Flock Planning & HPAI – Bruce Dooyema – Versova Episode 4


Bruce Dooyema, a veteran of the poultry industry with over 50 years of experience, shares his journey and insights in this podcast interview. Here are the key takeaways:

Early Life and Career:

  • Started with chickens at age 12, helping his family farm grow from dairy to chickens.
  • Graduated from high school and couldn’t afford college, so joined the family chicken business.
  • Witnessed the consolidation of the egg industry in the late 80s and early 90s.

Center Fresh and Versova:

  • Founded Center Fresh with partners to reach the goal of 1 million birds.
  • Joined Versova, a family of independent producers specializing in different areas.
  • Currently manages flock planning for all Versova operations in Iowa (20-25 million birds).

Role and Responsibilities:

  • Schedules flocks across various companies and sites, ensuring smooth logistics and timing.
  • Deals with constant changes, including bird flu outbreaks, requiring adjustments and flexibility.
  • Works with various teams (genetics companies, processing companies, trucking companies) to coordinate operations.
  • Compares his role to an auctioneer or an orchestra conductor, ensuring everyone plays their part in harmony.

Challenges and Rewards:

  • Bird flu outbreaks and tight schedules present constant challenges and require quick thinking.
  • Working with a great team and contributing to feeding the world are the main rewards.

Advice for Newcomers:

  • The chicken industry is never boring, offering daily challenges and learning opportunities.
  • Be prepared for unexpected changes and flexibility in your daily plans.

Give back to your community and enjoy the satisfaction of helping others.

Additional Notes:

  • Bruce emphasizes the importance of teamwork and collaboration in the poultry industry.
  • He mentions several individuals who have made a significant impact on his journey.
  • The interview ends with a lighthearted exchange about the unpredictability of working in the industry.

Overall, Bruce Dooyema’s story is one of dedication, hard work, and a passion for the poultry industry. His insights and advice offer valuable guidance for anyone considering a career in this dynamic field.

Hosted by

– Director of Commercial Accounts – Prism Controls
The Poultry Leadership Podcast is only possible because of its sponsor, Prism Controls
Find out more about them at www.prismcontrols.com