Penn State’s Poultry Judging Team Placed Fourth in National Contest

Posted: December 9, 2013

In preparing for judging poultry, concepts learned by students, not only enable them to win competitions, but also contribute to their future careers. "Our successful participation brings national recognition to our outstanding program and to our exceptional students."

In early November, Penn State Department of Animal Science’s poultry judging team placed fourth, overall, at the 48th Annual National Collegiate Poultry Judging competition, held in Fayetteville, AK. This continued a strong winning tradition. The team placed second in the Egg Production and Quality division and fourth in the Broiler Selection and Carcass Quality division.

Team members included

  • Jillian Koren, Boyertown
  • Amy Mayer, Dalton
  • Dylan Lape, Lebanon
  • Corissa Steimling, Gettysburg

The team was coached by Phillip Clauer, senior instructor in poultry science. Koren was fourth overall individual, and placed third in Egg Production and Quality division and 11th in the Broiler Selection and Carcass Quality division. Mayer was eighth overall, and tied for fifth for Egg Production and Quality Division and was 12th in the Broiler Selection and Carcass Quality division. Dr. Terry Etherton, Head of the Department of Animal Science, said, “I offer my congratulations to the team for their outstanding performance in the national contest.

Their accomplishment is a tribute to the faculty who worked with them in preparing for the contest, and to the students’ terrific work ethic and dedication to excellence.” Clauer said, “We have worked very hard over the years to build a strong poultry judging program at Penn State. The concepts we teach are ones that students can apply to life and to the poultry industry when they graduate. Our successful participation brings national recognition to our outstanding program and to our exceptional students.” He noted that the team has not placed lower than fourth since they began participating in the contest ten years ago.

Students are selected for the team by enrolling in a 15-week poultry science course and competing for a spot during the spring semester. The team then completes a rigorous nine week training program to prepare for the fall contest.

Ten universities and forty students participated. Texas A & M University won the contest, followed by the University of Arkansas, second; Kansas State University, third; and Mississippi State University, fifth. Others who participated were Louisiana State University, North Carolina State University, University of Wisconsin River Falls, the Ohio State University, and University of Georgia. This was a very close contest, only 32 points separated 1st place from 4th place out of a possible 4500 points.

The Egg Production division includes seven classes: ranking two classes of five production hens for past production traits, two classes of five Pullets for future production traits and grading three 25 egg classes of exterior quality, interior candled and broken-out. In the Breed Selection division, there are eight classes: ranking a male and female eight-week-old broiler class, a male and female class of 24-week-old broiler breeders, a male and female class of turkey breeders and grading two classes of 25 ready-to-cook carcasses for USDA grade standards. In these classes, contestants 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. Students 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 Poultry Science Club received partial funding from the Office for Undergraduate Education “Student Activities fund” to enable participation in this event.