As part of the USPOULTRY Foundation’s enhanced effort to support the recruitment and training of the brightest students and to promote careers in the poultry and egg industry, the top 11 finishing teams of the National FFA Poultry Evaluation Career Development Event (CDE) were invited to the 2017 International Poultry Expo (IPE), part of the International Production & Processing Expo (IPPE) in Atlanta, Ga. This was the USPOULTRY Foundation’s third invitation to the FFA Poultry Evaluation CDE teams, with more than 35 FFA student leaders and their advisors participating. This opportunity was made possible by an endowing Foundation gift from Tyson Foods.

“Tyson Foods has been a long-time supporter of the FFA, and we’re proud to offer these students the opportunity to learn from our fellow professionals in the poultry and egg industry," said Bill Ricken, vice president operations, raw poultry for Tyson Foods. “Career Development Events hosted by the USPOULTRY Foundation can serve as a great springboard to a rewarding career in our industry."

“Our Association has long been a supporter of the FFA Poultry Evaluation CDE. We believe it’s an invaluable opportunity for these teams to experience the world’s largest annual trade show for the poultry, meat and feed industries,” remarked Paul Hill, West Liberty Foods, Ellsworth, Iowa, and USPOULTRY Foundation chairman.


Poultry industry leaders, Bill Ricken, Tyson Foods, Inc., Tracy Morris, vice president of human resources for Perdue Farms, Inc., and Summer Lanier, public relations director for Prestage Farms, Inc., participated in a program that informed the students about the multitude of career opportunities in the industry. Additionally, students had an opportunity to visit the vast trade show floor to see the exciting technology used by today’s modern, sustainable poultry industry.

The following Poultry Evaluation CDE teams attended the 2017 IPPE and are listed in their order of finish: Prairie Central FFA, Illinois; Har-ber FFA, Arkansas; Lake Butler FFA, Florida; McDonald County FFA, Missouri; Louisburg FFA, Kansas; Crest FFA, North Carolina; Thorsby FFA, Alabama; East Jackson FFA, Georgia; and Margeretta FFA, Ohio. The first and second place teams, Ridge Point FFA, Texas, and Galt FFA, California, were unable to attend.