Posted: May 16, 2017

Collegiate Poultry judging team excels at national contest in April, placing second overall among ten teams competing.

Penn State's Collegiate Poultry Judging Team placed second overall in the 70TH USPOULTRY Foundation Ted Cameron National Poultry Judging Contest held at Louisiana State University on April 5-7. They were second in the Breed Selection Division, third in the Market Product Division and sixth in the Egg Production Division.

Members of the team were: Kevin Brubaker, Trevorton, PA; Katie Hess, Lancaster, PA; Kurtis Miller, Honey Brook, PA; and Blake Ramsey, Mifflintown, PA. The team was coached by Phillip J. Clauer, Senior Instructor in Penn State's Department of Animal Science.

Ten teams were part of the competition, with 40 individuals judging. Louisiana State University placed first; Texas A&M was third. Other universities participating were University of Arkansas, Kansas State University, Mississippi State University, The Ohio State University, West Virginia University, University of North Georgia and University of Wisconsin, River Falls.

Dr. Terry Etherton, Head of the Department of Animal Science said, "I congratulate our team for their outstanding achievement on the national level. It is a tribute to their hard work and commitment to excellence. I also would like to thank the members of the poultry science staff in the Department for preparing the students so admirably."

Individual placings are:

  • Miller - placed sixth overall, second in the Breed Selection Division and tied for sixth in the Egg Production Division.

  • Ramsey - placed seventh overall, tied for fifth in the Breed Selection Division and tenth in the Market Product Division.

  • Brubaker - placed eighth overall, fourth in the Breed Selection Division and sixth in the Market Products Division.

  • Hess - tied for ninth overall, tied for sixth in the Egg Production Division, and placed seventh in the Market Products

Miller will be a summer intern with Cobb-Vantress, AR; Ramsey has accepted a job with Bell and Evans after graduation; Brubaker has a summer internship with Empire Kosher; and Hess will be a summer intern at Bell and Evans.

Clauer said, "These students work hard to prepare for this contest that helps them learn to make and communicate decisions based on the skills they learn. This preparation is extremely helpful as they prepare for a career in the poultry industry. We are very proud of their accomplishments."

The students prepared for the competition through a rigorous training program as part of a 14-week poultry science course. To earn a spot on the Penn State team, they competed with fellow students during a 1700 point midterm exam over two, two-hour class periods. The competition allows students the opportunity to demonstrate how well they have mastered their knowledge of breed selection for meat production, egg production and purebred chicken defects as well as the U.S. Department of Agriculture rules and regulations governing the grading of eggs and poultry carcasses.

Clauer noted that each year there are many more employment opportunities than graduates in poultry science. Anyone interested in a career in the industry should contact Clauer at (814) 863-8960 or by e-mail at .

The judging team received partial funding from the Robert K. Robinson Fund for Student Engagement awarded through the College of Ag Sciences Student Activities Committee.

Submitted by Phillip Clauer (