Department of Poultry Science Hosts Annual Poultry Science Youth Conference

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The U of A Department of Poultry Science hosted its annual Poultry Science Youth Conference June 28 to July 1.

The department hosted 15 high school students from across Arkansas and Oklahoma on campus during the four-day conference. Participants stayed on campus and learned about careers in poultry science while they were here.

“The attendees participated in activities that informed them about careers in poultry science, college life, living in Fayetteville and how to attend and pay for college,” said Gary Davis, scholarship coordinator and conference organizer.

Several individuals helped with the conference and workshops, which allowed students to meet some current faculty, staff and students in the department. They were also immersed in hands-on activities that gave them the opportunity to work together.

“Students participated in several workshops that covered a variety of topics in the poultry industry including an overview of the industry, poultry cooking 101, batter/breading, deboning and how to pay for college,” Davis said. “They were also challenged to develop their own poultry products and work in teams to cook the product and serve to judges. Students also got to do recreational activities in surrounding Northwest Arkansas.”

Davis says this conference has been hosted for about 25 years, and it has been very successful over that time.

“We have always thought that the probability for a student to major in poultry science greatly increased if we could get them on campus,” Davis said.

He strongly encourages high school students interested in poultry science to consider attending the Poultry Science Youth Conference next year.

“As high school students plan for their future, I encourage them to explore all the information about colleges, scholarships and prospects for a career,” Davis said. “By attending the Youth Conference, students have the opportunity to experience our department in a face-to-face format.”

Others who helped plan and execute the conference were: Casey Owens, professor of poultry processing and products; Devon Jackson, program technician; Courtney Shumate, program technician; Travis Tabler, graduate student; Maricela Maqueda, program associate; Hannah Feurborn, recently graduated senior; Melissa Martinez, freshman; and Abbi Slaughter, freshman.