UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- A team of students from Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences finished fifth overall at the U.S. Poultry & Egg Association National Poultry Judging Contest, held on April 1-3, 2012 at Louisiana State University.

Penn State's team consisted of Sarah Nafziger, of Morgantown, Pa., an Animal Sciences major; Stephen Linde of Quarryille, Pa., an Agricultural Engineering major; Thomas Edwards of New Holland, Pa., an Animal Sciences major with a Poultry and Avian Science minor; and Jared McIntire of Chambersburg, PA, an Agricultural Business major with a Poultry and Avian Science minor.

Teams from 10 colleges and universities competed in three divisions: production judging, breed selection and market products judging. Competitors must demonstrate their ability to select the breeders that will produce the most eggs and the offspring that will produce the meatiest carcass most efficiently.

Contestants also are judged on how well they have mastered U.S. Department of Agriculture rules and regulations governing the grading of eggs and poultry carcasses.

The students prepared for the competition through a rigorous training program and by enrolling in a 4-week poultry science course.

"The students must show they understand how to select production animals that will result in products consumers want," said Phillip Clauer, senior instructor in poultry science who coached the team. "These concepts are not just for this contest; they will help the students when they enter the industry after graduation."

Texas A&M University was first place overall, followed by, Louisiana State University, West Virginia University, University of Arkansas, and Penn State.

In addition to taking fifth place overall, the Penn State team finished tied for fifth in the production division, fifth in breed selection, and second in market products.

Edwards placed fourth in the market products division. Linde placed sixth in the market products division. Nafziger placed 11th overall and eight in the market products division and ninth in the Breed selection division.

Phillip Clauer can be reached at (814) 863-8960 or by e-mail at