The Midwest Poultry Consortium Center of Excellence (CEO) benefits students who are interested in strong research-based poultry education. Students from participating sites may take innovative poultry science classes at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and take part in internships that will fit into the academic timetable. Credits are transferable to the students’ home university. MacFarlane Pheasants, Inc. is active in the Midwest Poultry Consortium and regularly takes interns at their farm. This summer we welcomed Caroline Greg from Iowa State University and Reilly Hoefker from South Dakota State University. Both students are taking advantage of the University of Wisconsin classes.
Caroline Greg is going to be a junior at Iowa State University, this fall. She is majoring in Animal Science with a poultry emphasis and minoring in Meat Science. She will graduate in 2020, but because she is very ambitious, graduate school is already in the plans. Caroline (Cece) wants to get a PhD in either poultry science, meat science, or food science. She would like to work for a university doing research and extension work, focusing on improving meat quality in broiler chickens. She is so pleased to have the opportunity to work at MacFarlane Pheasants.
Cece found out about the internship through the Midwest Poultry Consortium Center of Excellence Scholarship Program, as explained in the introduction. She spent the first half of the summer at the University of Wisconsin-Madison taking poultry science classes.
Cece said, “I did not grow up on a farm and knew nothing about the game bird industry coming into this internship. Almost everything is new to me! I’m really grateful for how much I have been able to learn in such a short time at MacFarlane Pheasants. I appreciate how willing everyone was to answer all of my questions. My favorite part of this job is that I have been able to work in every department so I could do something new, almost every day!”
Reilly Hoefker is a junior at South Dakota State University, majoring in Agricultural Sciences and minoring in Animal Science, Ag Business, Ag Management, and Poultry Science. He takes biology, chemistry, accounting, livestock breeding and genetics, livestock anatomy, and agricultural management classes.
Reilly said it is hard to pick a favorite part of his internship at MacFarlane Pheasants. “I love working with pheasants/game birds, in general. I grew up with this experience and it is why I am pursuing a degree in the field.”
Reilly explained how much he enjoyed learning how MacFarlane’s catches their birds. He also learned about dimmer lights in the barns and plans to use the method in his quail barns. “I plan to carry the knowledge from this experience into my future,” he said.
Reilly shared some final thought about his experience at MacFarlane Pheasants. He defined the internship as unique and one that many of his peers don’t get to experience. “Learning the ins and outs of the largest game bird producer in North America has really opened my eyes to how birds should be cared for. I have enjoyed every minute of this internship.”
MacFarlane Pheasants enjoys and benefits from their partnership with the Midwest Poultry Consortium Center of Excellence, in part because of the opportunity to be involved with training the interns who will be the future of their business!