June 19, 2017
Novus Knowledge Centers: Opening up the conversation to producers
At World Pork Expo in Iowa earlier this month, Novus opened up their usual conversation with nutritionists on product and animal performance topics to a diverse range of audiences, including producers big and small.
This came in the form of "Knowledge Centers" set up at the company's tent outside the Varied Industries Building on the Iowa State Fairgrounds.
"The setting up of Knowledge Centers this year was to establish a way to have conversations with multiple groups of people within the industry. As a nutrition company, Novus primarily interacts with nutritionists and helps them evaluate solutions for their production. We thought of having the same type of conversations with producers, and bringing down the conversations to the producer level might help us better communicate our messages," highlighted Jared Hux, Senior Manager Marketing, North America, Novus International, in a conversation with eFeedLink.
One of the hot topics at this year's Novus Knowledge Centers was the discussion on the impact of new Veterinary Feed Directives in the United States, which has continued from last year's Expo. According to Hux, the industry has responded well to the new directives, with more discussion on nutritional solutions such as organic acids, trace minerals, enzymes and antioxidants which help their transition to antibiotic-free meat production or reduction in antibiotic use. In short, producers have become "more open to the discussion on antibiotic alternatives" and "including alternatives in their toolbox".
"What you're seeing at our Knowledge Centers is also very similar to the information on our website, and what we talk to customers every day. We are expanding the concept of Knowledge Centers of bringing more basic messages and their value add to the production and farm level, through our digital marketing strategies, maybe not always intentionally, but it is surely happening," added Hux.
This year at the Expo, Bill Northey, Iowa Secretary of Agriculture, also came to the Novus tent to help pull the pork, provided by the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC), in Novus's annual Pig Pickin' event.
"We're happy to be an alliance sponsor with the NPPC, we have a lot of value to each other, we have had that relationship for a very long time, and would continue to do so. We have relationships with other organisations such as the National Chicken Council for the poultry sector. These partnerships help us to have a presence in the industry, demonstrate our commitment to our customers, and build our network around the world. And for customers who would like to visit North America, we could help facilitate their visits through the industry partnerships that we have," commented Hux.
Hux also shared some of Novus's latest research focus areas. One area is in epigenetics, for example how feeding organic trace minerals can affect sow performance and the performance of her offspring. The company is also investing in product development of enzymes, probiotics, and eubiotics such as essential oils.
"In the political arena, we're seeing how things work out with the NAFTA agreement. But at the end of the day, producers would still be driving more efficiency, reducing cost of production, and making more profit. And Novus would be helping our customers to become more sustainable in their production," concluded Hux.