Nearly 600 students interested in interning or starting their career in the poultry industry attended the USPOULTRY Foundation’s College Student Career Program meeting, held in conjunction with the 2016 International Production & Processing Expo. Attendees came from 43 universities throughout the U.S., while the International Student Program brought in 14 students from seven Latin American universities. The students interviewed for jobs and internships with human resource representatives from 36 industry and allied firms. They were also able to visit the exhibit floor to see the most current technology used in today's industry.

“We are very pleased that our efforts to ramp up the College Student Career Program are continuing to progress. This year’s program not only brought together the brightest students from both national and international universities, it also continues to increase in students and participating companies,” remarked Sherman Miller, Cal-Maine Foods, Jackson, MS, and USPOULTRY Foundation chairman.

Randy Day, president of Perdue Foods, addressed the students about the changing landscape of consumer preference. “The questions from consumers are changing from ‘tell me more about the product’ to ‘how do you produce it.’ Companies that embrace consumer choice are going to have an advantage. We can embrace these changes as an opportunity,” said Day.

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Students also participated in the Student of the Year, Club of the Year and Scrapbook of the Year competition. During the opening session, Joshua Cassar, Pennsylvania State University, was named the Frank Perdue Scholarship Student of the Year. The scholarship is named for Frank Perdue, noted for his dedication to aspiring young people studying for careers in the poultry industry, and who, for many years, attended the College Student Career Program to interview students. Jason Burnett, University of Georgia, took second place, and Zachary King, Radford University, received third place honors.

Pennsylvania State University took home the award for Club of the Year and Scrapbook of the Year. Auburn University took home second place, and North Carolina State placed third.