AgriFutures Australia’s Manager Research Rachele Osmond says as Australia’s chicken meat industry expands to meet consumer demands, there is a need for strong succession initiatives to help retain important skills and knowledge within the industry.
“Having young people start in the industry with access to different areas of the chicken meat supply chain can lead them into a fulfilling career with the industry and provide them with suitable contacts and networking opportunities that can help kickstart their career.”
Along with investing in research, development and extension (RD&E), investment in building the capacity of industry participants is a key focus for AgriFutures Chicken Meat Program in its efforts to foster an innovative, adaptive and valuable chicken meat industry.
“We’re committed to supporting future industry leaders by providing a range of capacity building opportunities and funding to early career professionals.”
Scholarship recipient proof of capacity building success
The Gary Sansom Scholarship is one of the Program’s many capacity building investments and seeks to invest in the future leaders of the Australian chicken meat industry, named in memory of the late Gary Sansom. At the time of his passing Gary was the AgriFutures Chicken Meat Advisory Panel Chair and Australian Chicken Meat Federation President.
“Gary was a strong advocate for initiatives to encourage new people into the chicken meat industry, championing several communication and training initiatives,” added Ms Osmond. “The intent of the scholarship is to support a high-quality student to undertake industry-relevant research, initiate engagement between the student and industry, and to foster a long-term career in the industry.”
In 2019 Joshua Angove was awarded the scholarship, and now nearing completion of his PhD, Mr Angove says his introduction to the chicken meat industry was through his honours project.
“I was intrigued by the concept of developmental programming (how the nutrition and environment of the hen influences how efficiently her progeny grow), so I sought a research project in that field and the only one available was in chicken meat production,” said Mr Angove.
“The scale of chicken meat production in Australia isn’t something I was ever exposed to growing up. Showing consumers just how much goes into raising and caring for the animal they ultimately buy from the supermarket is something I’ve become very passionate about.”