Category: People of Poultry

Devin Dittmer

Devin Dittmer, U of A Unit Supervisor DRTC (Dairy Research and Technology Center) – Faculty of Agricultural, Life and Environmental Sci – AFNS Dept. and Founder, Homeroom Holsteins Program
How do you bridge the gulf between urban kids in classrooms and the real, hands-on world of agriculture? Devin Dittmer has found a way. He created a program called Homeroom Holsteins where he honestly shares the hard truths, joys, and circle of life on the farm. The program is currently available to Alberta classroom kids from K – 12. Launched in 2022 from the Dairy Unit at the U of A, the program has exploded in popularity in just one season. Plans for multiple commodities to hop on board are hatching everywhere.
Read on to learn what inspired Dittmer and how his talent for straight talk and real connections is truly making a difference.

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People of Poultry: Dr. Doug Korver

Dr. Doug Korver, PhD is retiring after 26 years teaching and mentoring university students, publishing over 75 peer reviewed articles, leading innovative research trials and traveling the world as a speaker, researcher and poultry nutrition expert.
He will take three years to phase out of his position as Professor of Poultry Nutrition, Faculty of Agricultural, Life and Environmental Science – Ag, Food & Nutritional Science Dept. at the University of Alberta.
Read more to learn about his academic journey to the U of A, his passions for teaching, travel and birds and his plans for the future with ongoing research and an exciting new company.

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People of Poultry: A conversation with Up-and-Coming Poultry Professional Jo Ann Chew

An intensely curious mind, love of learning and a desire to give back. These are a few of the things that have fueled Jo Ann Chew’s path from teen in Malaysia to PhD student and Aviagen Scholarship winner. Radiating confidence and calm, the future of this Up-and-Coming Poultry Professional shines bright. Read on to learn about her academic journey, her life priorities and how she values those around her every step of the way.

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People of Poultry: Kerry Nadeau

Kerry Nadeau, BSc. Manager/Supervisor U of A Poultry Unit ALES/AFNS
PIP Board, Heritage Chicken Program Steering and Education and Mentoring Committee member.

Despite juggling a multitude of responsibilities at the U of A Poultry Unit and Research Centre, Kerry Nadeau still finds time and creativity to partner with Heritage Chicken Program (HCP) Coordinator Taresa Chieng to facilitate, fundraise and grow the program with creativity and imagination.

Read on to learn more about Nadeau’s journey to her current position, the history and importance of the U of A Heritage Chicken Program and how Nadeau navigates a complicated and demanding job including budgets, flock health, facility monitoring and staff management while mentoring students and always maintaining a wicked sense of humour.

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People of Poultry: Dr. Helen Anne Hudson, PhD, and Burnbrae Farms

Helen Anne Hudson is a generational farmer with a passion for animals, family, chickens and eggs, research and the environment. From championing sustainability and poultry research, rescuing horses, planting trees, and protecting the biosphere at Burnbrae Farms, she is making a real difference both now and for the future.

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People of Poultry: Nicole Zukiwsky

Nicole Zukiwsky has learned to recognize opportunities, shift plans, and say yes when opening new doors because you never know when an undiscovered world may await. Passion for the poultry industry pushed ambitions to be a vet aside, revealing opportunities and connections in agriculture that she never imagined. After graduation, taking a chance, she threw her resume out to the universe and landed a dream job. Zukiwsky is an up-and-coming poultry professional to watch!
Read more to learn about Nicole’s journey to a faculty position at Olds College of Agriculture and Technology, her current courses and innovative teaching methods and her advice to newly graduated agriculture students.

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People of Poultry: Karen Summerfield: Research and Knowledge Mobilization Officer for the Egg Farmers of Canada (EFC)

With a background in facilitation and conflict training, a curious mind, and a desire to make connections at all levels of the poultry industry, Karen Summerfield has found a perfect fit in her role as Research and Knowledge Mobilization Officer for the Egg Farmers of Canada (EFC). Her job includes managing the EFC Research Chairs Program and coordinating the mobilization of research results directly to farmers on the ground.

“I have found that my training in facilitation and conflict resolution has been a really strong asset, particularly in terms of connecting people together and creating spaces for them to engage and share knowledge,” said Summerfield.

“The egg industry is such a great place to work in as well. There is always something interesting going on, both in terms of research and on the farm.”

Through EFC, Summerfield is directly involved in initiatives that are having a very tangible, measurable, and long-term impact in the egg industry and beyond. Read on to learn more about current research, the National Environmental Sustainability Tool, and a program created specifically to support women in the egg industry.

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People of Poultry: Teryn Girard

Dr. Teryn Girard is a highly sought after speaker, instructor and commercial and small flock poultry veterinarian in Alberta.

Read on as she shares thoughts about the state of commercial and small flock poultry farming in Alberta, the trauma endured and bravery demonstrated by so many during the recent Avian influenza crisis and how community and teamwork is foundational to her career choices and the joy she feels every day on the job.

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People of Poultry: Poultry Evangelist Continues to Inspire as Retirement Approaches

Frank Robinson’s reputation as a teacher is legendary. As his retirement approaches, it is an honour to share some of the creative ways that he has informed, encouraged, and inspired students, both within and far beyond the walls of the University of Alberta.
It is impossible to cover the research, publications, awards, and outstanding accomplishments of Dr. Robinson in a single article. Read on for just a sampling of the ground-breaking philosophies and educational innovations by this remarkable ‘poultry evangelist.’

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A winning strategy for innovation and excellence: Stay relevant, believe in yourself and love what you do. 

Dr. Martin Zuidhof, Professor, Poultry Systems Modeling and Precision Feeding, U of A Faculty of ALES and AFNS, has weathered skepticism, negativity, setbacks, and challenges to develop a feeding system that could revolutionize the way broiler breeders are fed and studied.
“Believe in yourself,” states Zuidhof. “People might laugh you out of the room and it might seem that what you’re doing isn’t all that important but if you believe there is value in what you are doing, there will be value.”
Read on to learn about the development of the Precision Feeding System, the current state of the broiler breeder industry and Zuidhof’s philosophies around teaching, staying relevant and enjoying life.

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Up and Coming Poultry Professionals

An insightful and entertaining conversation with three up and coming young female poultry professionals who share the highs and lows of their chosen profession.

Meet Rachelle Davidson, Technical Services Lead at Maple Leaf Foods

Jesse Hunter, Field Service Representative at Maple Leaf Foods and

Daniella Batres, Agricultural Programs Coordinator, Alberta Turkey Producers and Alberta Hatching Egg producers.

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