As part of the USPOULTRY Foundation’s ongoing initiative to support the recruitment and training of the brightest students and to promote careers in the poultry and egg industry, the top nine finishing teams of the National FFA Food Science and Technology Career Development Event (CDE) and their advisors were invited to the 2017 International Poultry Expo (IPE), part of the International Production & Processing Expo (IPPE) in Atlanta. This was the USPOULTRY Foundation’s first invitation to the Food Science and Technology CDE teams. The opportunity was made possible by endowing Foundation gifts from Cargill and Prestage Farms. Combined with the FFA Poultry Evaluation CDE teams who were also in attendance, more than 70 FFA student leaders and their advisors participated in the IPE.

“Food science and technology will be the keys that unlock our ability to nourish the world’s population in a safe, responsible and sustainable way as it increases to nine billion by 2050,” said John Niemann, leader of Cargill’s turkey and cooked meats business, FFA Foundation member and a former Kansas state FFA officer. “Career development events, such as this one at the International Poultry Expo, showcase the extraordinary talent of young leaders who will be responsible for the future of food production that helps farm communities, consumers and the world thrive.”

“Being a long-time FFA supporter and having a strong belief in the need to cultivate young talent, we were excited about the opportunity to interact and engage students from around the country with an interest in the poultry industry. Our industry offers a wide variety of diverse career opportunities, and we are very appreciative of the association’s efforts to help get that message out to these young, talented leaders,” said Summer Lanier, public relations director, Prestage Farms, Inc.


Poultry industry leaders, Summer Lanier, Prestage Farms, Inc., Tracy Morris, vice president of human resources for Perdue Farms, Inc., and Bill Ricken, vice president operations raw poultry for Tyson Foods, 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.

“Our Association has been a supporter of the FFA Poultry Evaluation CDE for many years, and we were pleased to be able to offer the Food Science and Technology CDE teams an opportunity 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.

The following Food Science and Technology CDE teams attended the 2017 IPPE and are listed in their order of finish: Windum FFA, Minnesota; Florence FFA, Texas; Somonauk-Leland-Sandwich FFA, Illinois; Lincoln Middle FFA, Arkansas; Hermiston FFA, Oregon; Cambridge FFA, Idaho; Richland 44 FFA, North Dakota; Wamogo Regional FFA, Connecticut; and Lawton FFA, Oklahoma.