Alabama Public Television’s “Spotlight on Agriculture,” Episode 2

Alabama Public Television’s “Spotlight on Agriculture,” Episode 2


– At Auburn, our agricultural
research scientists are advancing food
production, food quality, and food safety across the board. From meat, to produce, to
bakery items, to candy, you can see the work at
your local farmer’s market and up and down every grocery store aisle. We’ll share with you a glimpse
of the work they are doing, particularly as it applies to meat such as beef, poultry,
seafood, and freshwater fish. You will see how they’re
helping industries, both local and global,
strengthen production while implementing
greater safety standards. You will see how they are
lowering production costs while increasing product quality, and you will see how
they are working to make healthier foods more accessible
to everyone, everywhere. – This farm produces a
rough 8,000 pounds per acre, which runs about 11 or
12 million pounds a year. Generally, we sell fish year round. We have a process in that
we try to come in here and seine weekly. We have different days we deliver on, and we’re scheduled on each day to deliver our product to the plants. If you think about the
farming in this area, we buy our trucks, and
tractors, and equipment, we employ a lot of people on the farms. Pretty much everybody in the
area gets a part of our income, you know, we have to
buy and support things around the area. – Our fisheries program
at Auburn University is probably one of the best-known programs at Auburn University around the world. We’re known for our
research related to catfish, and again, Alabama’s the second largest catfish producer in the United States. We’re also known for the
advancements we’ve done related to tilapia. If you’re eating tilapia today, it’s largely because of research that was once done at Auburn University. – [Narrator] 2009, we had
no oyster farms in Alabama. Now we’re up to, I think the
most recent survey we did was last year, and we had 15 oyster farms now going in the state. And of that, we had
about 2.6 million oysters were harvested, and they
have a wholesale value of about $2 million. Auburn come in and introduced
us to what we’re doing. So, they come in and pretty
much laid a foundation. Being able to work with
Auburn, hand-in-hand, you know, it’s a comfort to
be able to pick up the phone. Yeah, it goes a long ways
as far as feeling okay, feeling that you’re
doing stuff the right way to just have somebody to call and talk to when, you know, you’re just kinda out of your league sometimes. – The poultry science
department at Auburn University is only one of six poultry
science departments in the United States. One of the reasons that
we’re here in Alabama is that the poultry industry is the number one agri-business
in the state of Alabama. It contributes nearly $16
billion to the economy in the state of Alabama. Some estimates, it’s about 1/8 of the GDP for the whole state. So, there’s a great need for a workforce, there’s a great need for new
knowledge and technology, and there’s a great need
for continuing education for the workforce. And we play a role in
all three of those areas. – I’m a third generation
farmer in my family, I have four broiler houses,
they’re 55 by 500 foot houses. As of right now I house
25,500 birds per house. – One of the things
that is a huge advantage to our poultry industry is
that we have Auburn University here in Alabama. We have about 80 students
involved right now in the poultry science
curriculum at Auburn University. We will graduate anywhere from 10 to 15 of those students per year, and most of those students have anywhere from three to four job
opportunities as they graduate. So, it’s not a choice of, are you going to get a
job when you graduate, it’s what part of the
industry do I want to go into. – The beef cattle industry
can be separated into three basic segments, the cow-calf industry,
the stocker industry, and the feed lot industry. Because Alabama is located
in a region of the country where we have a significant
amount of rainfall, we have the potential to grow tremendous amounts of forages
for livestock grazing, Alabama is well-suited for
supporting the cow-calf industry. – On Curtis Farms we
have about 152 mama cows, and we’re a cow-calf operation. We run one bull per 25 to 30 head. You know, as an individual you choose what direction you want to go. You can pick up the phone
and call anybody at Auburn in the ag department and get an answer for whatever problem you’re having. – Food safety in the produce is important, it’s extremely important in our livestock and poultry industries, because what happens on
the farm will continue to impact the quality and safety of those meat products
once they’re processed. So, we’re working with poultry producers, beef producers, fish producers, oyster producers to make sure
their production techniques maximizes their yields,
optimizes their profitability, and maximizes the safety of their product. (gentle music)

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