Published on 02/06/14

International poultry professionals flock to UGA for short course

By Merritt Melancon

More than 85 poultry professionals and scientists from Georgia, the U.S. and around the world gathered in Athens Jan. 31 to Feb. 4 for a comprehensive, four-day short course on the latest information on poultry production.

The University of Georgia Department of Poultry Science has hosted the Georgia International Poultry Short Course in January for more than 25 years in conjunction with the International Production and Processing Expo in Atlanta. It routinely draws poultry professionals from the U.S., Mali, Germany, Pakistan, Malaysia, Brazil, Canada and more than a dozen other nations.

Each year the short course focuses loosely around one poultry production topic.

“This year we focused on the interaction between management and flock health, which is an important issue all over the world. Our short course is unique, and we continue to try to offer something a little different every year,” said Mike Lacy, head of UGA’s poultry science department located within the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.

One attendee, poultry farmer Dario Loureiro from the Brazilian state of Paraná, came because of UGA’s reputation for pioneering poultry science research and a personal interest in improving climate control and ventilation in his poultry houses.

“I came here because, for poultry science, UGA is the best,” Loureiro said. “I was able to learn things that I couldn’t find in Brazil.”

UGA’s poultry science department is one of few university programs that offer an in-depth, survey-style class in poultry production for those in the poultry industry. Most other programs are either overviews — meant for beginning poultry producers — or targeted, issue-oriented classes that focus exclusively on one topic, like production, processing, health or food safety. The UGA poultry short course offers updates on all of these topics.

“We have people attending who build poultry houses, make feed, work in genetic selection, develop vaccines and manage farms,” said Brian Fairchild, a professor of poultry science at UGA and an organizer of the short course. “With this course they’re getting exposed to information concerning every part of poultry production — not just their area of expertise.”

UGA Extension poultry science personnel, led by UGA Assistant Professor Brian Kiepper, organized this year’s short course.

For more information on the upcoming 2015 Georgia International Poultry Short Course or the UGA Department of Poultry Science, visit

Merritt Melancon is a public relations manager with UGA's Terry College of Business and served as a public relations coordinator for the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and UGA Extension before joining Terry College.

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