ANSC Students Take Trip to Perdue Farms to Experience Large Scale Poultry Production

Students gain valuable insights into large scale poultry production in our region

Front (L-R): Kianna Cardwell, Jake Peachey, Vince Yamson, Rose Ventura, Esther Baum, Raven Herron, Robyn Penn. Back (L-R): Maxwell Frederick, Jaelen Cherry, Mike Levengood, Haleigh Gonzalez, Mary Cate Parent, Allison Flaherty, Dr. Monica VanKlompenberg.

Image Credit: Dr. Sarah Balcom

June 16, 2023 Jonathan Stephanoff

Animal and Avian Sciences students had a unique opportunity this spring to tour Perdue Farms facilities in our region and gained valuable insights into large scale poultry production. On February 23, Dr. Monica VanKlompenberg and Dr. Sarah Balcom took an ANSC group to Perdue Farms locations in the Delmarva Peninsula, visiting a hatchery, a grow out farm, and the Milford Processing Plant.

One participant on the trip was Raven Herron, an Animal Sciences major and at the time a freshman. Discussing the trip, Herron said, “I am not a poultry person by any means. Horses? Cattle? Goats? Companions? I love them all. Chickens? Absolutely not. While I do still feel that way, I decided to go on the trip to expand my knowledge of the agriculture industry and become a part of the public that can educate others when they don’t understand.”

Herron summed up her experience by saying, “The trip provided me just what I wanted: a better understanding of the industry and a good word that I can spread to others.” She applauded Perdue Farm’s public relation efforts, saying, “the attention to detail that Perdue emphasizes in relation to public opinion and pushback … their willingness to work with the public to attempt to ease their woes is very comforting from a large corporation.”

Heron said, “My favorite experience of the trip was the large production facility in Delaware … seeing how fast and efficient the manufacturing is of a whole chicken puts it into perspective of how much chicken is consumed daily.” She added, “[seeing the production facility] was an awesome experience and learning about the new technologies that the plant implemented for animal ethics and worker ease [was] astounding to see, especially knowing that the whole production line was once done by hand.” 

The 12 students also met with ANSC alum Genny Pelletier who shared her experiences in poultry production. All involved with the trip give a big ANSC thank you to Perdue Farms for the opportunity, US Poultry and Egg Foundation for funding, and Mike Levengood for hosting the department.