When you think about egg farming, what comes to mind—spending time in the barn tending to the hens, perhaps monitoring equipment and technology or even working together with other professionals in the industry?
Today, many farmers are pursuing training and education in agriculture at universities and colleges across the country, and from coast to coast farms are benefiting from the latest research and innovation available thanks to the efforts of leading universities and researchers.
These universities provide cutting-edge information to farmers while nurturing the next generation of industry experts and researchers with invaluable hands-on experience. From the farm to the campus, these university programs and the research they do are helping to develop innovative practices that directly impact Canada’s egg industry.
Dalhousie University, University of Guelph, University of Saskatchewan and University of Alberta are some of the Canadian schools helping advance the best practices and innovative methods used on egg farms across the country.
Dalhousie’s Faculty of Agriculture and Department of Animal Science and Aquaculture offer a range of state-of-the-art facilities within its Truro, Nova Scotia-based campus.
Students can expect specialized courses in animal welfare, environmental sustainability and the production of eggs, biochemistry, genetics and breeding, to name a few. Program graduates enter the workforce with practical experience in working with animals—especially since the school has a functional farm and fields for hands-on learning.
The school’s commitment to poultry innovation doesn’t stop here—the Atlantic Poultry Research Institute works to further the poultry industry’s interests through scientific research.
University of Guelph
Many unique learning opportunities await students who are enrolled in the University of Guelph’s Animal Science program. The program is based on the philosophy that “agriculture is about food, science, business, and responsibly using our land and resources for the betterment of all.”
As part of the university’s Ontario Agricultural College, Animal Science undergrads learn about the environmental factors that affect agricultural productivity, physiology and reproduction, methods of improving food quality, as well as animal behaviour, housing and management systems and animal welfare.
Likewise, the University of Guelph’s Arkell Station acts as a hub of research dedicated to the fields of poultry, equine and swine study. Here, poultry researchers have access to the latest equipment and a range of special project buildings and research facilities.
University of Saskatchewan
With the philosophy that Animal Science professionals should have their sights set on innovative methods of farming, as well as solutions aimed at growing populations, limited land resources, and a changing climate, the University of Saskatchewan’s Department of Animal and Poultry Science offers students many options for pursuing meaningful agricultural careers.
Specializing in research within poultry nutrition, management and welfare, the department offers the Poultry Research and Teaching Unit. This facility houses a commercial flock, a broiler unit and a hatchery.
University of Alberta
Students interested in pursuing careers in agriculture can look to the University of Alberta as providing a strong and varied learning foundation.
The school’s highly interactive program covers a wealth of topics including animal behavior, biology, animal safety and food quality, microbiology and physiology among others. Students receive valuable, hands-on instruction from a variety of industry professionals and by working directly with animals.
To further innovation at the university, the school’s Poultry Research Centre is a partnership between the poultry industry along with Alberta Agriculture and Food and Rural Development. Here an interdisciplinary team of scientists conduct research to assist in the advancement of egg and poultry production, as well as with the food processing and manufacturing industries.
It truly is an exciting time to pursue a career within egg farming. If you’re a student considering your options, it’s plain to see that these four universities, along with many others in Canada, have built up solid reputations that provide the practical and theoretical foundations you’ll require for an industry committed to innovation and sustainable solutions.