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Vol. 1, Issue 4

Welcome to Beak to Beak Issue 4. The AgriFutures™ Chicken Meat Program is off to a flying start for 2019, with a change in leadership and host of new projects in the wings to boost the productivity and efficiency of chicken meat production and to deliver safe food and good animal welfare outcomes.

Kicking off the year Georgie Townsend, former Extension Officer, was appointed Manager, Research for the AgriFutures™ Chicken Meat Program. Georgie has been working with AgriFutures™ Chicken Meat Program since 2017 and has a thorough understanding of the industry, and the importance of communicating the Program’s R&D outputs to facilitate practice change. Get to know Georgie and learn more about AgriFutures™ Chicken Meat Program in 2019 below.

Guy Hebblewhite, panel member and former Deputy Chair, has also been appointed Chair of AgriFutures™ Chicken Meat Program’s Advisory Panel.

As an experienced chicken meat producer and Nuffield Scholar, Guy was elevated to the position of Chair for his industry leadership, unique scientific and “hands on” field expertise, and commitment to the growth of the industry.

The AgriFutures™ Chicken Meat Program Advisory Panel is a key link between industry and the RD&E program, providing the structure to determine research priorities and make investment decisions. The Panel consists of a team of experts appointed for their knowledge and experience in RD&E and the chicken meat industry.

A series of open calls, or requests for research proposals, have run over the past six months to gather ideas to support the 
Program’s Five-Year RD&E Plan 2014-2019 and its objectives. A new RD&E Plan is in the final stages of development and will be launched later in 2019.

Read more about the AgriFuturesTM Chicken Meat Program in 2019

New research
PRJ-010961 Assessment of welfare and carcass quality issues during transport (with truck design)

PRJ-011003 Current and potential food safety interventions for meat chicken production

PRJ-011090 National environment planning guidelines

PRJ-010953 Electrolyte supplementation to alleviate the adverse effects of severe heat stress

PRJ-011670 Chicken meat program evaluation

PRJ-011528 Reviewing the solar photovoltaic assessment tool for the Chicken Meat Industry

PRJ-011587 Industry best practice manual for water quality management and sterilisation
Final reports

PRJ-010655 Review of fresh litter supply, management and spent litter utilisation

PRJ-010489 Survey and review of grain sorghum in chicken meat production

PRJ-010508 Review of AME bioassay for ingredient matrix values of poultry

Visit and for more information about the AgriFuturesTM Chicken Meat Program.
Meet Georgie Townsend 
AgriFutures Australia Manager, Research
1. What inspires you to work in the chicken meat industry? 
I really enjoy how fast paced it is. All of the stakeholders are extremely professional, supportive and encouraging. They are a respectful and innovative industry. 
I also really appreciate how it is an affordable protein which is tasty and versatile.

2. What you hope to achieve over the next 12 months?
One of my priorities this year is to ensure our research is communicated in an accessible and familiar way for our levy payers.
In consultation with industry stakeholders, we’re in the process of finalising a new RD&E strategy for the Program. I’m really excited about aligning our research to clear objectives and rolling out our communications, and extension strategy support the RD&E strategy.

3. What’s your favourite chicken joke? 
Most of my jokes start with the punch line, followed by a lot of laughter. I don’t normally tell jokes, they are way too difficult to commit to memory. 

4. What came first the chicken or the egg? 
Single celled organisms, then who knows after that. 

5. Do you have a favourite chicken meat fun fact? 
Chicken’s hate crossing the road. 
Latest news
Gary Sansom Scholar's research a global game changer for chicken breeding

University of Adelaide PhD student Joshua Angove has been awarded the 2019 Gary Sansom Scholarship, supporting leadership in chicken meat research.
AgriFutures™ Chicken Meat symbols

A suite of symbols have been introduced to the AgriFutures™ Chicken Meat Program to categorise resources and help users identify research themes across the program. Keep an eye out for the symbols on final reports, project summaries and other resources of interest. 
About your levy

AgriFutures Australia receives the Research & Development levy allocation to invest in line with the industry objectives of the AgriFuturesTM Chicken Meat Research & Development Plan. Up to half of program expenditure, including R&D expenditure, is matched by the Australian Government at up to 0.5% of industry GVP. See the AgriFutures Australia website for more information about the levy breakdown and the annual Program investment.