ATLANTA – During the Culinary Tour of Nations luncheon Feb. 1 at the International Poultry and Processing Expo (IPPE) in Atlanta, Merck Animal Health awarded Maria Arendt with the 2017 Poultry Research Fellowship. The fellowship, a partnership with the Poultry Science Association Foundation, provides the recipient with a $100,000 grant to use toward research in poultry science.

Arendt is a doctoral student at the Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison. She is writing her dissertation on “the role of interleukin-10 in coccidia infection.”

“We are thrilled to support Maria’s research as part of our ongoing commitment to advancing the future of poultry science,” said Delair Angelo Bolis, head of the Global Poultry Business Unit at Merck Animal Health. 

In addition to presenting the scholarship during IPPE, Merck Animal Health also invited some IPPE attendees to its booth during the three-day show to hear its “Step Up To Solutions” sessions with poultry producers from around the world.

Joe DePippo, a partner at Tournant Inc., was one expert who spoke with producers to address their concerns about “shifting consumer demands and market segmentation in the poultry industry, including a demand for transparency, convenience and antibiotic-free or organic products.”

Dr. Steve Leeson, professor of the Dept. of Animal and Poultry Science, Univ. of Guelph in Ontario, Canada, also met with producers at the “Step Up To Solutions” sessions. 
“Poultry science is not a one-size-fits-all type of industry,” Leeson said. “There are new variables to consider for each poultry producer. It’s a matter of finding the right combination that fits your customers, your community and your farm. A lot of people stay in the poultry industry for a long time, but you have to adapt to the new technology and new demands of consumers.”

Dr. James Donald of Auburn Univ., who specializes in biosystems engineering and poultry ventilation, told visitors: “Just because a producer approaches a situation differently does not mean they are doing it incorrectly,” he said. “Each culture has a different economic model, with varying availabilities of labor, electricity and building materials. You can’t replicate what is successful for one farm in the US and apply it everywhere because you have to adapt the science to fit the particular environment.”