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Poultry Science Club Received Club of the Year Award

Posted: April 20, 2016

Ag Student Council recognized outstanding performances by students and clubs throughout the College of Agricultural Sciences.
Poultry Science Club representatives at the Ag Ball, from left: Gabby Winger, Lauren Foisy, Colleen Andrews, Ali Ferver and Joshua Cassar.

Poultry Science Club representatives at the Ag Ball, from left: Gabby Winger, Lauren Foisy, Colleen Andrews, Ali Ferver and Joshua Cassar.

It's been a banner year for Penn State's Poultry Science Club, and its success was acknowledged at the Ag Ball on April 8 with the Ag Student Council's Club of the Year Award, the most prestigious student organization award.

The Club also was recognized with four other awards: Activities above the College Level Award; Educational Activities Award; Community Service/Service Learning Award; and the Fundraising Award.

Additionally, Joshua Cassar, Lansdale, a senior in Animal Science with a minor in poultry and avian science, was named Ag Man of the Year. Michelle Hartzell, Slippery Rock, a senior animal science major, received the Ag Woman of the Year Award.

Dr. Terry Etherton, Head of the Department of Animal Science said, "We are very proud of our Department of Animal Science students, and their college-wide recognition by the Ag Student Council that represents over 40 clubs in the College of Agricultural Sciences. It is a very high honor for the Poultry Science club, and a well-deserved acknowledgement of its leadership throughout the College and the students' extremely high level of commitment and hard work. I congratulate them for this achievement and congratulate Josh and Michelle on their hard-earned individual recognition."

Phillip Clauer, senior instructor in the Department of Animal Science, said, "It has been a very exciting year for our membership, and I am delighted that their hard work has been recognized both within the College of Agricultural Sciences and nationally. Our membership is exceedingly active. Their involvement in such a wide variety of activities is a tribute to their hard work and their dedication to making the most of opportunities throughout the academic year. Their hard work is a big reason our students are highly sought after for careers in the industry.   These experiences teach team work, organizational skills, communication skill and demonstrate our students dedication and ability to get the job done. "

The recognition by the Ag Student Council mirrors the success the club has met with nationally, having won the National Poultry Club of the Year and the 2016 National Scrapbook of the Year. Cassar, who is president of the Club this year, was named National Poultry Science Student of the Year.

Tours included visiting the Poultry Education Research Center, Bell and Evans Poultry Processor and the Jurgielewicz Duck Farm. Leaders within the poultry industry gave presentations on topics from the organic egg industry to poultry processing to the broiler industry.

Learning about the national outlook for the poultry industry is important, and members participated in the International Poultry and Processors Exposition in Atlanta, GA and the National Collegiate 50the Poultry Judging Contest at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR, where the team placed first and Cassar was high individual.

Each year club members support the White House Easter Egg Roll, assisting with crowd control, meal distribution and facilitating other interactions.

Ten members took advantage of the unique opportunity to gain a global perspective on the industry by traveling to Spain in an immersion program that introduced them to the Spanish language, history, culture and food while learning about the industry in Spain and the European Union.

Poultry Club members have multiple opportunities to interact with leaders in the industry by volunteering at Ag Progress Days and the Pennsylvania Farm Show. Part of their community service involvement includes holding a food drive for the State College Food Bank, preparing Easter baskets for distribution through the Food Bank and participating in the Relay for Life cancer awareness program.

Club members also organized the annual turkey harvest and sale prior to Thanksgiving, raising over $20,000 which was used to cover costs of the club throughout the year including travel to a variety of functions.

They actively participate in the education of 4-H and pre-college students during Poultry 101, a one-day program providing topics in poultry science.

Understanding potential career opportunities is an underlying topic throughout the professional programs offered at club meetings and interactions with every aspect of the poultry industry.

Clauer invites anyone interested in learning more about the Poultry Science club or who may be interested in studying Poultry Science at Penn State to contact him at pclauer@psu.edu.