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“Reunion City!”: Strengthening Connections at the 2019 IPPE

A large group talking while sitting around a table
A group of students talk with Greg Jackson (seated left in tan shirt) of Hog Slat.

Last year, the Prestage Department of Poultry Science (PDPS) tried something new: a reception at the 2018 International Production & Processing Expo (IPPE). It went so well, we’ve kept it going.

Building on last year’s successful event, our reception at the 2019 IPPE drew an even bigger and more diverse crowd. While the reception was still primarily an opportunity for graduate students to network, this year’s event drew more students, sponsors and folks from around the expo.

Three people talk while standing together
Director of Graduate and Certificate Programs Jesse Grimes and Department Head Pat Curtis welcome a reception guest.


Sponsoring Grad Opportunities

The evening reception on February 11 capped a day of successful scientific presentations and kicked off PDPS’s participation in the expo.

With the generous support of seven industry sponsors, grad students had the opportunity to connect with each other, NC State alums, industry contacts and grad students from around the U.S. and the world.

Thank you to Aviagen Turkeys, Buffalo-Warren, Hog Slat, QTI, Silvercote, Val-Co and Zoetis!

Friends – Old and New

As the the room filled up, the sense of connection grew. “It [was] reunion city!” according to new faculty member Mary Fosnaught. It was a sentiment repeated as old friends and new made introductions, talked research (and more) and shared churros.

Mary Fosnaught hugging a man with his back to the camera
Mary Fosnaught greets an old friend.

IPPE is a lot of things, including a scientific forum and a vendor expo, but there’s something else going on, too: as everyone rushes to a presentation, a booth or a food demo, they’re greeting former classmates, current colleagues and new connections.

Our reception captured that energy for anyone and everyone – past, present or future – connected to PDS and NC State.

NC State Tech Goodies

A highlight of the reception was our random drawing for a tech-themed goodie bag. One lucky reception-goer received an extra dose of Wolfpack pride: the department’s own Dimitri Malheiros won a PDPS cinch bag with goodies that tied into PDPS’s ‘tech cafe’ booth.

Dimitri Malheiros and Jesse Grimes with an NC State goodie bag
Dimitri Malheiros claims his NC State goodie bag from Jesse Grimes.

The 2019 IPPE reception was a great reflection of what NC State folks can do when they get together and reach out.

Support our think and do spirit next year when we return to Atlanta for the 2020 IPPE. Too long to wait? Save the date for NC State’s first Day of Giving on March 27.