Poultry Science Club Is About So Much More Than Just Fowl
With more than 1,000 different organization on campus to choose from, there’s something for everyone. A school as big as Penn State has a lot of extracurricular activities to choose from. Whether your forte is dance, community service, or poultry Penn State has you covered — and yes, we did say poultry.
Many of us know our beloved school first started out as the Farmer’s High School of Pennsylvania before being renamed the Agricultural College of Pennsylvania. Clearly, farming and the like have always played an integral part in the institutions history. But what some might not know is among the myriad of athletic and language clubs offered here, Penn State also has a Poultry Science club.
The club’s aim is to promote the study of the avian species and enhance member’s understanding of the poultry industry through fundraisers, community service, and other unique activities.The club at Penn State was founded— unsurprisingly — sometime in the early days of the university’s history. Though the exact year is not known, there are pictures and records of club meetings dating back to the early 1950s and it’s likely the club was around long before that.
Throughout the year the organization hosts guest speakers, industry tours, a fall turkey harvest, a trip to the international trade show in Atlanta, and a spring awards banquet with a silent benefit auction. The club even volunteers at the presidential Easter Egg roll hunt on the White House lawn in the spring. Last year, it sold more than 500 birds on the first day of their fall turkey harvest sale in just an hour and a half. The turkeys are harvested in a three day period and are all sold fresh dressed on a first come first serve basis.
President Matt Hackenberg said the club’s success is a result of hard work. “Our club members are very passionate about what we do and I never have a hard time finding volunteers to take on new projects and challenges. They are some of the hardest working people I know and show great pride in what we do.”
Hackenberg got involved in the club when a fraternity brother invited him to help out with the annual fall turkey harvest. He enjoyed the event so much, he figured why not give a meeting a try too? Since those fateful first few days, he’s been an active member — participating in many of the events, running meetings, and overseeing discharge duties. The quality of the people involved was what really drew him in. In fact, the high caliber of the clubs members has been nationally recognized on several occasions.
For the second straight year in a row, the Poultry Science Club at Penn State was named National Club of the Year at the USPEA College Program in Atlanta, Georgia. Senior member Josh Cassar was recognized as National Member of the Year. The club was also named Club of the Year in the College of Agriculture at Penn State for 2016.
For those interested in attending a meeting, Hackenberg welcomes all. Meetings are held on the first, third, and fifth Wednesdays of every month at 6:00 p.m. throughout the school year in the Agricultural Sciences and Industries Building. Not to mention, they have snacks and social time after the meetings for all to enjoy. We have a feeling there’s some poultry on the menu.