Will Hehemann | School of Agriculture, Fisheries and Human Sciences
The U.S. Poultry & Egg Harold E. Ford (USPOULTRY) Foundation recently donated $3,000 to the Department of Agriculture at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB). The award will be used to support recruitment and retention efforts for students interested in careers in the poultry industry.
The gift was made possible by Peco Foods, one of the industry’s leading suppliers, based in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. The company specializes in poultry processing and packaging and has processing plants throughout Mississippi, Alabama and Arkansas.
“Gifts such as this go a long way to help in recruitment and retention efforts, especially for the 3+1 poultry science program within the Department of Agriculture,” Dr. Edmund Buckner, interim dean/director for the School of Agriculture, Fisheries and Human Sciences, said. “The program is a new joint effort between UAPB and the University of Arkansas (UA) whereby UAPB students complete their senior year at the UA Center of Excellence for Poultry Science. Its goal is to increase the number of UAPB graduates in the poultry industry.”
Dr. Buckner said the gift comes at an opportune time, as it will support the department’s efforts to send 25 students to the USPOULTRY-sponsored College Student Career Program that will be held in Atlanta, Georgia in January 2016. This annual event is hosted in conjunction with the International Production & Processing Expo.
“During the event, students interact with poultry industry professionals and interview for internship and job opportunities available in the poultry industry,” Dr. Ondieki Gekara, associate professor of animal science and advisor for the College Student Career Program, said. “Additionally, students learn firsthand about the diverse interests of several hundred poultry companies on display through exhibition booths at the expo.”