TUCKER, Ga. — Poultry industry professionals from around the country recently met in Nashville, Tenn., for USPOULTRY’s 2023 Poultry Processor Workshop. The workshop focused on developing and retaining leaders, process control and technology, and animal welfare, along with many other topics.
Doug Anderson, area human resources manager for Wayne-Sanderson Farms, provided insights into how employees can be developed into the leaders needed by an organization. Speaking on his experiences with talent management at Wayne-Sanderson Farms, he noted that frequently the talent pool for company leadership can be identified from within current employees, given the right direction from management. He offered several examples of the success of this approach along with some of the benefits of identifying leaders internally.
Following his presentation, Anderson and Stan Fretwell, Arkansas operations manager for Peco Foods, participated in a roundtable discussion where they examined some of the approaches they have used to improve turnover and encourage employees to remain at their facilities. Some suggestions discussed between the panelists and attendees included recognition initiatives, developing meaningful relationships with employees, and checking in with employees prior to key turnover intervals.
Steve Hartley, president of Matrix Industrial Control Systems, Inc., presented attendees with several emerging technologies in poultry processing. Far from being abstract tools or simple recordkeeping software, today’s electronic systems capture data in real time and can empower managers to make production decisions based on current data that can be stored for later use. Cloud technology and its advantages over legacy systems, including scalability, accessibility and cost effectiveness, was also reviewed, leading to a discussion of artificial intelligence, plant automation and vision technology.
Amelia Woods, poultry welfare manager at PAACO, spoke about successfully integrating animal welfare programs into plant operations. One key consideration she encouraged attendees to keep in mind is not to expect a cookie-cutter approach across plants, as each has its own unique characteristics. She also discussed common audit points and how these criteria can be evaluated.
–U.S. Poultry & Egg Association