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Summer 2020 Internship Q&A

Several College of Agricultural and Life Sciences students completed internships during the summer of 2020. The second student to be highlighted is Jarrett Douglas, an undergraduate animal sciences student. During this summer, Jarrett interned with Aviagen, a primary breeder poultry hatchery.

What did you do in your internship?

In the hatchery I worked in, there were four incubator halls. In total, the hatchery I worked at could hold over one million eggs at any given time. I thought this was really interesting.

In my internship, I weighed egg samples before and after they went into the incubators to collect egg evaporation and egg yield data. I rolled eggs on the TSA and SAB plates (devices in the right side of the picture below) in order to check for bacteria and mold levels on the surface of the eggs.

I also loaded eggs into the carts to be set in the incubator. They are hooked on to compressed air to rotate the eggs gradually over time in order to keep the yolks from attaching to the inside of the shell.

What was the coolest thing you did in your internship?

I learned eggs can last 30 to 40 days before they are put into the incubator and still be viable, as long as they are refrigerated. Eggs are incubated for 18 days and then they are transferred to the hatcher for an additional three days.

What did you learn in your internship?

I learned Aviagen is a primary breeder, producing grandparent stock in the poultry industry. Aviagen currently holds about 60 percent of the market share for the poultry industry. I also learned eggs are broken into three categories based on how clean they are, with category one being the cleanest. Category three eggs are washed, but washing them removes the outer cuticle layer of the egg and makes them more susceptible to bacteria.

What led you to your major in CALS?

I picked animal sciences as my major because I grew up involved in FFA. Through my Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE) in high school, I gained a deeper interest and became more involved with animals. I’ve always been really interested in animal sciences and wanted my career to be in animal agriculture.

How did you learn about this internship?

I learned about this internship at the International Production and Processing Expo (IPPE) in Atlanta, Georgia. IPPE has a program for college students to interview for internships with poultry and meat technology companies from all over the United States. Through IPPE, I have gained two internships, one being my current one with Aviagen. The Department of Animal Sciences takes students to this event every year in January, but any student in the college can go. It’s a pretty amazing event. I am especially thankful for my department for all of the opportunities I have been granted.

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