In January, the NC State Poultry Science Club (PSC) flocked to the International Production and Processing Expo (IPPE) in Atlanta, gathering industry knowledge — and recognition — during the 3-day conference.
Club president Susan Jones explained that PSC members who attend IPPE are exposed to experiences that extend the work they do in the classroom.
“The show floor gives students a chance to get up close and personal with technology and machinery that is used in the poultry industry, which they may not have seen before,” she said.
Jones said that the expo not only allows students to connect with companies but also members from other universities who share similar interests.
“IPPE offers our students the opportunity to meet a wide variety of industry members, interview for internships and/or job positions,” PDPS Department Head Pat Curtis said. “I believe it is important for students to take this opportunity to learn more about the industry so that they can get a glimpse of the careers they are planning.”
Multiple students formalized summer internships with Tyson Foods, Mountaire Farms, Pilgrims, Sanderson Farms and more, making the most of their time in Atlanta. It wasn’t all learning, though — students were also winning recognition for their contributions to poultry science.
President Susan Jones won first place in Student of the Year, Vice President Ben Alig won third place and Service Co-Chair Hannah Robinson won fifth place. PSC won first place in Club of the Year.
Jones said that PSC would not have won Club of the Year without the participation of its members.
“All of the hours, shifts and volunteer events that the members participated in is what made the club stand out in the community and industry,” Jones said.
In 2017, for example, the club recognized a need in the community after recent hurricane devastation, Jones said.
“We as a club reacted by making a donation to the Red Cross. Actions such as these speak volumes about the club’s willingness to serve,” Jones said. “Our members are truly like no other and their commitment does not go unseen.”
PSC won second place in Scrapbook for their chicken house scrapbook enclosure. The scrapbook competition challenges poultry science student clubs to creatively display their achievements. In recent years, the clubs have thrown themselves into more elaborate projects. The PSC built a model chicken house for their scrapbook. They took their knowledge and used it outside the classroom in the name of fun and friendly rivalry. Getting the project to Atlanta and into the judging area was a further testament to their commitment: it took two people, a flatbed trolley, sheets of wrapping, multiple straps and some creative routing to get the house around the Georgia World Congress Center.
On campus and beyond, PSC students exemplify how thinking and doing creates opportunities for students to serve their communities and be involved with allied industries.