- Animals: poultry
- Animal Production: animal protection and health, housing
- Crop Production: food product quality/safety
- Education and Training: display, extension, networking, workshop
- Farm Business Management: budgets/cost and returns, marketing management, feasibility study, agricultural finance, value added
- Pest Management: integrated pest management
In response to increasing consumer demand for local foods, many farmers have started or are very interested in integrating poultry enterprises in their operations to increase farm income. Poultry are efficient converters of feed to meat and eggs, require less space and fit nicely as a complementary enterprise on many types of farms. Agricultural service providers were recently surveyed on the issue of poultry. Over 92% of the respondents felt they were not effectively serving poultry producers. Only one of the 40 respondents was confident in answering poultry related questions. At least 81% of the respondents were interested in gaining knowledge and skills in poultry science. This project will involve working with at least 20 agriculture service providers in New England. These participants will come from a variety of backgrounds and experiences related to agriculture, technology, education and service. Each will have a solid history of working with farmers and farm families. They will gain knowledge and skills in basic poultry science in egg and meat production, alternative feeds, breed selection, biosecurity, processing, regulations, marketing, pests, business planning, economics and more for traditionally reared, organic, free-range and pastured poultry. The project will also focus on the joint development of educational materials as well as tools to measure impacts of the providers’ efforts. Successful poultry producers will play an important role by serving on an advisory committee and sharing their real world knowledge, information and situations. This project will involve annual training and regular updates via electronic media. At least twenty agriculture service providers in the six-state region will gain practical knowledge and skills in applied poultry science to confidently design and present educational programs to assist at least 200 small scale poultry producer enterprises and assess the local economic impacts.
Performance targets from proposal:
• Participants will demonstratively gain knowledge and skills in applied poultry science. This will be assessed annually with pre and post testing.
• Participants will identify poultry enterprises in their areas of service. This will be assessed annually. This information will go beyond the agriculture census data.
• At least 200 poultry related enterprises will be started or enhanced over the three year period. This will occur as a result of the participants’ efforts and will be assessed each year.
• Two hundred (200) small scale poultry producers in the region will gain skills and knowledge in starting and/or managing a profitable poultry enterprise. This will occur as a result of the participants’ efforts. This will be measured on a yearly basis.
• At least one hundred (100) poultry producers in the region will develop a written business plan for their poultry operation and a strong, local customer base for their products. This will occur as a result of the participants’ efforts. This will be measured on a yearly basis.
• Economic impacts to producer families and the local economy will be identified and measured. This will be accomplished through case studies. However, one or more of the participants will provide more emphasis to this theme and take it on as a special project.
• The types and numbers of educational materials developed and used by service providers and their clients will be identified. This will be assessed each year.
Revised Performance Target
At least twenty (20) agriculture service providers in the six-state region will gain practical knowledge and skills in applied poultry science to confidently design and present educational programs to assist at least 200 small scale poultry producer enterprises and assess the local economic impacts. The annual estimated total net return is $548,750.00 (100 poultry producers with egg enterprises $273,750.00 annually; 100 poultry producers with meat enterprises $275,000.00 annually).