Breakfast of Champions at the National Turkey Federation Convention

Aviagen Turkeys was pleased to kick off the meetings at the National Turkey Federation Convention by hosting breakfast on the first morning.  We are honored each year with the opportunity to present our company to so many of the leaders of the turkey industry.  This year’s presentation focused on “Transparency for Today’s Consumer”. 

Consumers have many questions about how their food is produced and Dr. Jihad Douglas, president, presented a video that shows how the pedigree selection process works.  According to Dr. Douglas, “Although we do not directly supply turkey to the market, we are a part of the supply chain and play a significant role in the changing size, shape and efficiency of the birds. This video is meant to be a tool that our customers can use to answer questions they may receive on how the birds are developed.” 

The improvements that are made each year in the efficiency of the birds help the industry to produce turkey using fewer resources.  Paige Rohlf, program manager, reviewed how the performance of the birds has improved since 1990 in welfare traits such as leg strength as well as the efficiency traits of  weight, feed conversion and yield.  Mrs. Rohlf noted “The U.S. industry produced 6.06 billion pounds of meat last year.  It would have taken 55 million more birds and 1.7 million tons more feed to produce that amount of meat based on the 1990 performance. These improvements allow turkey to be produced with a smaller agricultural footprint.” 

Dr. Douglas concluded, “It is our role as a primary breeder to improve the performance of the turkeys from one generation to the next.  This helps to ensure that our customers can produce food using fewer resources for a more sustainable world.  We are also happy to be able to work with our customers in their efforts to be more transparent with their customers and consumers around the world.”