The USPOULTRY Foundation awarded a $20,345 student recruiting grant to the University of Georgia. The grant was made possible in part from an endowing Foundation gift from the Leland Bagwell Education & Innovation Fund, named in honor of the founder of American Proteins.

The University of Georgia is one of the six universities in the United States that has a department dedicated to the study of poultry science. The department has recently awarded 30 poultry science and avian biology undergraduate degrees. Half of the graduates are employed in the poultry sector, while the remainder are continuing their education in graduate or professional programs.

Dr. Todd Applegate, department head and professor at the University of Georgia, remarked, “Our annual budgets do not allow for exhaustive recruiting programs at the departmental level. The outreach and recruiting programs for students entering the poultry and allied sectors are keenly reliant on the generous support of the USPOULTRY Foundation and its supporting donors. Growth in our undergraduate poultry science students is directly linked to the Foundation’s support. This year’s funding, for example, has allowed us to reach out to more than 3,400 K-12 students and potential college transfer students to promote the range of career options in the poultry and allied sectors. To do so, we utilize14 of our top students as program ambassadors. To accelerate awareness, our faculty has also been developing teaching models for high school STEM and vocational agriculture teachers that we demonstrate during our summer academy workshop, allowing the participants to gain comfort and competence in incorporating poultry examples into their curricula.”

The USPOULTRY Foundation awarded recruiting grants totaling $282,500 for the 2017-18 school year to 35 colleges and universities across the United States with either a poultry science department or a poultry studies program. The student recruiting program dates back to 1994 when the USPOULTRY board of directors established the Foundation to provide annual recruiting funds to attract students to poultry studies and ultimately into careers in the poultry industry.

The recruiting grant check presentations were part of College Student Career Program activities at the 2018 International Poultry Expo, part of the International Production & Processing Expo.