Talking Turkey at the 2021 N.C. Turkey Industry Days Conference

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Amongst so much uncertainty this past year and a half, we can all agree how essential farmers are. From farm to fork, feeding the world has not been easy in what has been a turmoil of a pandemic. 

With this duty on our shoulders, we were beyond grateful to be able to host the 43rd North Carolina Turkey Industry Days.

2021 N.C. Turkey Industry Days

Over 200 registrants including turkey producers, industry, researchers, alumni, faculty, and staff from our Prestage Department of Poultry Science gathered in Wilmington, NC on September 29-30, 2021 to “talk turkey.”

Jesse L. Grimes has hosted this event for 26 years, and it’s safe to say this has been one of the most rewarding ones for him. As the Prestage Department of Poultry Science Department Extension Leader and Turkey Extension Specialist, Grimes hosts this event to support the missions of NC State Extension and research. It is through research and outreach programs that agricultural solutions can be provided to the citizens of North Carolina and beyond.

Thankful for Speakers, Sponsors, Staff, and Guests

We want to sincerely thank all the speakers, sponsors, attendees, and PDPS staff and faculty for making this event happen and coming out to “talk turkey.”

NC State faculty at turkey days conference

Marissa Cohen (left), Jesse Grimes (center) and Rocio Crespo (right) discussing recent trends in turkey production.

Margaret Ross and Rich Bonanno at turkey days conference

Area Poultry Agent, Margaret Ross (left) and Rich Bonanno (right), NC State Associate Dean of Extension, at the N.C. Turkey Industry Days conference.

Speakers from PDPS included Sean Chen, Research Assistant Professor, who talked about blackhead and cochlosoma in turkeys, as well Lynn Worley- DavisTeaching Assistant Professor – Director of Undergraduate Programs, who talked about undergraduate recruitment in poultry science.

Dr. Micheal Martin, NC State University Veterinarian and Director of the Veterinary Division within the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, gave an update on the recent trends in North Carolina reportable diseases of backyard poultry as compared to commercial poultry. 

As the Director of College Leadership Programs, Rhonda Sutton gave a very proactive talk on effective communication skills and provided information on ways to connect effectively amongst our peers.

Richard Goforth, Extension Area Specialized Poultry Agent addressed the attendees with important composting AI flocks. With hurricanes, freezing weather conditions, and other obstacles to overcome, it is crucial to have proper understanding between growers and responders in such situations of disease outbreaks, weather conditions, etc. 

The turkey industry can’t stay behind when it comes to technology. Graduate student Jennifer Koch from the Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering at NC State, alongside Sanjay Shah (NC State) and Prafulla Regmi (UGA) presented a project they worked on that involved the design, fabrication, and testing of a robotic carcass picker made by modifying a commercially available remote-controlled ground robot. This was tested at the Talley Turkey Educational Unit along with staff and graduate student Benjamin Alig from PDPS.

From the University of Minnesota, Rob Porter, Professor at the Department of Veterinary Population Medicine (VPM), gave an update on turkey arthritis reovirus and research for possible solutions from his laboratory. 

Chandler Cummings from Advanced Composting Technologies (ACT) discussed turkey arthritis reovirus and the importance of a good composting system.

To wrap up the second day, Keith Larick from N.C. Farm Bureau Federation presented on becoming net carbon neutral. 

Other speakers provided updates and information about the turkey industry that will benefit turkey producers, researchers, and consumers as well.

With Thanksgiving around the corner PDPS Master student, Ashley Gernat wants to remind you we should be thankful for all we have, not only on this special day, but every day. 

All videos and images were captured by Ashley Gernat. This post was authored by Ashley Gernat.