Heritage Chickens: The Challenge of Genetic Sustainability
(5 pages of text)
The Poultry Research Centre at the University of Alberta farm was an internationally recognized research, development, and learning hub. It began the Rare Poultry Conservancy Program in 1986 as a way to maintain heritage chicken breeds. In 2009/10, as a result of the global financial crisis, university funding was reduced, and every campus department needed to cut programs or find creative ways to finance them outside of the traditional methods. By 2014, the funding cuts posed a grave concern for the continuation of the heritage chicken program. Annual costs of CA$75,000 were required to maintain the flocks with very limited financial return. However, a leader at the Poultry Research Centre felt that the birds were important enough to develop a model where they could pay for themselves.
This case is recommended for use in the following undergraduate and MBA courses:
- A sustainability course to discuss the use of natural resources in business operations and how business processes can affect the environment in many different ways.
- A strategy course to recognize how the evolution of a business can lead to the creation of a niche market.
- A social entrepreneurship course to analyze the intersection of the non-profit business model with the for-profit business model and the idea of the hybrid model of business.
- A science in business course to discuss how the scientific community can inform the business world.
Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services
Canada, Large, 2014
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