National Meeting for Chicken Industry Draws Hundreds to Ocean City

A two-day scientific conference for the U.S. chicken industry, the 56th National Meeting on Poultry Health, Processing and Live Production, wrapped up Wednesday in Ocean City, with 31 speakers delivering presentations on research, animal health, environmental practices and advances in processing-plant technology to an audience of nearly 300 attendees from 29 states.

The National Meeting is presented by Delmarva Chicken Association, the trade group for Delmarva's chicken community. After conducting an all-virtual online meeting in September 2020, DCA brought the conference back to Ocean City's Clarion Resort Fontainbleau Hotel for 2021. "We are thrilled to be back in person for this meeting and appreciate all who were able to attend here in Ocean City," said Dr. Claudia Osorio, chairperson of DCA's Poultry Health and Welfare Committee.

In a keynote address, USDA Deputy Undersecretary for Food Safety Sandra Eskin described the department's updated vision for improving food safety in collaboration with poultry processors. Other topics addressed at the conference included new processing plant technology for reducing woody breast syndrome in chicken; the future of avian vaccines for salmonella and campylobacter; lessons learned by veterinarians, state officials, and others during the Texas Freeze of 2021, when blackouts and cold temperatures affected both farmers and processors; and current legal issues facing poultry growers.

Major sponsors of the 56th National Meeting on Poultry Health, Processing, and Live Production included MidAtlantic Farm Credit, Boehringer Ingelheim, Merck, Best Veterinary Solutions, WATT Global Media, Clear View Enterprises, Proxy-Clean, Huvepharma, and Live Oak Bank.

"The National Meeting is an important forum for veterinarians, processing facility managers, grow-out managers, live production managers, flock supervisors, allied businesses, government regulators and officials, research faculty and others involved in the poultry industry to meet and share what's new in their fields," said Holly Porter, DCA's executive director. "We're pleased that so many attendees were eager to return to this meeting. We're already planning for the next conference on October 3-5, 2022."

The day before the National Meeting, DCA also hosted its College Scholarship Golf Tournament at GlenRiddle Golf Club in Berlin, Md. The annual tournament devotes 100 percent of its proceeds to DCA's College Scholarship Program, which earlier this year awarded scholarships totaling $11,000 to five students pursuing careers in the chicken community.

Dr. Suzanne Dougherty
Dr. Suzanne Dougherty, veterinarian with poultry processing company Pilgrim's, addresses the audience at the 56th National Meeting on Poultry Health, Processing, and Live Production in Ocean City, Md. on Sept. 28, 2021.

About Delmarva Chicken Association
Delmarva Chicken Association, founded in 1948, is the Delmarva chicken industry's voice as the premier membership association focusing on advocacy, education and member relations. DCA's vision is to be the most-respected chicken organization in the United States. For more information about the Delmarva Chicken Association, visit or call 302-856-9037.

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