Aviagen breeding director Jim McAdam has been presented with the Howie Surgenor Cup in recognition of his “phenomenal” contribution to genetic advancement with broiler chickens in more than 30 years of breeding work.
Presenting the cup at the annual Poultry Club of Scotland dinner in Dunblane, poultry vet Eduardo Loedel-Soca of Inchcolm Veterinary Services likened Mr McAdam to a British Lions rugby player, for his energy and skill, played out on an international stage.
Having worked in breeding and genetics since leaving Edinburgh University in the 1970s, he had progressed to become director of “the most important breeding programme of poultry in the world – a breeding programme that produces more than 50% of the chicken the world eats today”.
“It has been done through methods that he has brought to the industry with certain things in mind – in particular, how can we produce more meat, more cheaply, using less grain,” said Mr Loedel-Soca.
He said Mr McAdam had shared his knowledge with colleagues in India, Brazil, Australia and South Africa, always with the same positive attitude.
“The effect he’s had across the world in poultry is enormous. Today we all eat the Ross broiler – the Ross broiler that was created, modelled and evolved by Jim and his team.
“That bird is what has made this cottage industry present on every table across the world. Winning this award will let people know what a phenomenal contribution Jim has made to this industry.”
Alan Thomson, Jim McAdam and Graeme Dear.
Jim McAdam is also involved in a project to breed campylobacter-resistent chickens.