Students find poultry career opportunities at the International Production and Processing Expo

May 24, 2013 under CANR News

Students found out about Poultry careers at the IPPE expoStudents from the University of Delaware interested in the poultry industry walked away with a lot more than information and a great experience at the U.S. Poultry and Egg Association’s International Production and Processing Expo (IPPE) held in Atlanta, Georgia. Some even walked away with job offers.

UD sent 11 students to the event as well as Kali Kniel, associate professor in the Department of Animal and Food Sciences (ANFS). This year, the IPPE set record attendance numbers with over 25,000 visitors and over 1,000 exhibitors. The expo is the world’s largest annual poultry, meat and feed industry event of its kind and one of the 50 largest trade shows in the United States.

The students had most of their travel expenses covered thanks to a grant received by U.S. Poultry and Egg and also some funding from the UD Career Services Center.

The event was a culmination of UD’s Poultry Careers Seminar Series that the students participated in during the 2012 fall semester. The seminar series was organized by Bob Alphin, instructor in ANFS and manager of the Allen Laboratory, and Kniel, and students learned about the many different opportunities afforded to them by the poultry industry from leading industry professionals, with representatives from Perdue Farms, the Delmarva Poultry Industry, Inc. and Mountaire Farms—among others—coming in to speak with the student participants.

As for the trip itself, Kniel said that she felt like it was a great learning experience for the students.

“I think that was a really good way to boost their interest and learn about the allied industries and the kind of depth in the careers that are available with poultry,” explained Kniel. “Because it’s not just working with live birds and it’s not just working in a processing plant, it’s really all the careers in health and production and it’s just a very broad scope.”

Caryn Deakyne, a senior in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (CANR), who attended the program, said that the expo, “Completely opened my eyes up to the countless opportunities in the poultry industry as well as other related fields. By attending this expo I was able to really hone in on the specific jobs that I was looking for and spend the most time focusing on them.”

Deakyne added that Kniel was a great person to have on the trip as she was “such a supportive resource, and she even helped push me towards companies that I was nervous to speak with.”

The students got first hand experience with job interviews, as they were able to interview with many companies during the 3-day program.

Nina Lee, a senior in CANR who went on the trip, explained that the interviews were fast paced, set up in 30-minute increments, and took place with leading industry companies such as Perdue Farms, Mountaire Farms, Butterball and Boar’s Head, among others.

Lee said that she found the interviewing process to be the most beneficial aspect of the trip. “I thought I was astute and well poised before interviews, but after interviewing in Atlanta I learned so many tricks and subtle ways to appear more collected, confident, and eloquent. I became a lot more comfortable and was able to read the interviewer’s questions and responses, while answering with concise but well-thought out answers. Essentially, I learned how to genuinely market myself while showing my professionalism and poise.”

Kniel said that every senior who went on the trip walked away with a job offer from one of the leading producers in the poultry industry. She also encouraged students to look into careers in poultry as she said “Careers in the poultry industry are basically recession proof. The companies are continuing to do well, people eat, food is still being produced, and the health of the animals is still important.”

She also noted that the expo is fantastic as “it’s such a friendly environment. Everyone was very warm, very friendly and very excited to meet the students and to talk about the careers and the positions that they had available. There was a lot of enthusiasm.”

As for Deakyne, she said that the trip played a large part in her recent acceptance of a full-time position with Perdue Farms, Inc., and that she will be entering their plant management trainee program in June in Georgetown, Delaware.

Lee has also accepted a position as a plant management trainee with Perdue Farms in their Milford, Delaware processing plant.

Article by Adam Thomas


Upcoming seminars provide insight into poultry career opportunities

September 24, 2012 under CANR News

While the economy may be not be strong, employment opportunities in the poultry industry are thriving. It is with this in mind that the University of Delaware will host a Poultry Careers Seminar Series throughout the month of October and into November geared towards students interested in a career in the poultry industry.

The seminars will all take place at 6 p.m. in room 101 of the Allen Laboratory and will provide students an opportunity to speak directly to employers offering internships, management trainee programs and full time positions. A free dinner will be offered before each seminar and there will be drawings for two $50 Barnes and Noble gift cards for students who attend all 4 seminars.

The seminars include:

  • Wednesday, 10/3: Why a Career in Poultry Science? Why not! Employment opportunities are still great in the poultry industry, and this seminar will include presentations from Delmarva Poultry Industry, Inc.—a nonprofit trade association working for the continued progress of the broiler chicken industry on the Delmarva Peninsula— who will present an overview of the industry and the many poultry career opportunities. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) will also present, focusing on an overview of career opportunities available at USDA-AMS.
  • Monday, 10/8: How to Use Industry and Research Internships to Jump Start your Resume. Bernie Murphy, the General Manager of the Agricultural Division of Jones-Hamilton Co., will discuss internship and career opportunities at Jones-Hamilton Co. and collaborative research projects with UD’s College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (CANR). Jones-Hamilton Co. has been a leader in producing, packaging and distributing chemicals and products sold to manufacturing, processing and agricultural end users such as the poultry industry. Perdue Farms will also present, focusing on management training programs, internship and career opportunities in the company. Katelyn MacCann, a recent graduate from CANR’s Department of Animal and Food Sciences (ANFS), will be among the presenters.
  • Tuesday, 10/16: Domestic Career Opportunities in the Industry & Cooperative Extension Service. Mountaire Farms, a diverse, fast growing poultry and agricultural business which partners with local farming communities to raise chickens and grains, will give a presentation on management training programs, internship and career opportunities. The UD Cooperative Extension Service, which connects the public with University knowledge, research and resources to address youth, family, community and agricultural needs, will present on career opportunities and the CANR Cooperative Extension Summer Scholars Program.
  • Thursday, 11/1: National and International Opportunities in the Industry. Cobb-Vantress Incorporated, one of the the world’s leaders in research, development and sellers of breeding stock to the broiler industry, will give an overview of their international company and discuss internship and career opportunities. Elanco, a world leader in developing products and services that enhance animal health, wellness and performance, will also have a presentation given by Nannette Olmeda-Geniec, who works for them as a poultry technical consultant. Olmeda-Geniec earned her Ph. D at UD in the ANFS department and she will give an overview of the company as well as discuss internship and career opportunities.

There will also be information about a travel opportunity to Atlanta, Georgia in January 2013 to attend the largest international poultry and agribusiness trade show at the United States Poultry and Egg Association (USPEA) College Student Career Program. The program will allow students opportunities to interview with 25 regional, national and international poultry and agribusiness companies and organizations while having the opportunity to network with over 900 companies. Most student travel expenses are covered with minimal cost to students attending this conference.

Students interested in attending any of these seminars should log into their Blue Hen Career account to RSVP for the Seminar Series for each individual seminar so that food can be planned accordingly.

For more information, e-mail Diane Venninger at