I would like to express my thanks to the TE Sponsors, Board, and Committee for the great honor of receiving this award.
I began my career in poultry science when I became a student in the Department of Poultry Science at the University of Arkansas in August of 2013. Shortly after classes started, I began working with two different professors as an undergraduate research assistant to assist graduate students with their nutrition research, daily bird care, sample harvest days, and work with different chicken breed programs designated for 4-H and FFA programs. At the end of my undergraduate career, I acquired a strong knowledge of poultry science from a classroom setting learning about animal husbandry and production, nutrition, genetics, physiology, and business practices. I was also fortunate to acquire a practical working knowledge from my time working within different research labs and during my two summer internships working in an industry hatchery and processing plant. Before my last semester as an undergraduate, I joined a molecular biology lab within the department as an undergraduate researcher to further my knowledge of molecular research practices and how they apply to practices in poultry production. My strong work performance and quick learning skills lead to me accepting and pursuing a Master of Science degree to explore my interests in studying the effect of a phytogenic feed additive on the lipid metabolism pathway of heat-stressed broiler chickens. At the end of my program at Arkansas, I was named the Outstanding Master of Science Student in the Department of Poultry Science. I have now started my doctorate in Poultry Science shifting my research interests to the impacts of nutrition on broiler muscle growth and development. The work during my program will focus on the role of muscle stem cell function in broiler muscle development and the broiler Wooden Breast muscle myopathy. It is my goal that the practices I am learning in my doctoral program and networking opportunities at annual meetings will allow me to be eligible for a position as a future leader in the poultry industry working in technical service to try and make a difference. At this current point in time, I want to gain knowledge and be presented challenges in areas that can build my skill sets. While I may have gained skills in poultry production and lab methods from a university setting, I do not have skills in business, sales, feed additives (amino acids, and enzymes), and applying my knowledge to the poultry industries in other countries. By gaining these skills, I hope to have the ability to be become a knowledgeable leader in the poultry industry to make a difference in the future. With the world population growing every year, it will be the task of my generation of poultry scientist to lead the industry in developing strategies to produce nutritious, and affordable protein sources for the people of the world.