After a two-year hiatus, St. George’s University School of Veterinary Medicine’s Farmers’ Outreach Program returned to an interactive, in-person workshop on October 27, 2022, at the Grenada Trade Center. SVM faculty (including visiting professors), staff, and students attended the workshop, which provides education and training in a collaborative effort between the SVM, Grenadian farmers, and the Ministry of Agriculture.
“The School of Veterinary Medicine’s commitment to the Grenadian farmers through the Farmers’ Outreach Program remains a priority to our university,” said Dr. Neil Olson, dean of the SVM. “The organizers of this year’s workshop and booklet have worked tirelessly to ensure that the content is educational and can provide guidance about common parasites, food safety and handling practices, backyard farming tips, and much more. We hope that Grenadian farmers can continue to utilize SGU as a valued resource as we remain committed to sensitization and training.”
Established in 2003 by the late Dr. Ravindra N. Sharma, the SVM Farmers’ Outreach Program disseminates a broad range of interesting and helpful information on animal husbandry, animal diseases, and their overall impact on human health, animal health, and productivity. Almost 20 years later, the program continues to be an effective partner in strengthening the relationship between Grenadian farmers and veterinarians.
The school continued to be an excellent resource for the local farming community even during the coronavirus pandemic. While the in-person aspect of the program was paused, a booklet was created to disseminate useful information on animal management, husbandry, and disease control and prevention. After garnering favorable feedback, two years later the booklet continues to benefit the farmers in Grenada.
“Despite the challenges of the pandemic, we remained dedicated in our commitment to partner with and support the Grenadian community by providing the relevant information for our livestock producers,” stated Dr. Kerri Nigito, chairperson of the Farmers’ Outreach Committee. “This year’s workshop and booklet serve to provide the necessary information on poultry production that will help improve the quality of meat and eggs produced for local consumption for the people of Grenada.”
The one-day seminar hosted by the SVM catered to poultry production personnel and provided poultry farmers with best production and health practices. The workshop included PowerPoint presentations, videos, and a panel discussion followed by question-and-answer sessions. In addition, the Committee reminded those in attendance that the school offers necropsy services to investigate the death of poultry animals at the SVM Necropsy Lab located on the Lower True Blue Campus.
One of the day’s highlights was the announcement of the winner of the Committee’s logo competition, Marissa Peck. Ms. Peck, along with her fellow SVM students, were invited to design graphics for t-shirts to be distributed to the farmers supporting the theme, “Poultry Production in Grenada.” Ms. Peck’s winning logo was placed on name badges and flyers, and she received a gift certificate as well as an invitation to attend the workshop.
The seminar focused on the following areas:
- Common parasites of poultry
- Coccidiosis in poultry production
- Egg production, handling, and distribution guidelines
- Poultry tips for poultry backyard and commercial systems
- Poultry carcass necropsy submission guidelines
“The SVM Farmers’ Outreach Workshop provided great insight on the impact of poultry production in Grenada,” said Dr. Kimond Cummings, chief veterinary and livestock officer in Grenada’s Ministry of Agriculture and Lands. “In particular, the booklet given out, which highlighted disease surveillance and how it affects poultry, can also be disseminated to the farmers unable to attend today.
Additionally, SGU’s open invitation to the farming community with respect to its necropsy lab services reaffirms the school’s readiness to assist and is the kind of information I can confidently share with our policymakers.”
– Ray-Donna Peters