SUSY KLEIN: Kath and I started in the poultry industry as young graduates at Ingham’s; Kath’s area was animal nutrition, while mine was food safety and quality. Between the two of us we have over 50 years’ experience in the sector, and we laugh that we are very much a part of the chicken family. We are both proud to be part of the chicken industry and have a sense of ownership of it; it really gets into your blood.
We’re both perfectionists, very detail oriented and conscious of supporting those around us, and because we have been “brought up” in the industry, we tend to think the same way from a technical perspective.
What I love about Kath is her honesty and her passion, and that absolutely inspires me, because she is so down to earth and genuine. I really admire her intelligence, and her ability to be able to think out of the box.
Scientifically we complement each other, Kath’s a nutritionist, I’m a microbiologist. Kath is very blue sky, whereas sometimes I can be quite the opposite. That approach – moving things forward, having blue sky goals, along with targets that are more tangible and achievable – means we work really well together.
We have been surrounded by passionate people throughout our careers, and we have been fortunate to have very stable, secure, interesting and rewarding careers. We like sharing our knowledge and help nurture and develop people with the same kind of passion for the industry.
We want to bring through that next generation of Australian poultry industry scientists and people who have the knowledge and the desire to be in the industry; we are very passionate about who’s coming, and that they feel the same way about the industry. We need a good balance of people who are hands on and practical, who are smart, intelligent, hardworking, get out there and just get it done, people who want to stay in the industry.
The poultry industry is scientific, dynamic, stimulating and busy, and because it is fully integrated, it gives you a holistic view of an agricultural industry. The integrated nature of the industry means that any research and development that we do is critical because it influences so many different parts of the industry; nutrition research in meat chickens has an effect on processing, and eventually the customer and consumer. We have a real opportunity in the AgriFutures Chicken Meat Program to significantly impact the whole industry.