March 28, 2017 – HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Leading global broiler breeding company Aviagen® has selected Billy Hufford as its business manager for the Rowan Range brand in North America, focusing on the slower-growing poultry market segment. This segment is experiencing an increase in popularity throughout North America. Reporting directly to Aviagen Vice President of Sales and Technical Service for North America Frank Dougherty, Hufford will develop sales, marketing, and production strategies for Aviagen’s Rowan Range® brand of broiler breeders, as well as other breeding stock targeted to this market.
Rapid rise of up-and-coming markets
Interest in slower-growing breeds has soared, with leading North American food service companies, grocery stores and restaurants -- including Whole Foods, Panera Bread, Chipotle, TGIF, Compass Group and Aramark -- recently announcing a move toward these breeds.
Aviagen has invested in the resources to effectively address this growing market and with Hufford’s appointment, has sharpened its focus even further.
“Hufford commands the right balance of R&D and poultry genetics expertise, market foresight and customer service experience needed for success in his new role,” says Dougherty. “Aviagen customers will benefit from his judgment, insight and commitment to helping them address the current growing need for slower-growing chickens. I’d like to welcome him to the North American sales team and offer him my full support.”
Multiple-brand strategy meets diverse market needs worldwide
A major strength for Aviagen has always been the genetic-line diversity of its R&D program. This diversity has enabled the company to consistently offer a brand selection that successfully meets the needs of a range of markets. As part of its multiple-brand strategy, Aviagen anticipated the need for breeds aligned to the demands of slower-growing, free-range and organic market segments, and for this reason developed the Rowan Range portfolio early on.
Balanced breeding approach promotes bird welfare
While strengthening its emphasis on the slower-growing market, Aviagen will also continue to advance its well-established conventional Ross® and Specialty Males® portfolio in North America.
From the very start, Aviagen has been committed to a balanced approach to developing its premier breeding stock. The company’s well-established balanced breeding program focuses on developing welfare traits – leg strength, cardiovascular health and overall robustness – that lead to strong, healthy birds.
The Rowan Range poultry breed is healthy and hardy, distinguished by a distinctive look and excellent performance. As such, it lives up to the standards of established welfare-accredited growing programs, including the Global Animal Partnership (GAP) animal welfare rating.
Welfare traits are simultaneously balanced with reliable production performance, as well as optimal nutrition, veterinary, R&D and flock management support. Thus, customers who desire the slower-growing options still benefit from the long-time knowledge and expertise of a company that understands their challenges and is dedicated to their success.
About Billy Hufford
Hufford’s diverse resume spans more than 20 years of management experience in the poultry breeding, swine and food industries. He has served in various levels of management roles for well-known industry players including Hubbard LLC, Cobb Vantress, McKee Foods (maker of Little Debbie) and Seaboard Foods Inc. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture Education from Oklahoma State University.