Several of the lecture sessions during ONE: The Alltech Ideas Conference centered around opportunities and innovations pertaining to animal health and nutrition, and many offered unique perspectives on ways to overcome the many challenges facing those fields.
One of the most unique, comprehensive perspectives offered to attendees was that of Dr. Stephen Collett, DVM, a clinical professor at the University of Georgia School of Veterinary Medicine, with research interests in poultry nutrition and the link between digestive health and bird welfare, nutrient assimilation and production performance. His speeches focused on how increased consumer interest in animal health and nutrition has created a significant shift in the roles played by the veterinarian, nutritionist, and producer, and what he believes it all means for the future of livestock production.
“A tremendous evolution has begun to occur from both the intensification of production and the latest movement in consumer preference, which places a strong emphasis on how we raise birds and how we treat the environment.” Said Dr. Collett in an interview following his session. “This has made it essential that we emphasize the synergy between the veterinarian and the nutritionist. The increased pressure from the consumer and our government has placed a lot of responsibilities previously given to nutritionists back into the hands of veterinarians, so an integrated approach to nutrition has become absolutely crucial.”
The pressure from consumers has been felt heavily throughout livestock production sectors this year with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) recent final revision of the Veterinary Feed Directives Guidance (VFD), but Dr. Collett’s perspective was optimistic, and focused on the opportunities that these requirements are actively facilitating. He discussed a few groundbreaking innovative technologies such as nutrigenomics, which studies the impact nutrients are able to have on gene expression and performance, that are beginning to surface through the changing relationships and responsibilities of animal healthcare professionals.
“The field of animal nutrition is developing so unbelievably quickly, and considering the fact that we are able to accumulate huge amounts of data, and that we have the capacity to analyze that data, we can now start to detect responses to these stimuli and their impact on gene expression, and that allows us to further integrate nutrition with veterinary science,” he said.
Listen to Lizzy’s full interview with Dr. Collett here:
Interview with Dr. Stephen Collett, DVM, University of Georgia
View and download photos from the event here:2016 ONE: The Alltech Ideas Conference Photo Album