A $22,816 student recruiting grant has been awarded to Mississippi State University from the U.S. Poultry & Egg Harold E. Ford Foundation (USPOULTRY Foundation). The grant will be used to recruit students interested in the poultry industry and was made possible in part by an endowing Foundation gift from Sanderson Farms.

The check was presented by Pic Billingsley, director of development and engineering for Sanderson Farms and a member of the USPOULTRY board of directors, to Dr. Mary Beck, professor and head of the Poultry Science Department. Joining in the presentation was John Starkey, president of USPOULTRY.


“We need bright young people who will become the managers and leaders of the poultry and egg industry of tomorrow,” said Billingsley. “They are our future, and there are many opportunities for them throughout all phases of our industry. We are pleased to support student recruiting at colleges and universities through the Foundation.”

In 2017, the USPOULTRY Foundation board approved student recruiting grants totaling $282,500 to 35 colleges and universities across the United States with a poultry science department or industry-related degree program. The USPOULTRY Foundation provides annual recruiting funds to colleges and universities to attract students to their poultry programs. The grants are made possible by gifts to the Foundation from companies, individuals and families, in addition to funds earned over the years at the International Poultry Expo, part of the International Production & Processing Expo.