Penn State Poultry Science Club Named Second in Nation

Posted: February 20, 2014

The Poultry Science Club received multiple recognitions, and three members were honored for their outstanding achievements at the USPOULTRY College Student Career Program.
Members of Penn State’s Poultry Club at the IPPE in Atlanta. The club placed second in the nation for their activities and involvement.

Members of Penn State’s Poultry Club at the IPPE in Atlanta. The club placed second in the nation for their activities and involvement.

Penn State’s Poultry Science Club and members received multiple recognitions at the 2014 USPOULTRY College Student Career Program held as part of the International Poultry and Processing Exposition (IPPE) in Atlanta, GA at the end of January. Two club members were first and second Student of the Year nationally, one received the highest research award, and the Club was second in the Club of the Year contest and third in the Scrapbook of the Year contest.


Taylor Young, Harleysville, and president of the Penn State Poultry Science Club, received the Frank Perdue Scholarship Student of the Year award ($1000), and Corissa Steimling, Gettysburg, was second place winner as student of the year ($500). Amy Mayer, Dalton, a senior, was recognized for the Best Undergraduate Presentation Award with the Don R. Sloan award which includes a $500 check presented by the Southern Poultry Science Association.


Dr. Terry Etherton, Head of the Department of Animal Science, said, “I congratulate the students for their outstanding achievements and for this wonderful national recognition. Our Poultry Science Club members work extremely hard for the opportunity to participate in the IPPE, and it is indeed an honor for them as individuals and as a club to do so well in competition with their peers. It is a well deserved tribute to Taylor, Corissa and Amy to be honored for their hard work and commitment to the club and to the industry.”


Seventeen club members attended the exposition, where students visited the extensive trade show with over 1,000 exhibitors and had the opportunity to interview for jobs and internships with industry and allied companies. They also viewed the latest technology and newest innovations in today’s poultry and egg production and processing operations. Nearly 25,000 people attended the exhibition.


Phillip Clauer, senior instructor, 4-H youth and specialty poultry in the Department of Animal Science, said, “We are very proud of the achievements of the club and it’s members. It is indeed an honor to have Taylor and Corissa recognized as first and second in the country; they have made valuable contributions to our club. In addition to the recognition among their peers, this international exposition is extremely valuable to our students, helping them network with industry leaders as they plan their careers.”


All three women are active members of the Penn State Poultry Club and enthusiastic about the opportunities the club has afforded them. Young, serving her second year as club president, said it has been gratifying for her to see the club receive second place in the club of the year contest, moving up from third in 2013. While PSU has one of the smaller clubs, she said it was nice to see their hard work recognized.


Young said she was flattered with the national award, considering it very special. Her interest in poultry has grown since she began with a poultry project in 4-H. She noted, “The Poultry Science Club has given me endless opportunities in the industry, as well as within the University. It is one of the most influential contributions to my Penn State career.” She said it has improved her leadership skills and has helped her build lasting relationships.


Mayer’s research project was titled "Behavior Supplements for Raising Commercial Pullets." Under the guidance of Dr. Paul Patterson, she formulated a hanging supplement that would both buff the beaks of and reduce overall levels of aggression in floor-raised non-beak-trimmed pullets. Aggression leads to death loss and a decrease in productivity, so Mayer said, “If we can reduce it by using a supplement such as this, it would be advantageous to the industry.”


Mayer said she was extremely honored to have been recognized and considers it a great conclusion to a successful project on which she has worked since summer. She will use the monetary award toward her educational expenses. She called her membership in the club a “very unique and invaluable experience,” expressing appreciation for the breadth of activities members are offered.


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


More than 500 students from 30 universities around the country participated in the conference.


The club received partial funding from the College of Agricultural Sciences’ Office for Undergraduate Education to participate in this event. U.S. Poultry & Egg Association (USPOULTRY) is the all-feather organization representing the complete spectrum of today’s poultry industry, whose mission is to progressively serve member companies through research, education, communication, and technical assistance. Founded in 1947, U.S. Poultry & Egg Association is based in Tucker, Ga.