Tremendous job opportunities await college-trained young men and women in today's highly advanced poultry industry. In practically every phase of the industry, professional-level openings for scientists, mechanical and sales engineers, business persons and technological specialists are waiting to be filled by young people who will devote a little extra time, energy and initiative to getting the job done.
Highly skilled geneticists have replaced the individual farmer in the reproduction of today's chickens and turkeys. Large breeding farms employ staff geneticists to assist in and direct their breeding programs, which include bird selection through advanced blood typing methods as well as the computerized compilation and analysis of records. Today's large, nationwide hatchery corporations employ numerous geneticists—as well as managers, salesmen and servicemen—to insure that they are producing top quality birds. Time and research have proven that the biology and principles of incubation are just as important as the mechanics of an incubator. The thrill of new discoveries awaits those young people with an interest in the life sciences. Amazing progress has been made in past years, but more is yet to come in the reproduction of chickens and turkeys. Training should include a background in basic poultry science with specialization in genetics. Added opportunities exist for those who combine these talents with the various phases of hatchery management.
Disease control is vitally important in the highly competitive poultry industry, where rapid growth and intensified production demand that disease losses be held to a minimum. Though some disease problems have been solved, and others are partly solved, considerable more research is needed. This affords college graduates wide latitude of personal choice and broad opportunities to express personal talents in specialized research laboratories. The combined research of bacteriologists, pathologists, serologists and others are pooled by large pharmaceutical companies to develop the vaccines, drugs, and feed additives to solve these complex disease problems. Pharmaceutical firms also need trained young people in sales, service and communications. The efforts of scientists would be wasted without this vital link in the industry's chain. Training for the pharmaceutical field generally requires undergraduate study, and—in some cases—graduate work leading toward a doctorate degree in veterinary medicine or other specifically-related fields.
Experts predict that the well-fed hen, or turkey, or broiler receives a more scientifically balanced diet throughout life than most humans. And, as the industry becomes more advanced, nutritionists are challenged more and more to discover new combinations of feed ingredients to meet the producer's needs. Their job does not end with merely finding new scientific nutritional facts, however. They must also help discover the most economical source of ingredients and assist in combining these ingredients into skillfully balanced feed formulas. There are equally fine opportunities for young people in sales, service and management among the highly competitive feed companies. These individuals must provide the producer with information on management techniques in addition to selling feed. A nutritionist's training generally requires advanced degree work, while the sales and service field requires a knowledge of technological subjects in addition to business training.
Through the efforts of agriculturally-oriented engineers, the poultry industry is farther advanced toward complete automation than any other livestock enterprise. Yet, more is still to be done. Young men and women are needed to design and build the automated poultry equipment of tomorrow, and still other engineers are needed to supervise actual construction. Though these people are primarily engineers, they must have a basic knowledge of the product and its ultimate use. Excellent opportunities also exist in the sales and service fields. Large manufacturers of poultry equipment are constantly seeking young persons with a combined knowledge of poultry technology, sales ability and mechanical aptitude to sell and service their line of products. Training for these areas should include mechanics, electricity, design and general agricultural engineering, as well as background in poultry science and business.
To be successful, young persons should obtain a college education to properly prepare themselves for coping with the complexity of modern poultry production. Such success requires that a producer have a firm foundation in technological husbandry—including genetics, nutrition, disease control, business principles, equipment and the many other aspects of commercial enterprises. A knowledge of the marketing chain and the economics associated with marketing are necessary. A very large investment is required for starting the operational ownership of a chicken or turkey ranch large enough to provide economic stability. The industry trend to specialization and integrated units has increased the demand for trained farm managers who can solve production problems, direct employees and supervise business operations. These farm managers often acquire ownership, thus providing young people with another avenue to eventual self-employment.
Food Science and Processing
The future growth of the poultry industry is closely associated with advancements in food manufacturing technology. There is a large demand for well trained poultry food scientists with this capability. Managerial skills are a major asset due to the interrelationships and management of individuals in the processing and further-processing plants. This type of career offers the potential for rapid career advancement for the poultry science graduate. It requires a strong science background which provides ample opportunities for advanced graduate study and career enhancement.
Agribusiness is the supplying of producers with the services and materials necessary for production, including the processing and marketing of products to meet the consumer's needs. Commercial banks and other financial institutions, including accounting firms, need agricultural representatives in major poultry areas to assist producers with management problems. Increased emphasis is being placed upon packaging and merchandising farm products by private business, cooperatives, industry organizations and governmental agencies, thus providing young men and women with many promising careers. Likewise, the fields of mass communications and public relations offer many positions for college graduates with journalistic abilities and poultry knowledge—young people who know the "language of agriculture" and can explain it in simple terms to the general public. Specialized training is necessary for these various fields as well as a solid background in both business and poultry science. Poultry production operations, are increasing in volume to meet the demand of our exploding population. Such technological advancement has increased the demand in ALL segments of the industry and allied fields for more trained individuals, creating a serious problem for the industry.