Corporate Accounts, Alltech.
“Ultimately the pie is finite, there is a limit to the genetic potential of an animal. If resources can then be allocated appropriately for that animal, away from maintenance for example, then this leaves more available for growth” said Dr. Chris Ashwell, Department of Poultry Science, NC State University, USA.
“Taking control of genetics, independent of Mendelian inheritance, moves us beyond simple breeding programmes and provides new nutritional tools to enhance productivity. This is done by using nutrition to define epigenetic controls, nutritional interactions and to redefine nutrient requirements, allowing animals to reach their genetic potential” - Dr. Karl Dawson, Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer, Alltech, USA.
“Straightforward optimisation is not as simple as it looks. With micro arrays and gene expression we can improve our understanding of physiological responses” - Dr. Jan Dirk van der Klis, Schothorst Feed Research, Lelystad, The Netherlands.
“Of all areas the poultry industry is the most productive and quickest to adopt new technologies, constantly streamlining itself to keep up with increasing global demand. This next step into the field of epigenetics is vitally important for the future of food and for the future of the poultry industry, both of which are inextricably linked,” concluded Dr. Peter Spring, Swiss College of Agriculture and chairperson of the Alltech Poultry Epigenetics Seminar.