The Poultry Science Association (PSA) Meeting was held in Orlando, Florida this month. It was my pleasure to be there for all but one day of the meeting.
The venue was the same as that proposed by my Branch for the 2020 WPC - the Marriott World Center. It is the largest Marriott on the globe and completely self-contained. One could walk in air-conditioned comfort from hotel room to dining to meeting rooms.
This was the largest PSA ever, in terms of scientists in attendance (1235). I think many people attended and made it a family vacation, taking children and/or grandchildren to nearby Disney World, Universal Studios, etc. The WPSA Lecture was a great success, with the Lecture presented by Dr Kevin Wells, University of Missouri.
I spoke to the Board Members of the United States Branch, at their meeting. Many good ideas were shared and initiatives started re. retention of student members once they graduate and promotion of WPSA to the PSA population. Our Senior Vice-President, Bob Buresh, is taking the lead on many of these ideas. I also attended the Joint Canada/United States Branch Luncheon and shared news from the world body with those in attendance. I spent a great deal of time visiting with students - before sessions, during the poster presentations, and at social events. They were all enthusiastic and bright - that is the good news. The bad news is not a single one of them (both domestic and international students) knew anything about our travel grant programme. They were all WPSA members, but did not know about this valuable resource. We have much work to do in this area, but I think the primary fault is with the major professors and advisors. The students who do know about, apply for, and receive our Travel Grants, make great use of the opportunities. I was sought out by Dr Mariana Lemos de Moraes, who received one of our grants a few years ago. Due to that opportunity she was able to travel from Brazil to Atlanta, present a paper, and land a good job. Today she is happily employed by Jefo and covers Latin America. She seems to find me at meetings around the world and continues to say, ‘Thank you WPSA’. I took a number of photos at the WPSA-related events and with students.
On my last day in Orlando, I was approached by Dr Rosemary Walzem of Texas A&M. She is on the National Academy's Committee to revise the Poultry Nutrition Guidelines. As the United States is not a hot bed of waterfowl research, the Committee is having difficulty finding current review articles on duck and goose nutrition. She approached me because I have been PSA's Representation to the National Academy's Board on Agriculture. I quickly told her that she needed to consult with our Journal Editor. Once back in the office, I put her in touch with Lucy, Roel, and Alan. Roel and Lucy have already provided her with review articles and Alan has encouraged her to attend the upcoming Waterfowl Conference. At this event, she could stimulate researchers to write some of the needed review papers. I think this is just the type of activity WPSA should be involved in and another concrete way of demonstrating the value of WPSA to scientists.
Bob Buresh fought for and was finally given 10 minutes during the PSA Business Meeting - well done.