How to promote poultry breeding careers to Gen Z

Highlighting just how technology-driven modern poultry breeding companies are may be a way of attracting new talent to the broiler and layer genetics sectors.

The poultry breeding industry is highly innovative, and poultry genetics companies utilize a wealth of smart technologies. | Courtesy Aviagen
The poultry breeding industry is highly innovative, and poultry genetics companies utilize a wealth of smart technologies. | Courtesy Aviagen

While I am not aware that he ever had any involvement in poultry genetics, the late American entrepreneur and business magnate Steve Jobs once said: “If you’re working on something exciting that you really care about, you don’t have to be pushed. The vision pulls you.”

While this visionary truth applies to us all, the motivation of needing a cause to care about is particularly true of our up-and-coming professionals, who are often dubbed “millennials” and “Gen Z,” reaching early adulthood after the early 21st century.

These generations are motivated slightly differently than the goal-oriented but less tech-savvy Gen X and baby boomer generations that preceded them. The newer generations are more purpose-driven and less paycheck-driven than their predecessors – distinctions that should be considered to attract professionals who will form the future of our global workforce.

When planning a future career, millennials and Gen Z may not put poultry at the top of their hot jobs list. They may think of the sector as low-tech and not very glamorous. However, the poultry breeding industry is actually highly innovative, and poultry genetics companies put to work a wealth of smart technologies to select the next generation of birds that will be bred as a sustainable and healthy source of protein. Breeding companies are, in effect, biotechnology enterprises in need of bright, creative people.

And, we offer careers that people can feel good about, as we are helping to supply current and future generations with a healthy and safe food source. As the global population continues to skyrocket, the industry will need educated, energized professionals with great vision to lead the way in helping to feed the world. It is our task to tell the right story that gets the younger generation excited about poultry breeding and the poultry industry in general as a rewarding career prospect.

Smart science

Poultry breeding continually applies ingenuity and bright science for the betterment of birds, farmers and their communities, and the environment. The primary breeding industry is continually evaluating and adopting the latest human medical technologies such as ultrasound, oximeter, advanced imaging, and genomics into its balanced breeding program.

Our younger generations are driven by a quest for knowledge and have a high aptitude for technology, and they need to be made aware of how poultry breeding is leveraging science and innovation toward a brighter future.

Compelling career choice

A great thing about poultry breeding is the sheer diversity of situations, people and places we encounter on a regular basis. We travel and work with those in various jobs and cultures all over the world. We interact with all levels of the client value chain – executives, processing plants, hatcheries, feed mills, feed additive suppliers, live operations, veterinarians, nutritionists and many others. With a variety of challenges and experiences, every day brings a new adventure.

Attract future talent

There’s much more to poultry breeding than meets the eye. In order to achieve its goal of feeding the world, the industry needs young, skilled people with vision and passion.

In fact, many of these professionals are already entering the world of poultry breeding. One primary breeder estimates that millennials and Gen Z comprise approximately 40 percent of its global workforce.

Poultry breeding offers great opportunities in a breadth of careers, not only in scientific occupations such as veterinarians, nutritionists, incubationists, geneticists and microbiologists, but also in export logistics, marketing, sales and finance. It brings with it invigorating challenges, and the satisfaction of knowing a true difference is being made for now and for years to come. The future of the industry depends on attracting the next generation, and now is the time to show them the modern, exciting career that the poultry breeding industry can offer to bright, progressive and caring professionals.


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