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Poultry Science Club Sweeps National Awards

Posted: February 5, 2016

For the second straight year, Penn State's Poultry Science Club was recognized as National Club of the Year. Senior Josh Cassar was named National Member of the Year.
Poultry Science Club members accepting their national recognition.

Poultry Science Club members accepting their national recognition.

Penn State's Poultry Science Club was recognized for the second straight year (5 of the last 10 years) as the National Club of the Year at the College Students Program held as part of the 2016 International Poultry and Processing Exposition (IPPE) in Atlanta, GA last week. In a clean sweep of national recognition, Josh Cassar, Lansdale, PA was named National Member of the Year and the club's scrapbook earned first place, again for the second straight year and 17 of the last 19 years.

Dr. Terry Etherton, Head of the Department of Animal Science, said, "It is an exceptional honor to win this national competition so consistently. I am very proud of our students who participate and congratulate them on their remarkable-and well-deserved-achievement."

Cassar was first place overall in the national poultry judging contest last fall leading the Penn State Poultry team to a first place finish overall. He had been first at the spring national contest as well. Cassar, a senior graduating in spring, is president of the Penn State Poultry Club.

All members of the Poultry Club contribute to the scrapbook as part of earning their way to the national competition.

Fifteen club members participated in the College Student Career Program, sponsored by the USPOULTRY Foundation, with over 600 students from 43 universities. This year the College Student Career Program had human resources personnel from 39 industry and allied firms interviewing students for career opportunities in the poultry industry. Many Penn State students returned with multiple job or internships offers.

The College Student Career Program is held in conjunction with the International Poultry Expo (IPE), where students visited the extensive trade show with over 1,000 exhibitors covering every aspect of the poultry industry. One of the largest career events of its kind for students seeking professions in the industry, the career program offers students the opportunity to meet and interview with potential employers. The vast trade show floor has exhibits featuring the latest exciting technology and newest innovations that drive today's modern poultry industry. There is no better venue in the world to meet with industry leaders and network within the poultry industry.  

Phillip Clauer, senior instructor in the Department of Animal Science, said, "The U.S. Poultry and Egg Association College Student Career program offers an exceptional learning experience for our students. The contacts they make as they interact with industry leaders and recruiters from firms across the country are invaluable as they seek careers in the industry.

"Each year we can place many more students in the industry than we graduate," Clauer said, noting that many offers were made both for careers and for internships, something he considers recognition of the quality of the Poultry and Avian Science minor at Penn State.

Clauer invites any high school student who may be interested in studying Poultry Science at Penn State to contact him at paclauer@psu.edu. Over $40,000 in poultry specific scholarships are available for students, and the Penn State Poultry Science Club and Collegiate Poultry Judging Team are annually one of the best in the country.

Each student who attended the Expo had their expenses paid, having earned the trip through eight hours of work at the Club's annual Fall Turkey Harvest, working a day for the Penn Ag Food Booth or poultry exhibition area at the Pennsylvania Farm Show, and by completing four pages of the club's scrapbook.

The club received partial funding from the College of Agricultural Sciences' Office for Undergraduate Education to participate in this event.