For the first time, Iowa State University will serve as host to the Midwest Poultry Consortium’s (MPC) Center of Excellence Scholarship/Internship (COE) Program. This unique and very successful poultry education program was launched at UW-Madison in 1996 and has continued to educate undergraduates and place them in poultry positions for twenty-four years – thanks go to UW-Madison for their many years of dedication.

     “We are excited about our move to ISU,” said Beth Nelson, MPC President. “As the nation’s leading egg producer, as well as the home to the Egg Industry Center, Iowa provides both the environment and the facilities to truly enhance the COE experience for students.” 

     MPC’s COE offers students the opportunity to earn up to 18 credits focused in poultry science and prepares them for future employment within the industry. Students who complete two six-week summer sessions earn an emphasis in poultry science. Credits can be transferred to the students’ home universities and apply towards graduation.

 ISU took on the challenging task of moving the COE program to a new university host, a major task even in a typical year. They also worked with MPC and COE faculty to accommodate distance learning for the 2020 summer session. As the outbreak of COVID-19 forces organizations to adapt to new ways of operating, MPC is thankful to ISU and the COE faculty (ISU faculty and visiting faculty from other universities) for being adaptable so we can continue to offer students this amazing opportunity for poultry education.

     "While this is not how we envisioned starting our 25th year of operation, it's what we felt was necessary in order to maintain the continuity of the program,” added Nelson. “The COE faculty has been phenomenal throughout this difficult process which posed unexpected challenges. Ultimately, we have confidence our students will adapt to this new reality and make the most of it."

     COE 2020 classes will begin as planned on May 18 and continue through June 26 at which time students will transition to the second phase of the COE, summer internships. Internships at MPC-member companies offer students a first-hand look at life in the field of poultry and provide valuable, hands-on work experience within the industry.

The new university host proposal aims to rotate the COE between Iowa State University and the University of Minnesota in future years, with 2021 classes resuming in-person at ISU.

"We're looking forward to educating the poultry industry's next generation of leaders. We appreciate ISU welcoming us for our 25th COE class." Good luck 2020 COE students!