Month: September 2023

Team Receives Grant to Enhance Microbial Safety & Production

rooster in a poultry unitAn interdisciplinary team, including several members of the SAS Poultry Project, received $3.34 million from USDA-NIFA for a project, Enhancing Microbial Safety and Production Efficiency in Organic Poultry Farming: An Interdisciplinary Investigation of Innovative Strategies. Dr. Abhi Upadhyay of UConn is the principal investigator.

Organic poultry farming is an increasingly popular and sustainable method of poultry production that prioritizes animal welfare, environmental protection, and product quality. Despite its potential benefits and rapid growth, organic poultry farming faces several challenges, including disease management, feed availability, efficiency, food safety, and marketing. This multi-regional, multi-institutional, and multidisciplinary proposal aims to develop evidence-based recommendations for improving organic poultry farming practices, focusing on four broad research areas namely (1) microbial safety, (2) gut health and production efficiency (3) product quality, and (4) consumer perception including cost. Project results will be disseminated to scientific groups, the community, organic poultry producers, and stakeholders through conferences, workshops, social media, and webinars. Moreover, instructional material and an online certificate program will be developed to train the next generation of the workforce in organic poultry production and share the findings of the project after the life of the grant. The program staff consists of a combination of young, mid-career, and senior scientists with expertise in poultry production, poultry microbiology, poultry nutrition, poultry economics, poultry processing, product quality, turkey production, food safety, and extension. Taken together, the integrated research, extension, and education activities will improve the sustainability and viability of organic poultry production to meet the food security challenges in the USA and globally.

This new USDA-NIFA grant builds off and augments the work of the Sustainable Poultry project and will lead to stronger outcomes on several of its goals and objectives for the industry.