Poultry Training Program Approved

May 24, 2021
Turkey poult

Up until now, there has never been a formal poultry training program in the state of Minnesota. The avian influenza outbreak in 2015 that wiped out millions of turkeys and chickens emphasized the need for training for entry level positions to highly skilled researchers.

VBS Professor Tim Johnson has led the nearly five-year campaign to create a new Poultry Health post-baccalaureate certificate program designed for early- to mid-career professionals interested in advanced understanding of poultry health and disease. The program focuses on basic understanding of the avian host as it relates to poultry production systems, the technologies and tools to assess health, and diagnosing and addressing disease at the gross and molecular levels. The enhanced knowledge and hands-on experience with applied and/or molecular tools will position graduates to deal with commonly encountered and investigated issues that arise in poultry production and allied industries. In addition to the online curriculum, elective experiential credits are offered by the Mid-Central Research and Outreach Center in Willmar, MN. In May, this certificate program was fully approved by the University of Minnesota Board of Regents.

Starting Fall 2021, three advanced online poultry classes will be offered at the University of Minnesota including:

POUL 5101-Living and raising animals in a microbial world: The poultry perspective
POUL 5102-How safe is your chicken? Food safety from a poultry perspective
POUL 5103-Poultry biosecurity, framework for healthy production

These courses will be building blocks for students working towards an undergraduate poultry minor, a graduate poultry health certificate for higher-level training in poultry health, or a master's in applied poultry science. Johnson explains,"It’s a 'stackable' model that can allow students or working professionals to advance from one degree to the next and 'work their way up the ladder.'"  Individual classes can also be taken without obtaining a certificate or degree, allowing anyone to have access to the various courses, or create a custom blend, based on their education needs. For more information, please visit the Stackable Poultry Training Programs website or read, "New poultry training program begins this fall at Ridgewater College and University of Minnesota," written by Carolyn Lange, West Central Tribune, Willmar, MN.