Bird Talk: Wallace and Auburn host Poultry Science Expo - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

Bird Talk: Wallace and Auburn host Poultry Science Expo

Friday, Wallace Community College in Dothan hosted its first Poultry Science Expo. (Source: WSFA 12 News) Friday, Wallace Community College in Dothan hosted its first Poultry Science Expo. (Source: WSFA 12 News)
DOTHAN, AL (WSFA) -

Although Alabama produces roughly 11 percent of the chickens served up for meals across the country, people in the industry say they’re seeing gaps in the workforce.

“When you talk to students you hear a lot about your doctors, engineers, lawyers. You don’t hear a lot about your poultry science or agriculture, but those are equally good opportunities,” said Donald Conner, Poultry Science Department Head at Auburn University.

Friday, Wallace Community College in Dothan hosted its first Poultry Science Expo. Roughly 100 students from area high schools attended the event aimed at growing student interest in poultry science.

“They don’t know that the industry is more than just owning a chicken house. They don’t realize it’s about the feed mill production. There’s a business aspect to the poultry side,” said Julie Fischer, Natural Sciences Division Director at Wallace Community College. “It’s just really a wide open field with a lot of job opportunities.”

“They work in the plant as supervisors, quality control, food safety. They work on environmental issues,” Conner said.

Representatives from local poultry providers Keystone Foods and Wayne Farms talked to students about job opportunities in the field. Keystone Foods provides chicken for McDonald’s. Wayne Farms provides chicken for Chick-fil-A.

Students also heard more about how to enter the poultry industry through the 2+2 partnership program through Wallace Community College and Auburn University.

Through the program, students attend Wallace their freshman and sophomore years and transfer to Auburn’s Poultry Science School for their junior and senior year.

“It’s really desirable for a high school student to know that they can stay living at home with their parents and come to Wallace and get their basics done,” said Jennifer Bradley, Junior at Northside Methodist Academy. “You get used to the rhythm of things before you go and try to make a life by yourself.”

Wallace and Auburn Officials say creating this education pipeline will help fill the industry gaps.

“There are jobs waiting and we don’t have anybody to fill them and we need to get the word out,” said Fischer.

Fischer says although some of the vacancies are because of people not knowing about the field, in other cases students use the Poultry Science degree in other fields – like veterinary medicine.

According to U.S. Poultry and Egg Association, the poultry industry has an over $9 billion economic impact on Alabama’s economy and accounts for over 44,000 jobs statewide, so recruitment for the industry is important.

“Keeps the industry strong here in Alabama, keeps the economy strong here in Alabama. It keeps those wheels rolling in terms of workforce and leadership,” Conner said.

For more information on the program, visit www.wallace.edu/poultryscience.

The event was funded through a grant from the U.S. Poultry Foundation.

Copyright 2018 WSFA 12 News. All rights reserved.

  • NewsMore>>

  • Authorities: Suspected restaurant gunman had gun license

    Authorities: Suspected restaurant gunman had gun license

    Friday, May 25 2018 1:02 AM EDT2018-05-25 05:02:34 GMT
    Friday, May 25 2018 4:50 PM EDT2018-05-25 20:50:07 GMT
    (Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman via AP). Jennifer Stong hugs Tasha Hunt outside the scene of a shooting on the east side of Lake Hefner in Oklahoma City, Thursday, May 24, 2018. Stong was inside the restaurant when the shooting occurred.(Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman via AP). Jennifer Stong hugs Tasha Hunt outside the scene of a shooting on the east side of Lake Hefner in Oklahoma City, Thursday, May 24, 2018. Stong was inside the restaurant when the shooting occurred.

    Police: Man armed with pistol shot and wounded two customers at Oklahoma City restaurant before being shot dead by handgun-carrying civilian in parking lot.

    More >>

    Police: Man armed with pistol shot and wounded two customers at Oklahoma City restaurant before being shot dead by handgun-carrying civilian in parking lot.

    More >>
  • Dems alarmed when WH lawyer shows up at classified briefing

    Dems alarmed when WH lawyer shows up at classified briefing

    Friday, May 25 2018 12:42 AM EDT2018-05-25 04:42:57 GMT
    Friday, May 25 2018 4:49 PM EDT2018-05-25 20:49:41 GMT
    (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin). Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein leaves a classified briefing about the federal investigation into President Donald Trump's 2016 campaign, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, May 24, 2018.(AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin). Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein leaves a classified briefing about the federal investigation into President Donald Trump's 2016 campaign, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, May 24, 2018.

    Republican and Democratic lawmakers have received classified briefings about the origins of the FBI investigation into Russia's election meddling.

    More >>

    Republican and Democratic lawmakers have received classified briefings about the origins of the FBI investigation into Russia's election meddling.

    More >>
  • Ireland referendum could lift strict ban on abortion

    Ireland referendum could lift strict ban on abortion

    Friday, May 25 2018 2:32 AM EDT2018-05-25 06:32:46 GMT
    Friday, May 25 2018 4:49 PM EDT2018-05-25 20:49:02 GMT
    (Clodagh Kilcoyne/PA via AP). Presiding officer Carmel McBride looks on as a woman casts her vote in the referendum on the 8th Amendment of the Irish Constitution, on Thursday May 24, 2018, a day early for the people that live off the coast of Donegal ...(Clodagh Kilcoyne/PA via AP). Presiding officer Carmel McBride looks on as a woman casts her vote in the referendum on the 8th Amendment of the Irish Constitution, on Thursday May 24, 2018, a day early for the people that live off the coast of Donegal ...

    Voters throughout Ireland have begun casting votes in a referendum that may lead to a loosening of the country's strict ban on most abortions.

    More >>

    Voters throughout Ireland have begun casting votes in a referendum that may lead to a loosening of the country's strict ban on most abortions.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly