I am humbly thankful to the team who selected me qualified for this award, including the TE Sponsors, Board, and Committees! This award is a significant honor for students like me pursuing careers in food animal agriculture. I also express my sincere respect to everyone who makes this scholarship program a success while improving our exposure and communication with industry professionals. I hope to continue doing my best in the future of the animal industry.
After completing an undergraduate poultry management internship, I decided to pursue graduate education in poultry science. My master’s thesis evaluated the effects of corn particle size and feed form on broiler growth performance and carcass characteristics. Soon after, I realized that I wanted to keep doing research by further connecting poultry nutrition and feed manufacturing. Therefore, I enrolled in a Ph.D. program in Poultry Science with a nutrition co-major at NC State. I am currently working on my doctorate to pursue a career in poultry nutrition. During my time at NC State, I have enjoyed how the feed science and nutrition programs nicely combine my interests in live production, statistics, feed industry leadership, and feed science technology. Dr. Fahrenholz’s expertise was a perfect fit for what I wanted to incorporate into my doctoral research. Currently, our lab is developing novel methodologies and technologies to evaluate feed quality parameters during mixing and pelleting and their subsequent impact on broiler growth performance. My program has been unique in that I have designed research projects, data collection, and alterations of our equipment to monitor feed quality without interrupting the process flow. Having the opportunity to work at the Feed Mill and helping with current research projects other than my dissertation has allowed me to branch out my scope of nutrition and the use of alternative feed ingredients in other species. Being involved with research in the Chicken and Turkey Education Units and the Feed Mill made me aware of the importance of hands-on training for undergraduate and graduate students, especially for students pursuing careers in food animal nutrition. During my time in Dr. Fahrenholz’s lab, I participated as a teaching assistant in the Feed Manufacturing Technology Laboratory to engage students through interactive and analytical assignments involving the feed manufacturing process flow and encourage their interest in the poultry and feed science fields. The take-home message of each lab is that regardless of their career paths, understanding the impact of feed manufacturing on animal growth performance and feed quality assurance is crucial to bridging gaps of both industries. After graduation, I plan to obtain a position with a poultry nutrition or ingredient company to do applied research in poultry nutrition while incorporating innovative solutions to optimize feed quality and reduce high feed costs. I want to further advance the poultry industry by utilizing emerging feed technologies to monitor feed process flow in real-time and use this information to improve animal growth performance while optimizing the incorporation of feed ingredients or additives in animal diets. With this training, I hope to become a professional who thinks and acts critically to confront the modern challenges of poultry production with an understanding of the feed manufacturing process.