Poultry Science Students and Faculty Recognized by Poultry Science Association

Top from left: Sarah Johnson-Young, Annalise Anderson and Travis Tabler. Bottom: Andi Asnayanti and Shawna Weimer.
Jessica Wesson

Top from left: Sarah Johnson-Young, Annalise Anderson and Travis Tabler. Bottom: Andi Asnayanti and Shawna Weimer.

Four poultry science students and one faculty member were awarded for their research presentations at the Poultry Science Association Annual Meeting in Philadelphia. Student research supported the commercial poultry industry through outreach programs.

Sarah Johnson-Young is currently pursuing a master's degree in poultry science. She was recognized for her research presentation, which focused on improving poultry meat quality using non-traditional marinade ingredients.

"Consumers have begun pushing for more natural ingredients as they want to know what they are putting into their bodies," Johnson-Young said. "Up to 50% of all poultry products are marinated. This research is important because it allows for the development of natural ingredients to impart new flavors, textures and appearance, while maintaining or improving the quality of meats marinated with traditional phosphates."

This was her first time presenting orally at a conference. Johnson-Young was recognized with a Student Certificate of Excellence for her efforts.

"I think this opportunity served as a great indication of what is to come in the way of my research journey, and it also showed me how to continue improving my presentation skills," Johnson-Young said.

Travis Tabler graduated with his Ph.D. in poultry science from the U of A in May 2023, and he also presented research at the meeting. The goal of his research was to test current water monitoring systems with commercial broilers to assess the accuracy and efficacy of the systems, while looking at different broiler bloodlines for water efficiency.

"Our research aims to provide evidential support for better breeding, with a focus on industry-relevant traits, like water efficiency, that better position our industry from a financial, sustainability and animal welfare perspective," Tabler said.

Tabler was recognized with a Student Certificate of Excellence, and he said it was an honor to receive the award.

"I felt so blessed and thankful that I have had such a strong foundation of support and encouragement throughout my time at the University of Arkansas," Tabler said. "I would not be presenting or having this research acknowledged without the endless hours of work that Dr. Sara Orlowski and my many mentors have provided."

Andi Asnayanti, a graduate student, also received a Certificate of Excellence for her poster presentation at PSA's Annual Meeting. Her research focused on developing intervention measures to mitigate Bacterial Chondreonecrosis with Osteomyelitis (BCO) Lameness in broilers.

"BCO lameness is causing huge economic losses, food safety concerns and animal welfare issues in the poultry industry," Asnayanti said. "The research on the development of effective intervention measures alleviating BCO lameness in broilers will contribute to minimizing financial loss and the health impacts of BCO, as well as nurture the animal's wellbeing."

She said she felt honored to be recognized with this award.

Annalise Anderson, graduate student at Auburn University, presented her research in metabolism and nutrition. Her research was completed while she was a student at the U of A. Her study focused on the function of the amino acid arginine beyond protein synthesis and accretion in broilers.

"Arginine is a precursor for the synthesis of many molecules involved in important roles, like immune function and alleviation of stress," Anderson said. "Identifying levels of arginine that may optimize these functions for poultry is beneficial, as they may not be the same as those usually recommended to optimize growth performance."

Anderson was awarded a Certificate of Excellence for oral presentation, and she said she felt honored and grateful for the recognition.

Shawna Weimer, assistant professor and director of the Center for Food Animal Wellbeing, was recognized for her efforts in extension. She received the Early Achievement Award in Extension, which honors the outreach achievements of PSA members in the early stages of their career.

"I felt very honored to have received recognition from the Poultry Science Association for my outreach efforts with the poultry industry," Weimer said. "The community members of the poultry industry organizations and scientists at the Division of Agriculture and University of Arkansas are a supportive network. The achievements that I was recognized for are a reflection of their dedication and contributions to advancing poultry welfare."

Weimer provides poultry education and outreach through the extension service and focuses her extension activities in creating collaborations between academia, animal welfare organizations and stakeholders that are concerned about the challenges in today's poultry industry. She aims to create training programs through applied research and other helpful efforts to aid in the animal welfare challenge. She also conducts research for the U of A System Division of Agriculture through its research arm, the Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station.

"I would like to thank the PSA leadership team for their hard work in supporting poultry science students and professionals in so many ways," Weimer said.

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