Water rationalization axis on the first day of poultry science research


Included speakers (back row - left to right): Yi Liang, Tom Tabler, Rodney Wright, Susan Watkins.  (Front row - left to right) Sarah Orlowski, Brittany Craig, Samantha Petya and Liz Green.

Jessica Wesson

Included speakers (back row – left to right): Yi Liang, Tom Tabler, Rodney Wright, Susan Watkins. (Front row – left to right) Sarah Orlowski, Brittany Craig, Samantha Petya and Liz Green.

The Poultry Science Center of Excellence and the Poultry Science Alumni Association hosted the first Poultry Science Research Day (POSC) on May 25 to highlight water conservation efforts across the industry.

“Water use efficiency is a key factor in the sustainability of U.S. agriculture; however, most people take water availability for granted,” said Sammy Dridi, professor of endocrinology and molecular genetics and a member of the event planning committee. “We have chosen this to be the focus of our POSC Research Day to discuss potential solutions to improve water conservation from different angles.”

Dridi said the aim of the event is to bring together faculty, students, and professionals to highlight poultry science research efforts and encourage partnerships.

“This helped to exchange ideas and foster future collaborations between the three groups. It was also a good practice for our students to improve their public speaking and presentation skills,” Dridy said.

The Poultry Science Research Center of Excellence is conducted by the Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station, the research arm of the U of A System Division of Agriculture.

There were eight speakers who addressed a variety of topics within water conservation research and initiatives:

  • Rodney Wright – Water Management Engineer, Arkansas Natural Resources Conservation Service, USDA
  • Brittany Craig Sustainability Associate, Sustainable Food Strategy, Tyson Foods, Inc.
  • Susan Watkins Distinguished Professor Emeritus U of A System Agriculture Division
  • Samantha Petya – Quality Assurance Manager, Live Production for Simmons Foods, Inc.
  • Sarah Orlowski – Assistant Professor of Poultry Genetics U from the Agriculture Division system
  • Tom Tabler Professor and Poultry Specialist, University of Tennessee Agricultural Extension and Research Department of Animal Sciences
  • Yi Liang – Associate Professor of Biological and Agricultural Engineering, U of Agriculture Department
  • Elizabeth Green – Program participant, Center of Excellence for Poultry Science, U of A System Department of Agriculture

Liang and Tabler talked about research projects that have studied the use of spray and cold cell technology in broiler production houses. Their research showed that sprinkler cooling systems use, on average, 67 percent less cooling water than cold cell panel systems alone (https://bit.ly/ChickenSprinklerTech).

Greene spoke about the molecular mechanisms behind water intake regulations in chickens, and Orlovsky spoke about selection based on water intake in chickens. Orlovsky initiated the fourth generation of genetic selection for two experimental groups. They are breeding one group to increase water efficiency and another group to decrease water efficiency. This is the first known study to improve water use efficiency in poultry, according to Walter Bottje, professor of poultry science at the Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station (https://bit.ly/AAES-WaterChickens).

Aldready said the event was a success, and there are likely to be more days of research planned in the future.

“We have attended over 80 people in person and 14 via Zoom, including colleagues from France and the UK,” he said. “We have received encouraging feedback from students, faculty, and industry professionals.”

The event was sponsored by Cobb-Vantress, Proxy-Clean Products, The Poultry Association, Weeden Sprinkler Systems, Kemco Systems and supported by the USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture and an Agricultural Extension Grant.

To learn more about the Agricultural Research Division, visit the Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station website: https://aaes.uada.edu/. Follow us on Twitter at Tweet embed.

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About the Department of Agriculture

The mission of the University of Arkansas Department of Agriculture is to strengthen agriculture, communities, and families by connecting reliable research with the adoption of best practices. Through the Agricultural Experiment Station and Cooperative Extension Service, the Department of Agriculture conducts research and extension work within the country’s historic land grant education system.

The Department of Agriculture is one of 20 entities within the University of Arkansas system. It has offices in all 75 counties in Arkansas and faculty on five campuses.

The University of Arkansas Department of Agriculture offers all extension and research programs and services without regard to race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital status, veteran, genetic information, or other legally protected status, and is a procedure Positive/equal employer.