Students from 23 countries who attended the recent Aviagen Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) School Breeder Module have pronounced the course ‘empowering’ following a week-long workshop-style business focused exercise.
In response to feedback from the previous module, the main focus of the school, held in Edinburgh, Scotland, was on the different factors that might affect the production of fertile hatching eggs and included workshops and hands-on sessions rather than straight forward lectures or textbook learning.
Students were placed into teams and given details of a fictitious business ‘Gallus Alba’ to investigate. Using the techniques they had learnt on the course, students were asked to look at the profitability of the business and suggest ways to increase quality and cut costs.
Aviagen and external specialists were on hand as tutors and covered areas including; data handling and analysis, ventilation, veterinary health, nutrition, critical age management and financial benchmarking, all vital skills in running a successful poultry business.
One student, Vincent Klutse of Atria, Finland, commented, “the take home messages were clear on many fronts and will empower me in my work. My profound gratitude to all tutors and the School Team for a well organised programme.”
Interviewed about the success and thinking behind the concept, School Director Nick Spenceley said, “this was a new project for us in Europe, something that had never been done before and overall everyone has been delighted with excellent feedback from students and tutors. One thing that I have especially enjoyed is walking into a room of 30 people who don’t know each other, all sitting in geographic groups and after 24 hours they are all working together and chatting like they have been friends for years.
“Practical examples have worked best as they cross the language barrier. Hence the formation of Gallus Alba, looking at data handling through pivot tables, how that information can help us focus our management time on areas to improve productivity. We hope the bonds and friendships built during these team exercises will last beyond the week’s course because sharing knowledge by picking up the phone is one of the best things in this industry. The school forum will help our students to do this as well.
Winners of the business development event were unveiled at a graduation ceremony following the week long school. Team Orange consisting of Matthew Godfrey, Faccenda, UK, Luis Vera Kellet, Aviagen Asia Team, Claire Hook, P D Hook Hatcheries, UK, David Jimenez Zarza, SADA, Spain and Ivan Mitkov Kechedzhiev, Milenium-2000, Bulgaria took home the honours.
The full interviews with Claire, Matthew, Nick Spenceley and other students and tutors from the course can be found on the Aviagen website.