During the week of Aug. 3-7, Aviagen® experienced a milestone – its first virtual Production Management School. The online School saw 480 geographically and culturally diverse attendees from every region of the globe. Thus, the virtual nature of the course broadened the scope of knowledge sharing for the company even further than the long-running physical school. The virtual School is one of many ways Aviagen is leveraging technology to stay engaged and connected with customers during the current COVID-19 pandemic.
The more than 35 topics presented by Aviagen and industry experts explored best practices in poultry production that serve to strengthen bird welfare, health and performance, while increasing profitability for chicken producers. Among the highlights was a live ventilation workshop led by the Poultry Department staff from the University of Auburn.
Effective learning solution during COVID challenges
The virtual School fostered lively discussions, idea exchanges, and networking among participants, while offering the convenience of engaging with the content at their own pace, from their homes and offices in their respective time zones, and using the device (desktop, phone or tablet) of their choice. It also encouraged relationship building, with the ability for students to chat back and forth, as well as comment on posts from classmates.
To enforce concepts discussed, students tested their knowledge by taking end-of-session quizzes. Click here to see the top three achievers per region.
Committed to staying connected with customers
The company is committed to using new tools and technology to share the latest developments and best practices with its customers to strengthen the success of their poultry operations, and normally offers the School each year in Huntsville, Alabama, U.S. Since the beginning of the pandemic, Aviagen has provided a variety of online events worldwide, with the aim of staying in close contact with customers and offering a forum for them to exchange experiences, ideas and information.
Enthusiastic response from virtual students
Aviagen received useful feedback from students to the topics, giving important insight for future planning. Aviagen Marketing Tradeshow and Digital Events Manager Wouter “Woody” Lassauw reported that, out of 325 votes, the session ratings scored a consistent 4.5-5 stars.
Some direct commentary from students included:
“The Virtual Production Management School was very successful, and we benefited from the large amount of new information. Thanks to the Aviagen team for the effort and opportunity,” commented Islam Raslan of Tiba Poultry Grandparent Co.
“Hats off to Aviagen – the organizers and speakers have been amazing. Looks like it’s been a worldwide success, and I have some beneficial knowledge to take home,” added Sean Harrison of H Timmis Farms.
“The lessons were great, covering topics that are widely discussed here in the UK. I enjoyed exploring the biology of the bird at the farm level, which is important to have a good understanding of. I will certainly be recommending it to colleagues and other professionals in the future,” remarked Milena Nikolic from Agromont.
“I feel we all learned new things and got to know someone to share common experiences with. Thanks to Aviagen for the opportunity!” concluded Lewis Fisher, an Aviagen Contract Farmer.
Lassauw agreed that this first-ever Virtual Production Management School was a definite success. “Since, due to these unfortunate times, we were not able to have our annual in-person School, we had a great opportunity to create a solution that ended up being extremely successful globally. It was rewarding to see everyone around the world come together, while still being able to discuss the topics and feel connected. We’ve appreciated the positive comments on the school, and are happy we were able to deliver what our students wanted.”
Due to overwhelming requests, Lassauw added that Aviagen is already planning future virtual schools. The Aviagen schools are by invitation only, and customers may contact their regional managers for more information.