Alltech Lecture Tour 2010
The Alltech European Lecture Tour, which is currently in full swing, highlights this year's theme: Bounce Back. Emmy Koeleman and Vincent ter Beek joined the meeting in Doorwerth, the Netherlands and report.
The spot for the global yeast manufacturer to meet Dutch livestock professionals was located in Doorwerth, in the woods near the city of Arnhem. Five speakers shared their latest research insights with animal feed professionals and clients.
More than 50 delegates were present in the Netherlands and were explained why the company has chosen the theme 'Bounce Back' for both the lecture tours, held in all continents all over the world, and for the upcoming International Animal Health and Nutrition Symposium in May this year. In 2010, the delegates were told, the industry needs to be creative and innovative again.
Dr Helen Warren, solutions deployment team, Alltech, explained that the world needs to safeguard future supplies of food. With an increasing world population (+3 billion from 2000 to 2050) production and efficiency, needs to increased. A lot of efficiency can be gained through nutrition and letting the animals express their genetic potential to the fullest, Warren said. She also introduced a new product: Actigen, a 2.5 times more concentrated version of the existing product Bio-Mos.
As a guest speaker, Dr Geert Rutten, Hendrix Genetics, the Netherlands, gave an update on the past and future focus of breeding pigs. He addressed that the focus has shifted from the number of piglets born alive to the number of piglets weaned. "Genetics have brought us so far that we have improved the weaned piglets per sow per year with 0.2 piglets and nowadays we have almost the same number of piglets born alive as piglets weaned," Rutten said. He emphasised that proper nutrition and management is important to have the animals reach their genetic potential.
Dr Karina Horgan gave the audience an update on detection, discrimination and traceability in the feed industry. She addressed the importance of quality control, especially with feed additives coming from China. By having good discrimination tests available, the difference can be spotted between complex minerals and chelated minerals. "All chelates are complexes but not all complexes are chelates", Horgan warned.
Patrick Charlton, regional director Europe at Alltech wrapped up the meeting by presenting the challenges for coming years. He addressed that agriculture is one of the few sectors that keeps on running on full speed. "The demand for food is always there and increasing drastically." Defining competencies therefore was key, he stressed.
This year, the company has a focus on education and innovation - and a lot of emphasis is being put on the approximately 150 PhD students worldwide within the company. As an example, Dr Sheena Fagan, Alltech European Bioscience Centre, Dunboyne, Ireland, presented her story, how she had grown from a student to become a researcher within the company.
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