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NC State PDPS hosts annual Poultry Science Summer Institute

PSSI 2017 participants

From July 30th to August 3rd, NC State Prestage Department of Poultry Science (PDPS) celebrated its 10th-anniversary Poultry Science Summer Institute (PSSI) program.

PSSI is a five-day, four-night conference and workshop specifically intended to increase the knowledge and expand the horizons of high school students’ understanding of all things poultry science.

21 students attended the 2017 PSSI. The students experienced campus life at NC State, did hands-on experiments in a laboratory setting and attended lectures related to poultry anatomy, lab safety, blood collection, artificial insemination and embryology, egg quality, meat processing, and DNA fingerprinting of poultry. Students also toured the NC State College of Veterinary Medicine, Feed Mill, the Mount Aire Hatchery and spent an evening at Sky Zone Trampoline Park.

NC State PDPS Junior Brittany Wall, a chaperone for PSSI, and a former PSSI program participant, said that it’s fascinating to see how the program has grown. “It’s nice to see kids excited to learn about poultry. I met a lot of faculty through the program, so when I was accepted into PDPS, I knew a lot of my professors — I automatically felt the ‘family-like’ feel which really made the adjustment easier,” she said. “Going through the program helped me see what exactly I wanted to do with a degree and that PDPS was the place for me.”

PDPS Nutritionist and Professor Kimberly Livingston, coordinator of PSSI, said “Getting involved in PSSI while in high school opens these students’ minds. They are now introduced to various career opportunities that they have more than likely never thought of, such as geneticists or an embryologist. They’re also exposed to a number different avenues that poultry science has to offer in a matter of a week.”

PSSI applications for Summer 2018 will be posted on the PDPS website — completed applications are due by March 31st.