The club has secured the first place spot in that category 21 times in 23 years, according to Phillip Clauer, club adviser and senior instructor in the Department of Animal Science. In addition to the first-place win, the team won third place in the Club of the Year competition.
"The club's performance was wonderful; they are an enthusiastic group of students," Clauer said.
More than 675 students from 57 universities attended the annual three-day exposition, sponsored by the USPOULTRY Foundation. The event provides opportunities for students to meet representatives of major companies and network within the poultry industry. Recruiters from leading companies in the industry, including Perdue Farms, Tyson Foods and Miller Poultry, attend to seek out qualified college students for internships and jobs.
"The International Poultry Exposition opens the students' eyes to the opportunities in the poultry industry," Clauer said, adding that the Penn State Poultry Science Club makes the trek every year. "The students come back from Atlanta with job or internship offers — some will have several offers depending on how many interviews they signed up for. This is a great tribute to the quality of the avian and poultry science minor at Penn State, and it illustrates the many career opportunities in the industry."
One of the club members who gained insight into the industry from the trip was Gabby Winger, vice president of the club. "This was my first time going to Atlanta, so it was interesting and great to see what International Poultry Expo has to offer," she said. "I highly recommend this trip for anyone wanting to go into a growing field where there is a need for talented individuals, and those wanting experience interviewing or networking."
For a club member to attend the exposition, he or she has to meet certain criteria, including being an active member, completing four scrapbook pages, and working a shift at the Pennsylvania Farm Show in Harrisburg.
In addition, members must work at least eight hours at the Turkey Harvest, the club's annual fundraiser held on the Monday before Thanksgiving, during which it harvests and sells fresh-dressed turkeys to the public. Proceeds help the club pay for the exposition trip and other yearly activities, such as volunteering at the White House Easter Egg Roll, industry tours in Pennsylvania and international study tours to expand the cultural education of the club members.
For more information on the Penn State Poultry Science Club, visit the club's web page.