Unveiling Advanced Technologies for Future Poultry Operations

November 5-7, 2018
Georgia Tech Hotel & Conference Center
Atlanta, Georgia

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Poultry Tech Summit is a new conference that focused on transition of innovative technologies from researchers and entrepreneurs into commercial applications for the benefit of the poultry industry. This event is the only one of its kind being offered to connect researchers and entrepreneurs with poultry sector technology experts, financiers, bankers and venture capitalists looking for new projects to fund.

The content focused solely  on innovative technologies that are ready for future application in poultry live production, processing and supply chain. The conference brought together key researchers in university and USDA-ARS labs, start-up companies, venture capitalists and innovation leaders from integrators and commercial companies to learn, discuss and network on the very latest in new technology developments.

Presenters showcased projects in need of funding that are 3-5 years from availability in the marketplace and Poultry Tech Summit will be the first-ever platform for presenting these technologies. Conference participants also had the opportunity to exchange ideas on the current and future technology needs of the poultry industry.

Venture capitalists saw innovations in poultry production technologies in which they can invest. Vendors made contacts with those seeking new technologies in the industry, and explore what they can implement.

Reese Schroeder, managing director for Tyson Ventures, presented the keynote speech during the 2018 Poultry Tech Summit. Tyson Ventures, Tyson Food’s venture capital fund, invests in companies that develop breakthrough technologies. During his presentation, Schroeder discussed the role of venture capital in shaping how food will be produced in the future.

Panel discussion: Technologies that will reshape the poultry industry
Venture capital funding has accelerated the rate of innovation in all industries, including agriculture. Attendees learned what technologies that professionals from venture capital funds specializing in data and computing, the food industry, biotechnology, and food safety think hold the greatest promise.
Panelists include: 
Brett Brohl, Managing Director, Techstars Farm to Fork Accelerator
Dean Didato, Partner, Innova Ag Innovation Fund
Blake Patton, Managing Partner, Tech Square Ventures
Dr. Cynthia Sides, Director of Industry Engagement, University of Arkansas

2018 Poultry Tech Summit agenda outline:

November 5

  • 5:00 pm – 6:30 pm – Opening Reception

November 6

  • 7:00 am – 8:00 am – Breakfast
  • 8:00 am – 5:00 pm – Educational presentations
  • 5:00 pm – 6:00 pm – Networking Social Hour

November 7

  • 7:00 am – 8:00 am – Breakfast
  • 8:00 am – 12:00 pm – Educational presentations
  • 12:00 pm – Poultry Tech Summit concludes

View the full agenda.

Showcasing the next frontier for industry, technology and venture capital, this unique executive level event presented new research of technologies with potential to be commercialized within a 5-year period. Ranging from Artificial Intelligence, robotics, blockchain, sensors, Virtual Reality, vaccines and more to improve outcomes for poultry companies in all aspects of production from farm through the processing plant.

Registration for this unique event covered 1-1/2 days of educational presentations, 2 evening cocktail receptions, 2 breakfasts, 1 lunch and multiple networking breaks.

Who attended:

  • Poultry company C-level executives
  • Corporate leaders in QA/QC, R&D
  • Live Production and Processing Technology Personnel
  • Veterinarians, Nutritionists
  • Suppliers interested in funding or acquiring new tech
  • Financiers, bankers and venture capitalists

Poultry Tech Summit 2018 featured the following proposed presentation themes or topics for suggested speakers, panel sessions and/or break-out groups:

  • Food safety
  • Robotics and automation
  • Life sciences
  • Big data and artificial intelligence

Poultry Tech Summit 2018 Content

Innovations in the categories of data and artificial intelligence, life sciences, robotics and automation, and food safety were showcased. The list of innovations unveiled at Poultry Tech Summit included:

Life science innovations: Advancing bird health and welfare

  • Mazen Animal Health Inc. will discuss the technology used to insert genes for specific antigens into corn plants thus creating orally administered vaccines for poultry diseases.
  • TyraTech Inc. will share developments in phytogenic products which can be used to control poultry gut parasites.
  • Transport Genie Ltd. has developed a real-time monitoring system for use in poultry transport coops which can be used by processors and researchers to improve bird welfare during the loadout, in transport and it plant holding sheds.
  • eggXYT will present its technology for inserting a bio-marker in the DNA of male chicks to create a detectable optical signature in the embryo.

Big data & AI innovations: Improving performance at the farm and the plant

  • Simple Ag Solutions Inc. will discuss how blockchain technology can be applied to veterinary records to maintain transparency and traceability while also providing analytics to evaluate efficacy of treatments.
  • Little Bird Systems will present a solar powered system for estimating the amount of feed in a bin using a small device to apply the vibration along with sensors and software.
  • Smart Data Science Solutions LLC applies machine learning to statistical process control so that the system outputs a set of metrics that assess whether any changes to the process that are detected are more likely due to the inherent variation in the process or whether the underlying signal has changed.
  • Olga Kemenova from the Georgia Tech Research Institute will discuss the Poultry System Simulation Model which simulates the water, energy, wastewater and labor utilization of a poultry processing plant.
  • Abuerdan company will present its big data analytical solution using predictive analytics and deep learning analysis to manage the live production of poultry and providing traceability throughout the supply chain.

Food safety innovations:

  • Clear Labs Inc. will discuss technology for reducing the time needed to detect and serotype Salmonella in samples from 3-5 days to 24 hours.
  • Technicon LLC has developed a gear box for processing line applications which has an outer surface that is rust-proof, has antimicrobial properties and has a smooth surface for easy cleaning.
  • General Probiotics Inc. will present a new class of probiotic cultures which will reduce the load of pathogens carried by poultry and has the potential to improve both bird health and food safety.

Robotics & automation innovations: Improving performance while reducing labor needs

  • Seung-Chul Yoon with USDA ARS will present a machine vision system for detecting woody breast in boneless skinless breast filets without contacting or damaging the filets.
  • Colin Usher with the Georgia Tech Research Institute will share details of a poultry house robot that operates on the floor of the house and navigates using imaging sensors and can detect and pick up floor eggs.
  • Farm Robotics and Automation SL will discuss its poultry house robot that is suspended from the ceiling of the house and has sensors for monitoring both bird and house conditions.
  • Sim Harbart with The Georgia Tech Research Institute will present a virtual reality system that simulates cutting trajectories for automated poultry processing systems.

Keynote: Venture capital – Shaping the future of the food industry
Reese Schroeder, Managing Director, Tyson Ventures
Tyson Ventures, Tyson Foods’ venture capital fund, is investing in companies developing breakthrough technologies. Schroeder will discuss the role of venture capital in shaping how food will be produced in the future.

Panel discussion: Technologies that will reshape the poultry industry
Venture capital funding has accelerated the rate of innovation in all industries, including agriculture. Learn what technologies that professionals from venture capital funds specializing in data and computing, the food industry, biotechnology, and food safety think hold the greatest promise.
Panelists include:
Brett Brohl, Managing Director, Techstars Farm to Fork Accelerator
Dean Didato, Partner, Innova Ag Innovation Fund
Blake Patton, Managing Partner, Tech Square Ventures
Dr. Cynthia Sides, Director of Industry Engagement, University of Arkansas

More speaker announcements will be released soon.

Poultry Tech Summit 2018 Speakers, Panelists & Innovators

Speakers & Panelists

Todd J. Applegate, professor and head of the department of poultry science at the University of Georgia

Applegate is a professor and head of the department of poultry science at the University of Georgia. Preceding his current appointment, he developed an active research program which complemented his outreach program by providing readily applicable research answers to everyday management and nutrition questions by the poultry industry. Additionally, his research explores mechanisms of nutrient, pathogen, and mycotoxin interaction within and with the gastrointestinal tract to ultimately improve nutrient absorption and retention. Applegate has been a member of several national committees including service as the president of the Poultry Science Association, member of the national (US) Coordinating Animal Nutrition Committee of State Agricultural Experiment Stations, and past-chair of a USDA working group to minimize impact of animal agriculture on the environment.

Brett Brohl, managing director, Techstars Farm to Fork Accelerator

Brohl is the managing director of the Techstars Farm to Fork Accelerator, partnered with Cargill and Ecolab. He is an experienced entrepreneur, investor and mentor, driven by making a difference in the world through helping entrepreneurs succeed. Brohl honed his start-up skills as the CEO of multiple companies.

Prior to the Techstars Farm to Fork Accelerator, Brohl served as director of the inaugural Techstars Startup Next Food & Ag in partnership with Land O’Lakes and as the entrepreneur in residence at Techstars Retail Accelerator in partnership with Target.

Brohl is the founder and managing partner of The Syndicate Fund, an early stage venture capital fund investing in retail, marketing, food and agriculture. When he’s not engaging the world’s start-up scene Brohl can be found hanging with his wife and kids, driving a lobster boat, or pretending to be a tennis pro.

Karen Christensen, Ph.D., senior director of animal well-being, Tyson Foods Inc.

Christensen has worked extensively in live production for more than 35 years, serving as broiler manager, live production manager and director of technical services. She then worked for to the Center of Excellence in Poultry at the University of Arkansas as an associate professor where she was involved in extension and research around welfare and production. At Tyson Foods, where Christensen has worked since 2017, she is responsible for the well-being of broilers, turkeys, hogs and cattle. Christensen has served on the Board of Directors for PAACO, the Professional Animal Auditor Certification Organization, since 2007. She serves as the chair of the Training and Education Committee and the chair of the Poultry Science Association Welfare Committee. Christensen has a B.S. and M.S. in animal science from Washington State University and a Ph.D. in poultry physiology from Mississippi State University.

Dean Didato, partner, Innova Memphis Inc.

Didato is a partner with Innova Memphis, an early stage venture capital firm. Didato joined the firm in May 2017 to manage the Innova Ag Innovation Fund IV.

Prior to joining Innova, Didato was a strategic accounts manager for food safety and solutions provider The Vincit Group.

Didato has an extensive background in B2B technical sales and service in the specialty chemical and bioengineering segment. He holds several patents.

Didato has negotiated many strategic alliances resulting in distribution agreements or licensing opportunities. He has been a senior team member consultant and/or mentor to a series of bio-ag-based startups since 2009. These firms include BioDimensions, Infinite Enzymes, BioNanovations, and Secure Food Solutions Inc., where he remains a board member. He is a director on the boards of Skycision Inc. and AgriSync Inc.

Didato received his bachelor’s degree in biology-management from Marietta College, Marietta, Ohio, and completed a variety of post-graduate programs on management.

Dr. John Glisson, director of research program, U.S. Poultry & Egg Harold E. Ford Foundation

As director of U.S. Poultry & Egg Harold E. Ford Foundation’s research program, Glisson administers the association’s comprehensive research program that encompasses all components of poultry and egg production and processing. He works with the foundation’s Research Advisory Committee, receiving and evaluating research proposals, and making recommendations to the board of directors for funding approval. Glisson retired as head of the Department of Population Health at the University of Georgia, was head of the Department of Avian Medicine, and was associate dean of Public Service and Outreach at the University of Georgia’s College of Veterinary Medicine. He is past president of the American Association of Avian Pathologists, and has received numerous honors for his work. He received his bachelor of science degree in biology from Valdosta State and doctorate of veterinary medicine, a master’s degree in avian medicine and a doctorate in medical mirobiology from the University of Georgia.

Jane McCracken, interim director, Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC)

McCracken is the interim director of the Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC), the state of Georgia’s technology business incubator and a program of the Georgia Institute of Technology. McCracken has an extensive career as an entrepreneur and venture capitalist. She founded and served in the C-suite of several technology companies including those in health care, software and e-commerce. She raised more than $100 million in funding for those companies and achieved a successful exit in each. Prior to her career as an entrepreneur, McCracken raised funds for and managed two venture capital organizations in the U.K. and established a 50-person business angel organization, all of which focused on investments in early stage technology companies. McCracken has served on boards for public and private companies, as well as government-related and nonprofit organizations. She obtained her bachelor’s degree from Wake Forest University and her master’s degree at the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Gary McMurray, interim IRIM executive director and associate director, collaborative robotics and division chief, principal research engineer, food processing technology division, Georgia Tech Research Institute

McMurray is interim IRIM executive director & associate director, collaborative robotics and division chief, principal research engineer, food processing technology division, Georgia Tech Research Institute. He has led the development of advanced robotic systems for the food, transportation and biomedical industries. He is in charge of the GTRI division that conducts significant industrial research under Georgia’s Traditional Industries Program and leads the division’s efforts for identifying and marketing new research opportunities. McMurray has led research teams that have resulted in commercial systems as well as basic research that is critical to saving the industry millions of dollars and fundamental research that has broad application in other application areas. He is working with GTRI and GT leaders to market resources to the Department of Defense in the area of unmanned systems.

Dr. Gota Morota, assistant professor, department of animal and poultry sciences, Virginia Polytechnic Institute

Morota is an assistant professor of quantitative genetics in the department of animal and poultry sciences at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute. His research interests center on statistical quantitative genetics and its application to animal and plant breeding. His work connects phenotypic variation with high-dimensional omic information including single nucleotide polymorphisms, gene expression and DNA methylation. His recent research involves developing statistical methods for prediction of complex traits and association studies. Morota received his Ph.D. in animal science and M.S. in dairy science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He earned his B.S. in agricultural science from the Obihiro University of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine.

Terrence O’Keefe, content director, WATT Global Media

O’Keefe began his association with the poultry industry in graduate school and has been working with and writing about poultry for 34 years. In his role as content director, O’Keefe leads a team of 24 reporters, editors and artists who cover the world’s poultry, animal feed and pet food industries. He has written for and edited publications covering the broiler, turkey and egg industries. Prior to joining WATT, he worked for broiler and turkey companies in variety of live production and processing roles including serving as manager for broiler and turkey slaughter and deboning plants. O’Keefe earned a B.S. in biology at the College of William & Mary, an M.S. in poultry science at the Pennsylvania State University and an MBA at James Madison University.

Blake Patton, managing partner, Tech Square Ventures

Patton is the founder and managing partner of Tech Square Ventures. He represents Tech Square Ventures on the boards of several companies and serves as Tech Square Venture’s fund manager for Engage, an innovative accelerator and venture fund in partnership with 10 leading corporations and Georgia Tech.

Prior to founding Tech Square Ventures, Patton was general manager of the Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC) at Georgia Tech. Before that, he served as president and chief operating officer of Interactive Advisory Software and executive vice president of internet services company iXL. Patton also founded Siteman – one of the first cloud offerings in the online content management space. He started his career as an associate at SEI Corp.

Patton is an active leader in the technology community, and is an instructor at Georgia Tech’s Scheller College of Business, where he teaches entrepreneurial finance.

Patton earned a bachelor of industrial and systems engineering degree from Georgia Tech.

Reese Schroeder, managing director, Tyson Ventures

Schroeder is managing director of Tyson Ventures. He is responsible for building and managing the opportunity pipeline, as well as executing investment transactions. Prior to joining Tyson Foods, Schroeder was with Motorola for 28 years serving as managing director for Motorola Ventures/Motorola Solutions Venture Capital from 2004 until 2017. Before that, he was a director in Motorola’s corporate development and strategic transactions group, responsible for a wide variety of M&A activity. Prior to joining Motorola, Schroeder was vice president of sales and administration for a Midwest-based manufacturer of chemical transportation containers. He also engaged in his own private law practice for a brief time. In 1981, Schroeder graduated from North Central College in Naperville, Illinois, with a B.A. in political science. He received his J.D. from John Marshall Law School in 1984. Schroeder is the 2016 recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Global Corporate Venturing organization.

Cynthia Sides, director of industry engagement at the University of Arkansas

Sides is director of industry engagement at the University of Arkansas, jointly reporting to the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Innovation and the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Economic Development. She was also recently the associate director for entrepreneurship at U of A. Sides leads the Professional Awareness, Advancement, and Development program, an NSF-funded project that prepares STEM graduate students for their careers. She also teaches emerging technologies in industry, an interdisciplinary graduate course. Sides grew up Arkansas and graduated from Arkansas Tech University with a B.S. in chemistry and a B.A. in English. She earned her Ph.D. and completed a postdoc in the chemistry and biochemistry department at the University of Arkansas. Between her graduate school and postdoc years, Sides volunteered extensively by participating in and developing community outreach programs. She serves on the board for the Startup Junkie Foundation and works closely with other universities and K-12 schools across the state.

Mauricio Terrones, Ph.D., distinguished professor, Pennsylvania State University

Terrones is a distinguished professor of physics, chemistry and materials science and engineering at the Pennsylvania State University. He is also the founder director of the Center for 2-Dimensional and Layered Materials at Penn State, and also the NSF-IUCRC Center for Atomically Thin Multifunctional Coatings (ATOMIC). In 1999, Terrones was awarded the Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship, and carried out research at the Max-Planck Institut für Metallforschung (Stuttgart, Germany). In 2000, he was recipient of the Mexican National Prize for Chemistry. He also received the Javed Husain Prize and the Albert Einstein medal from UNESCO in 2001. In 2005, he received the TWAS Prize in Engineering Physics for his contributions in the field of carbon-based nanomaterials. Terrones received his Ph.D. in chemical physics from the university of Sussex and his B.S. in engineering physics from the Iberian-American University.

Innovators

Tim Buisker, founder and principal data scientist, Smart Data Science Solutions

Buisker is a statistician and data scientist who completed his graduate work at UC – Berkeley. He has deep domain knowledge in the area of poultry production and works primarily with chicken and turkey producers, helping them to better integrate their data into high-level and day-to-day decision-making processes. In 2017, he founded Smart Data Science Solutions, a statistical services and software development company that provides customized, full-time support for food producers, including the design and analysis of internal projects, ongoing statistical process control systems, and subscription-based software solutions. Buisker’s expertise includes machine learning and prediction, and he has experience with integrated and specialized poultry production companies.

Neamat El Tazi, co-founder, AbuErdan

El Tazi is a co-founder of AbuErdan, providing a cloud-based management solution for the poultry industry leveraging the latest technologies including machine learning and blockchain. El Tazi is also an associate professor in department of information systems at Cairo University. In 2010, she received her Ph.D. in information systems jointly from University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and Cairo University in Egypt. She received her bachelor of science and master’s degrees from Cairo University. Her research interests span data management and data analysis.

El Tazi has been working as a software engineer, business analyst, project manager with extensive experience and management skills in the software industry. During her nine years at Centrivision company, she was responsible for managing multiple accounts and projects for customers at multiple countries.

Yehuda Elram, co-founder and CEO, eggXYT

Elram is co-founder and CEO of eggXYt, a biotech startup attempting to solve the male-layer-chick culling problem. Prior to eggXYt, Elram, a lawyer by training and partner at Gideon Koren & Co. law offices, worked with entrepreneurs and social enterprises. Elram has an MPA from Harvard Kennedy School, focused on leadership and entrepreneurship.

Jennifer A. Filbey, Ph.D., CEO and co-founder, Mazen Animal Health

Filbey is CEO and co-founder of Mazen Animal Health. She also founded and led, as president, a biotech consultancy group, New Perspectives. Throughout her career, she has focused on new company formation and leadership, business strategy, business development and licensing, and product commercialization with companies involved in the life sciences. Her experience with pharmaceutical organizations includes transforming the strategic direction to enhance the value of the companies. Filbey served as vice president, business development at Nektar, where she was responsible for transforming organization from a technology to a product business with significantly increased revenues. At Nobex Corp., a startup biotechnology company focused on the oral delivery of peptides and proteins, she was involved in raising more than $40 million. Filbey has a Ph.D. in physical chemistry from Virginia Tech and completed a post-doc at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique in Mulhouse, France.

Scot Huber, director of research and discovery, Tyratech Inc.

Huber joined Tyratech as head of research and discovery in February 2016. He brings more than 20 years of experience in animal health and crop protection. His focus is on finding new phytogenic products for control of parasites and pests in animals and animal production facilities and on managing regulatory affairs.

Huber started his career in the Insecticide Discovery Chemistry group of Rhône-Poulenc Ag Co. (which became Aventis CropScience), where he developed new insecticidal products and technologies for crop uses and was named project leader of Rhône-Poulenc’s animal health research programs. In 2000, Huber and a group of colleagues from Aventis founded the startup Scynexis, where he was executive director of animal health.

Huber holds a B.S. degree in chemistry from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Virginia.

Yiannis Kaznessis, CEO, General Probiotics

Kaznessis founded General Probiotics in 2014 and joined the company as CEO in 2017.

Kaznessis received a diploma in chemical engineering at the Aristotle University in Greece in 1994, and a Ph.D. in chemical engineering at the University of Notre Dame in 1999. He completed postdoctoral research at Pfizer Global R&D, and at the University of Michigan.

In 2001, Kaznessis joined the faculty in chemical engineering at the University of Minnesota as an assistant professor. He was tenured and promoted to associate professor in 2007 and to full professor in 2011. He directed the Bioinformatics Summer Institute from 2004 to 2011. He served as director of graduate studies from 2010 to 2017.

Kaznessis is an expert in synthetic biology and antimicrobial technologies. He has authored more than 110 refereed papers and the textbook “Statistical Thermodynamics and Stochastic Kinetics.”

As professor, Kaznessis mentored 15 Ph.D. students, six M.S. students and 12 postdoctoral fellows.

Olga Kemenova, research engineer, Georgia Tech Research Institute

Kemenova is a research engineer in the Aerospace, Transportation and Advanced Systems (ATAS) Laboratory at the Georgia Tech Research Institute. She received her B.S/M.S. degree in mechanical engineering from St. Petersburg Marine Technical University in Russia and a master’s degree in public policy from Georgia Institute of Technology. Kemenova is a project director and a task leader on several projects funded by Georgia Agricultural Technology Research Program. Those projects focus on dynamic and statistical modeling of poultry production processes, simulation of Georgia agricultural economic development and statistical analysis of various agricultural data. As a leader of the public policy group, Kemenova has contributed significant technical expertise to 18 contracts over the past 10 years funded by NSF, GDNR, GRTA and Air Force. She has more than 10 years of professional experience in the area of environmental policy, statistical modeling and transportation system engineering.

Ramin Khaksar, vice president of R&D, Clear Labs

Khaksar is a founding member of Clear Labs and leads R&D and operations. He brings more than 15 years of experience from industry, government and academia. Previously, he was CEO of Dapco, an R&D company for the global food industry, as well as senior adviser to the ministry of health in Iran and an associate professor and chair of the food science department at Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences and Health Services. He has published more than 70 papers in peer-reviewed journals.

Islam Khalil, co-founder, AbuErdan

Khalil is a co-founder of AbuErdan, providing a cloud-based management solution for the poultry industry leveraging the latest technologies including machine learning and blockchain.

Khalil is also the co-founder and general manager of Centrivision, a software company specialized in enterprise business applications and business intelligence. Throughout his past 14 years in Centrivision, the company has been providing professional services to organizations spanning four continents and of varying sizes, outreach and activities. Its capability to engineer creative solutions to meet difficult business challenges made Centrivision the vendor of choice to several large organizations including the World Bank, and several other organizations.

Khalil’s passion for technology started at an early age, where at the age of 13 he had developed an accounting system that was used to run a business by one customer.

Khalil has a bachelor of science and a master’s degree in computer science from The American University in Cairo.

Heiner-Lehr-chickenboy

Heiner Lehr, CEO, Faromatics

Lehr is the CEO of Faromatics, a recent startup that produces the ChickenBoy, the worldwide first ceiling-suspended robot for better broiler welfare and farm productivity. Lehr is an expert in precision livestock farming and has led several European research projects especially related to technology implementation and value creation. Lehr founded Faromatics together with four experts in high-tech startups, precision instrumentation and animal health/welfare. Prior to Faromatics, Lehr has worked in consulting in the agri-food sector for 15 years in Southeast Asia, Africa, Europe and the Americas. Lehr holds a Ph.D. (summa cum laude) in natural sciences. Of German origin, he now resides in Spain.

Dave Olson, business manager, Technicon

Olson is the business manager at Technicon. He holds master’s degrees in engineering and business and is a registered professional engineer. Prior to joining Technicon, he has held various technical and business positions at Rexnord Corporation, Brunswick Corporation, and Ford Motor Company. He has a passion for working with diverse teams to identify customer needs related to food safety, developing innovative and cost-effective solutions, and building long-term relationships with customers and suppliers.

Bert Payne, president and CEO, Simple Ag Solutions

Payne is the founder of 1010 Consulting Group Inc., a veterinary consulting practice for the poultry industry. He holds a DVM from Mississippi State University, a master of avian medicine from the University of Georgia, and is board certified in poultry medicine by the American College of Poultry Veterinarians. Payne spent 26 years with Elanco Animal Health, during which time he also worked with AgriStats Inc., which provides data-driven insights to integrated production companies. With a team of software engineers and computer scientists, Payne formed Simple Ag Solutions, a software-as-a-service company specializing in regulatory compliance for the animal agriculture industry. Payne is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association, American Association of Avian Pathologists, past director of the National Chicken Council and the Indiana 4-H Foundation. He helped develop a nonprofit entity within Elanco, Hatch for Hunger, to deliver eggs to food banks in the Midwest. Payne and his wife Sandy reside in South Carolina.

Joel Sotomayor, CEO, Transport Genie Ltd.

Sotomayor is the president and CEO of Transport Genie Ltd. The mission of Transport Genie Ltd. is to enable smart decisions using leading-edge technologies while animals are in transport.

Prior to the creation of Transport Genie Ltd., Sotomayor was the co-founder and chief technology officer for Be Seen Be Safe, a global leader in geofencing technologies to “track and trace” diseases on farm premises. Sotomayor is also the principal owner of JRS VirtualStudio Inc. a software and hardware consulting firm which has been in operation for more than 15 years building enterprise-grade solutions.

Sotomayor has three patent pending applications and is passionate about the convergence of technology and ingenuity to create innovative products.

 

Colin Usher, senior research scientist, Georgia Tech Research Institute

Usher is a senior research scientist at the Georgia Tech Research Institute, where he has served as a technical lead and project manager for the past 18 years. He has managed several multidisciplinary teams in the development and evaluation of industrial automation prototype systems for a multitude of clients ranging from food processing companies to the Georgia Department of Transportation. His technical expertise is in machine vision, robotics, system integration and embedded system development. During his career, he has designed, developed and tested robotic control systems, image-based classification systems, embedded logic control systems and mobile applications.

Bryon Western, CEO and co-founder of Little Bird Systems L.L.C.

Western is CEO and co-founder of Little Bird Systems L.L.C. Western has more than 12 years of experience developing technology, resulting in 15 awarded U.S. patents. Little Bird was founded as consulting company in 2012 and shifted focus to sensor development for the agriculture industry in 2015. Western graduated with a B.S. in electrical engineering and a B.S. in physics from the University of Arkansas in 2005 and received an M.S. in microelectronics-photonics from the University of Arkansas in 2013. Before founding Little Bird, Western developed technology for the oil and gas, defense, aerospace and transportation industries.

Seung-Chul Yoon, Ph.D., research electronics engineer, U.S National Poultry Research Center, U.S. Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service

Yoon is research electronics engineer in the Quality and Safety Assessment Research Unit at the U.S. National Poultry Research Center, USDA-ARS, in Athens, Georgia. He received his Ph.D. in electrical engineering from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Yoon has more than 25 years of professional experience in developing machine vision and image processing algorithms and more than 14 years in hyperspectral imaging. Prior to USDA-ARS, he developed various computer vision algorithms for the auto, defense and industrial manufacturing industries at HRL Labs, SAIC and DVT. At USDA-ARS, he has led the development of objective and rapid imaging technologies and systems to solve food safety and quality problems faced in the poultry and egg industry, such as fecal detection, pathogen detection, egg crack detection and woody breast detection. As an expert in high-speed hyperspectral imaging and real-time machine vision, Yoon has led the development of real-time high-speed imaging systems capable of operating at commercial poultry processing line speeds.

Poultry Tech Summit 2018 Agenda

November 5

3:00-6:30 pm Registration – Name Badge Pickup
Club Room
5:00-6:30 pm Opening Reception 
Club Room

November 6

7:00 am-6:00 pm Registration – Conference Materials Pickup
Grand Ballroom Foyer
7:00-8:00 am Continental Breakfast
Grand Ballroom Foyer
8:00-8:20 am Welcome
Jane McCracken, Interim Director, Advanced Technology Development Center, Georgia Tech
Greg Watt, CEO, WATT Global Media
Grand Ballroom 3
8:20-9:00 am Future of venture capital in the food industry
Reese Schroeder, Managing Director, Tyson Ventures
Grand Ballroom 3
9:00-10:00 am Panel discussion: Technologies that will reshape the poultry industry
Co-moderators: Terrence O’Keefe, Content Director, WATT Global Media & Reese Schroeder, Managing Director, Tyson Ventures
Panelists:
Brett Brohl, Managing Director, Techstars Farm to Fork Accelerator
Dean Didato, Partner, Innova Ag Innovation Fund
Blake Patton, Managing Partner, Tech Square Ventures
Dr. Cynthia Sides, Director of Industry Engagement, University of Arkansas
Grand Ballroom 3
10:00-10:30 am Networking break
Grand Ballroom Foyer
10:30-10:40 am Robotics and automation: Scoping the trends
Moderator: Gary McMurray, Division Chief, Georgia Tech Research Institute
Grand Ballroom 3
10:40-11:40 am Robotics and automation innovations on stage
Seung-Chul Yoon, USDA ARS – machine vision system for detecting woody breast
Colin Usher, Georgia Tech Research Institute – floor operating poultry house robot
Dr. Heiner Lehr, Farm Robotics and Automation SL – ceiling mounted poultry house robot
Sim Harbart, Georgia Tech Research Institute – virtual reality system for automated poultry processing systems
Grand Ballroom 3
11:40-Noon Robotics and automation panel: Questions for innovators and findings
Moderator: Gary McMurray, Division Chief, Georgia Tech Research Institute
Panelist: Blake Patton, Managing Partner, Tech Square Ventures
Panelist: Dr. Karen Christensen, Senior Director of Animal Wellbeing, Tyson Foods
Grand Ballroom 3
12:00-1:30pm Lunch
Conference Center Dining Room
1:30-1:45 pm Food safety: Scoping the trends
Dr. Todd Applegate, Poultry Science Department Head, University of Georgia
Grand Ballroom 3
1:45-2:30 pm Food safety innovations on stage
Dr. Ramin Khaksar, Clear Labs Inc. – detection and serotyping Salmonella in 24 hours
Dave Olson, Technicon LLC – Antimicrobial, rust-proof gear box for processing plants
Dr. Yiannis Kaznessis, General Probiotics Inc. – new class of probiotic cultures
Grand Ballroom 3
2:30-2:45 pm Food safety panel: Questions for innovators and findings
Moderator: Dr. Todd Applegate, Poultry Science Department Head, University of Georgia
Panelist: Brett Brohl, Managing Director, Techstars Farm to Fork Accelerator
Panelist: Dr. Cynthia Sides, Office of Vice Provost for Research and Innovation, University of Arkansas
Grand Ballroom 3
2:45-3:15 pm Break
Grand Ballroom Foyer
3:15-3:25 pm Big data and artificial intelligence: Scoping the trends
Moderator: Gary McMurray, Division Chief, Georgia Tech Research Institute
Grand Ballroom 3
3:25-4:40 pm Big data and artificial intelligence innovations on stage
Albert Payne, Simple Ag Solutions Inc. – traceable and transparent veterinary records
Bryon Western, Little Bird Systems – feed bin inventory sensing
Timothy Buisker, Smart Data Science Solutions LLC – statistical process control with machine learning
Olga Kemenova, Georgia Tech Research Institute – simulation model for processing plant resource use
Dr. Neamat El Tazi and Islam Khalil, Abuerdan Company – improving live performance with big data predictive analytics
Grand Ballroom 3
4:40-5:00 pm Big data and artificial intelligence panel: Questions for innovators and findings
Moderator: Gary McMurray, Division Chief, Georgia Tech Research Institute
Panelist: Jane McCracken, Interim Director, Advanced Technology Development Center, Georgia Tech
Grand Ballroom 3
5:00-6:00 pm Networking social hour
Club Room

November 7

7:00-10:00 am Registration 
Grand Ballroom Foyer
7:00-8:00 am Continental Breakfast
Grand Ballroom Foyer
8:00-8:05 am Welcome
Grand Ballroom 3
8:05-8:45 am How big data, machine learning and bioinformatics are impacting genetic selection
Dr. Gota Morota, Assistant Professor of Quantitative Genetics, Department of Animal and Poultry Sciences, Virginia Polytechnic Institute
Grand Ballroom 3
8:45-9:30 am Nanotechnology and its impact on biotech
Dr. Mauricio Terrones, Distinguished Professor of Physics, Chemistry, and Materials Science & Engineering, Penn State
Grand Ballroom 3
9:30-10:00 am Networking break
Grand Ballroom Foyer
10:00-10:10 am Life sciences: Scoping the trends
Dr. John Glisson, Vice President of Research Programs, USPOULTRY
Grand Ballroom 3
10:10-11:10 am Life sciences Innovations on stage
Jennifer Filbey, Mazen Animal Health Inc. – technology edible poultry vaccines
Scott Huber, TyraTech Inc. – phytogenic poultry gut parasite control
Joel Sotomayor, Transport Genie Ltd. – data collection from poultry transport coops
Yehuda Elram, eggXYT – technology for in ovo sexing
Grand Ballroom 3
11:10-11:30 am Life sciences panel: Questions for innovators and findings
Moderator: Dr. John Glisson, Vice President of Research Programs, USPOULTRY
Panelist: Dean Didato, Partner, Innova Ag Innovation Fund
Panelist: Dr. Karen Christensen, Senior Director of Animal Wellbeing, Tyson Foods
Grand Ballroom 3
11:30 am – 12:00 pm  Innovation wrap up 
Terrence O’Keefe, Content Director, WATT Global Media

Poultry Tech Summit 2018 Sponsorship Opportunities

Sponsorship opportunities at the Poultry Tech Summit take you beyond advertising and go further towards enhancing your company’s brand. Be among the first to sign up for sponsorship to maximize your exposure across multiple opportunities before, during and even after the event.

All Poultry Tech Summit 2018 sponsorship opportunities are on a first-come, first-served basis, so act now. The earlier you become a sponsor, the more value your company will receive from being featured in event promotions. Contact your WATT Agribusiness Sales Manager today for pricing and details.

For information on sponsoring the 2018 Poultry Tech Summit, click here to view the 2018 Sponsorship Prospectus!

Top 3 reasons to be a part of the Poultry Tech Summit:

  1. Reach entrepreneurs, investors and innovators together at one time only
  2. Build new relationships and share ideas with poultry executive and those with industry interests
  3. Gain insights into new technologies on the horizon creating change and greater efficiencies in poultry production

 

Contact your WATT Agribusiness Sales Manager today for pricing and details. 


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Sponsored by

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2018 Poultry Tech Summit Sponsors

Interested in sponsoring this event? See details here.