UF/IFAS Animal Sciences Travels to the International Production and Processing Expo

The UF/IFAS Department of Animal Sciences (ANS) works to provide its students with the highest level of education, both inside and outside of the classroom. Within the classroom, the department provides engaging lectures and labs from synergizing faculty. Outside the classroom, extracurricular activities and professional events offer unique experiences for all students. 

On Saturday, January 22, 2023, faculty members Amie Imler, Kyle Mendes, and Jason Scheffler, and 14 students began their week-long trip for the annual International Production & Processing Expo (IPPE) in Atlanta, GA. The trip also included several industry tours stops. Undergraduates who attended include Melissa Babinecz, Daniel Dolfi, Nina Gilmore, Jordan Hartley, Christopher Hernandez, Ivana Hernandez-Garbati, Karissa Parker, Jessica Poulin, Makayla Quick, Taylor Riel, Makayla Thomas, Karina Vestergaard, and Morgan Yoder. The trip was sponsored by a grant from the US Poultry Foundation through a gift given in part by Claxton Poultry.  

On Monday, January 23, 2023, students toured four facilities associated with Perdue, including a hatchery, grower house, processing plant, and further cook processing plant. These operations were located across the state of Georgia and allowed students to see multiple segments of the industry. Attendees were also able learn about various industry practices, such as automation and food safety protocols. 

Students outside Perdue Hatchery facility.

The group traveled to Chick-Fil-A headquarters Tuesday morning, where they toured the office and learned the story behind the creation of the company. The same afternoon, they headed to IPPE which is a collaborative event between US Poultry and Egg Association, North American Meat Institute, and America Feed Industry Association. IPPE is known as one of the largest trade shows in the world and had over 1,000 exhibitors present for student to network with.  

Students inside Chick-fil-A headquarters.

Students also participated in the US Poultry College Career Program, which allows college students to interview for internships or jobs. University of Florida students participated in at least three interviews each. Examples of companies students can interview with include JBS and Tyson.  

Many students like Karissa Parker, ANS junior, wanted to expand their interests on the trip. Parker specifically wanted to learn more about opportunities related to research or veterinary medicine. One of her favorite parts of the trip was seeing the research within the industry at IPPE. 

“I learned about the processes that go into chicken production. I also learned about in-ovo-vaccines and that was really cool,” said Parker.  

Students before beginning their interviews in the College Career Program.

Daniel Dolfi, ANS senior, was interested in learning about different career options available to him with a bachelor’s degree in animal sciences. He also focused on professional development through his interviews with Tyson, Wayne Sanderson Farms, and Peco Foods. Although he was not looking for an internship, he got a potential job offer.  

“I learned ways to initiate proper interview conversations,” said Dolfi.  

Find more information about the UF/IFAS Department of Animal Sciences events on our website. Stay in touch with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Any questions or inquiries regarding this piece should be directed toward Shelby Thomas at soesterreicher@ufl.edu. Read more stories like this one here: http://blogs.ifas.ufl.edu/animalsciencesdept/. 



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Posted: February 20, 2023

Category: Agriculture, UF/IFAS Teaching
Tags: Animal Sciences, Ans, Internship, Meat Processing, UF Animal Sciences, Undergraduate

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