Paul H. Patterson, professor of poultry science in the animal sciences department in College of Agricultural Sciences, has received the 2018 Faculty Outreach Award.
The award honors faculty who have positively and substantially affected individuals, organizations or communities through problem solving or development as a result of extending their scholarship.
Patterson, who dedicates 70 percent of his time to outreach and extension and 30 percent to research, is a poultry sciences expert at Penn State. In addition to his outreach, Patterson supports undergraduate teaching programs in the Animal Sciences department.
“Dr. Patterson has the heart of a farmer -- which, when combined with his educational background, research abilities, presentation skills and common-sense approach to problem-solving results -- is an invaluable resource for the farming community,” said an industry leader and nominator.
As a state extension specialist and leader for the poultry extension team at Penn State, his primary responsibilities are to direct and conduct innovative, poultry-relevant extension and applied research in multiple areas including poultry nutrition, laying-hen management, egg quality, nutrient management, biosecurity and disease prevention.
As a member of the poultry team, he is responsible for developing and implementing meaningful education programs using online tools and face-to-face formats to reach out to benefit consumers, poultry farmers and industry. As an extension specialist, he is regularly contacted by consumers, producers, scientists and veterinarians for his expert opinion on various subjects including egg quality, nutrition and food safety. In this regard, Patterson collaborates and provide services to government agencies including the United States Department of Agriculture, Environmental Protection Agency and the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture.
Patterson has conducted numerous field studies to enhance producer profitability and to improve egg production and food safety. A colleague said his biggest impact has been with the Pennsylvania Egg Quality Assurance Program, which decreased salmonella outbreak in eggs by more than 20 percent.
Preparing Pennsylvania during the 2014-15 avian flu outbreak, is another area where Patterson has shined. In the U.S. alone, the outbreak resulted in the loss of 50 million birds and cost the industry and the federal government $2 billion. Patterson produced materials and videos to help companies establish plans and a biosecurity barrier to avoid an outbreak in Pennsylvania.
“Patterson is an integral part of our poultry industry and helps us save lives,” an industry leader and nominator said. “He doesn’t just remain in the ivory tower conducting research. He helps educate us, converts science to a practical application and conduct necessary research to solve practical problems. The poultry industry is indebted to Patterson for his outreach and expertise.”