Student Spotlight: Poultry Science’s Youngest Senior

PSSI Coleman Berry

By Hannah Lunsford

NC State and CALS are known for attracting exceptional students – and while their paths aren’t always ‘traditional,’ their stories are always remarkable. So what makes new Prestage Department of Poultry Science (PDPS) undergrad Coleman Berry stand out in an already stand-out crowd?

Easy: At 18, he’s a first-year student entering PDPS as a senior.

Discovering A Dream At Poultry Camp

Berry grew up around chickens in Richmond County, North Carolina, where his dad was a grower for Perdue. It wasn’t until he attended the Poultry Science Summer Institute (PSSI) in 2017, though, that Coleman was sure he also wanted to work in poultry science.

“Through PSSI, I discovered I really liked the research portion of poultry science, specifically genomics, as well as embryology and incubation,” he said.

PSSI, a PDPS-hosted camp, brings high school students interested in exploring poultry science to NC State for hands-on learning.

“I think attending camps and events like PSSI before … college is important,” Berry said. “It allows you to meet new people, and lays out somewhat of a path.”

Getting To CALS

Berry’s path was focused, but it wasn’t easy. He attended Richmond Early College High School – whose mascot is also a wolf – through Richmond County Schools during his sophomore year. He took enough classes to start his “freshman” year at NC State with 92 credit hours, technically making him a PDPS rising senior.

Berry started at NC State with 10 scholarships worth almost $20,000:

  • McRae’s Electric Scholarship
  • Golden LEAF Scholarship
  • Flake Shaw NC Farm Bureau Scholarship
  • Thomas A. Carter Family 4-H and Poultry Scholarship
  • Nance Family Agricultural Scholarship
  • NC State Fair Junior Livestock Scholarship
  • McLean Presbyterian Church Scholarship
  • Cole Foundation Scholarship
  • H. Connor Kennett, Jr. and Aldith B. Kennett Scholarship
  • Lee W. and Ruth C. Herrick Scholarship

Plans for the Future

He may have just gotten to PDPS, but Coleman already has ambitious plans. He wants to attend graduate school after finishing his undergraduate degree.

So far, Berry seems on track for continued success. He sees hard work and opportunities coming together: “If you try hard enough, doors are opened up for you.”

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